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BD Winter Regionals: Bishop Burton

last updated on February 18, 2016 11:58

 BD Winter Regionals: Bishop Burton

Northern region members’ rep Lara Dyson enjoyed another memorable championships outing to Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire, which hosted the first of the 2016 winter regionals, claiming three hotly contested titles on plus 70% scores, including the Blue Chip Novice Open, Shadow Horse Elementary Open and PDS Saddles Elementary Open freestyle.
Riding Tracy and Laura Milner’s stunning home-bred 16.1hh seven-year-old black gelding Jazzed Up (by Jazz), Lara, who won an impressive four titles at this championships in 2013 with her Sir Donnerhall stallion Cadans M, has high hopes for her new ride “Felix”, who she describes as “sensitive but highly trainable”.

“When Felix first came to me a year ago he had a few confidence issues,” says Lara, who trains with Rhett Bird. “I sent him to Guy Robertson, a local Natural Horsemanship trainer, to help assess his needs and we worked on some groundwork exercises in hand before progressing to the ridden work to help develop his trust, but very quickly Felix proved extremely trainable and responsive.

“We’ve taken it slowly, did our first BD competition last May and over the months we’ve gradually built up a good partnership and trust. Six months ago, I don’t think I would have managed get him into the arena at Bishop Burton, let alone complete a test! If someone had told me we would win a title at a regional championship I don’t think I would have believed them, but about a month ago everything suddenly clicked and fell into place for Felix.

“He tried his heart out in all three tests and grew in confidence each time, which has really helped build our faith in each other, even further.”

The past couple of years have seen some changes for 32- year-old Lara, who combines working as a quality manager for her family business Cyden Homes in Grimsby with running a successful competition/breeding yard.

In 2014 she had a pacemaker fitted after medical tests revealed a series of worrying dizzy spells were caused by a condition called bradycardia (a slow heart rate which can also signal disruption to the electrical pathways of the heart) but with the operation a success, Lara remains positive and is looking forward to the future. Last year she married former Metropolitan Police detective Garry Edwards and the couple are expecting their first baby in June.

“I’m planning to keep riding for as long as my pregnancy allows and hopefully go on to qualify Felix at medium and advanced medium levels for the summer regionals – I’ve already ordered a new competition jacket to allow for my expanding waistline,” says Lara.

Former British team rider Nikki Crisp rode her own and Viv Gleave’s 17.2hh eight-year-old KWPN stallion Durable (by Speilberg) to victory in the Albion Medium Open championship, scoring 74.73%.

Nikki, who was shortlisted for the 2012 Olympics with her much admired international star mare Pasoa, who is currently enjoying a quieter life at the age of 19, describes “Danny” as “the most talented horse I’ve ever sat on.

Durable, who was bought in Holland as a two-year-old, won the Shearwater Four-year-old Young Horse championships and was placed seventh in the medium open championships at last year’s nationals.

“He’s got the most amazing temperament and is a real gentleman to both handle and ride,” says Nikki, who has had just a handful of outings with Danny since taking up the ride last year. “He’s not fazed by anything and finds it easy to collect and extend, he tries so hard with everything you ask, he’s just a fab horse and I’m lucky to have the ride.”

In the Albion Medium Open regional championships at Bishop Burton Durable scored highly, including 9s for his extended walk and extended trot, 8.5 for half passes and 8s for his paces and submission.

“We made a few little mistakes in the test, but he’s a big horse and just needs a bit of time to get stronger now,” says Nikki, who is hoping to move up to prix st georges with Danny later this season and then onto small tour level next year. ”He has huge movement -- the feeling he gives you is unbelievable, it’s like floating on a cloud!”

The Charles Owen Advanced Medium restricted and Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle titles went to Yorkshire rider Lisa Megginson and her 16.3hh 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Breit Crusader (by Breitling out of a Lauries Crusader mare), winners of the Albion medium restricted championships at last year’s winter championships

Lisa, who lives near Pocklington and looks after the family farm accounts for her husband, bought “Cheeky” as a foal from a video through agent Christian Heinrich in Germany, with the help of her long time friend and trainer Hannah Esberger–Hancock for just £5,000. Hannah was also the winner of the Spillers Medium Open Freestyle title at these championships with Leonidas III on 71.78%.

“It was a bit of a gamble as I didn’t get to see him in the flesh until he arrived, but we looked for bloodlines which had proven trainability and he’s turned out to be fantastic,” says Lisa, who backed and produced Cheeky herself, and has successfully competed him in young horse classes.

