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Day Three - Espayo National Championships

last updated on September 16, 2012 09:18

Day Three - Espayo National Championships

Dressage International Inter I Freestyle

Isobel Wessels and the elegant Chagall confirmed their standing as the leading combination at Intermediate I level today when they took the Dressage International Inter I Freestyle class to add to the same title they won five months ago at the Winter Championships. Today’s result combined with second in the Inter I yesterday also gave them the supreme champion title.

It was a successful end to three busy days and Chagall, jointly owned by Isobel and Brigit Powell, gave his all to score 73.38% despite his rider saying he was feeling quite tired. The combination has had a relatively quiet season but always come to championships firing on all cylinders and today was a perfect example. The choice of music was jazzy and upbeat and Isobel set a complicated floorplan. However, Chagall’s obliging nature cost them. Isobel said; “I do a canter pirouette before our line of three-time changes and I just didn’t give him enough time before asking for the first change so he surprised me by changing so we set off to do two times!”

She continued; “I always have a terrific ride on him, all mistakes are always mine. He usually does too much, never not enough. He listened, he was on the aids, totally responsive, lovely in the contact, honest - I just can’t ask any more from him. He’s just a truly special horse.”

In her prize giving interview, Isobel was quick to praise the team at Carl Hester’s base, Oakelbrook Mill where Chagall is stabled. “I couldn’t do it with them and they’re the happiest team to work with. Also, I have to thank my husband Justin who supports me and trails round helping!”

Isobel now faces a troubled winter where she’ll have to make a decision about which path her career takes. As a ‘O’ level international judge, she can’t ride at Grand Prix level internationally. However, Chagall is already showing talent for piaffe and the passage is coming so naturally, the temptation is to follow the riding path. Either way, in Isobel’s words, today it was “not bad for any old lady!”

Second spot went to Emile Faurie riding Ann Willetts’ Corbiere II with 71.43% while Maria Eilberg was third by a small margin with Lynne and Dave Crowden’s Woodlander Rockstar on 71.40%.  


Dyon Grand Prix

It has been a whirlwind two months for Carl Hester and Uthopia and today they drew packed stands at Stoneleigh as they delivered an almost foot-prefect performance to win the Dyon Grand Prix with a score of 76.55%.

Uthopia, who has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, looked in great shape after the exertions of the Olympics and the test was a demonstration of the harmonious partnership he and Carl share.

Of course, the atmosphere was a little different to that of Greenwich Park, but the enthusiasm of the spectators was a match for it. Carl said ‘It was a great atmosphere, and it was great to ride in front a home crowd again, many of whom may not have been able to get to the Olympics.’

Carl said he was very pleased with the test, and that Uthopia was fantastic to ride. He said ‘although we had a small mistake, I don’t focus on that, I focus on all the bits that were amazing.’

The pair will now go on on to tomorrow’s Espayo Grand Prix Freestyle, where Carl hopes to improve on his London performance where he performed to his new music arrangement for the first time. ‘I will be going for an 80% plus score and I am hoping for a more polished performance. This could be my last chance to ride this horse in a competition and I will be going out with a desire to win.’ Carl said even though this could be his last outing with Uthopia he sees it in a positive way: ‘I have taken him right to the top – gone as far as I can with him, and it will be exciting to start the process again with another horse.’

Second place went to last year’s winner Laura Bechtolsheimer and Andretti H (73.34%) and third placed was Michael Eilberg and the striking grey mare Half Moon Delphi on a score of 72.19%.



Dressage Deluxe Medium Open

Worcestershire dressage rider Michael Eilberg has won today’s Dressage Deluxe Medium Open Championship. Riding Jon and Julie Deverill’s Half Moon Dynasty, he scored 72.11% to head the strong class of 31 national finalists. Reflecting the depth of horse power he currently has, Michael also filled the runner-up spot with his second ride in the class, Fuerst Sinclair, Alison Reddy’s nine-year-old Fuerst Heinrich gelding.

Michael’s winning ride Half Moon Dynasty who qualified for the nationals at last month’s Somerford Park Regional Championships, has been on good form all year; the eight-year-old Dimaggio mare has been placed in the top two in every one of her competitive outings so far and looks a bright prospect for the future.

The Medium Open one-two was an excellent result for 26-year-old Michael, particularly as he has been suffering from flu-like symptoms throughout the show. Plus, despite feeling below par, Michael achieved third place in the grand prix with the talented young mare Half Moon Delphi and he wowed the crowd with superstar World Breeding Six-Year-Old Champion, Woodlander Farouche. The megastar chestnut mare took centre stage during the Eilberg Family Masterclass providing a great chance for people to see her up close and in person.

Shearwater Young Dressage Horse

The pre-judging and assessment took place today for the Shearwater Young Horse Championships four and five year olds. The top eight in each age class will go through to the final tomorrow.

Top eight four-year-olds:
1st - Paul Hayler and Lonswelt
2nd - Dan Sheriff and Dance of Decadence
3rd - Emma Williams and Ducon
4th - Lizzie Murray and Sweetheart
5th - Charlotte Dujardin and Why Banquo
6th - Jane Howard and Leo Ventura
7th - Daniel Greenwood and Romanno Stromboli
8th - Sarah Bosomworth and D'Artagnan

Top eight five-year-olds:
1st - Erik Theilgaard and Shadow Line
2nd - Becky Moody and Carinsio
3rd - Richard Barrett and Blake
4th - Jo Hamilton and Corchapin
5th - Emile Faurie and Duke Ellington
6th - Paul Friday and Flamingo
7th - Vanessa Worthington and RS Raphael
8th - Owen Cooper and Don Dante II 

For full results, click here.

Full pdf results - click here