“Cheeky has a very positive attitude to life and loves to learn new things – he’s a bit like a child with ADHD so can be rather demanding, but he’s a funny character and very entertaining to have around.”

The combination haven’t had the easiest time preparing for competition, as Lisa explains: “We didn’t go out much last summer as he developed ulcer-type symptoms so our vet prescribed a course of Gastrogard and some time off in the field, then he was badly stung by a swarm of bees in the field and needed steroids and more time off, so he didn’t come back into work until October, but we managed to qualify for advanced medium and freestyle regionals. Then in January Cheeky came down with a virus and it’s been touch and go as to whether we would make it to the winter regionals. We left the final decision until just two days before the championships when I rode him in the arena and thankfully he felt his usual bouncy, happy self again. I think having some time off has benefitted him as he now feels like he’s gone up another gear and really come into his own.

“Now we’re now looking forward to travelling to Myerscough regionals for the Prix St Georges freestyle championship later this week.”

Freelance instructor and mother of two Emma Littlewood, was the clear winner of the Shadow Horse Elementary Restricted title with her own seven year-old KWPN gelding Expo (by Speilberg) on 71.41%.

Emma, who owns and runs a livery yard near Leeds, previously enjoyed a successful career in showing, including competing working hunter ponies and show hunters at HOYS and RIHS and has evented up to CCI one-star level, but says she has always enjoyed dressage too and successfully campaigned Expo in the five and six-year-old young horse classes.

“I got Expo as a four-year-old and he’s the first warmblood I’ve had, but he’s so trainable and tries his heart out for you. We haven’t been out competing since August last year when my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and she passed away at Christmas, so the horses have been on hold for a while.

“We took Expo for a trial run to Bishop Burton a few weeks ago and he won both tests so that helped set us up. Winning the regional title was quite an emotional bittersweet moment for me and meant a lot as we’re a very close family and I think mum, who was our biggest supporter, would have been very proud.”

Elisabeth Wilkinson and her striking 13.1hh Fell pony Black Prince Bobby also made their mark winning the KBIS Prelim title on 71.03%

Thirty-one-year-old Lizzie, who works full time as a marketing manager for a medical device company, bought the 11-year-old gelding six years ago as her first horse and keeps him at DIY livery.

“I’ve ridden friends’ Fell ponies in the past and enjoyed them as they have huge personalities -- as my first horse, I wanted something that was fairly straightforward and easy to keep,” says Lizzie. “Bobby had only done a bit in hand and was just sat on when I got him, so was very green and needed rebacking. We started from scratch, which was bit like the blind leading the blind and we had some hilarious moments together. For someone so small, he can be quite opinionated but he’s also good fun to work with and is usually quite chilled out at competitions.

“Initially we struggled a bit with schooling, but we then started having lessons with Julie Blanchard, who’s been brilliant and has made a massive difference as she has the patience of a saint!

“I love doing dressage - it suits my personality as I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I like the structure of training and the opportunity to work up the levels.

“Riding a native has many advantages – they’re clever, very trainable and have smooth, rhythmic paces. At first I wasn’t sure how we would be received, but nobody has turned their noses up at us, if anything everyone has been very welcoming. All the judges are incredibly supportive and encouraging which proves you don’t need a warmblood to compete, anyone can give it a go and have fun!”

Bishop Burton regional winners

Elizabeth Wilkinson and her own Black Prince Bobby 71.03%

Francesca Stourton and her own Bucanto 70.34%

Lara Dyson and Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up 70.98%

Sarah Payne and Alice Elliott’s Chatsworth Chieftain 76.30%

Abigail Ingledew and her own Tommi 70.83%

Emma Littlewood and her own Expo 71.41%

Lara Dyson and Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up 72.55%

Carol Pearson and her own Zorra Verte 73.14%

Lara Dyson and Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up 76.47%

Jane Stephenson and Clare Blaskey’s Blue Chip Forever 68.74%

Nikki Crisp and Vivienne Gleave & her own Durable 74.73%

Tara Kusch and her own Regrette 70.89%

Hannah Esberger-Hancock and Joanne Byrne’s Leonidas III 71.78%

Lisa Megginson and her own Breit Crusader 70.44%

Becky Moody and Sharon Bardsley’s Darina O 69.69%

Lisa Megginson and her own Breit Crusader 72.89%

Erin Williams and Clare Williams’ Bolsan B 71.71%

For full results click here

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