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Day two: NAF Five Star Winter Championships

last updated on April 07, 2016 20:51

Day two: NAF Five Star Winter Championships

Day two at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire (6 – 10 April 2016) witnessed dressage newbies, Jamie Broom and Furst Impression climb to the top of the leader board and claim the Albion Medium Restricted Championship.

Embarking on their dressage journey just 18 months ago, Jamie and the ten-year-old Furst Heinrich-sired gelding, owned by Georgina Broom, scored 69.41% to overtake long-time class leaders and eventual runners up Jane Stephenson with Blue Chip Forever (67.84%).

“To be honest, we were aiming for a top ten placing – even though this is just his ninth Medium test,” explained an ecstatic Jamie. “We came fourth at the Regionals last year and just missed out on a wild card. When we won this year’s at Merrist Wood, we thought – let’s go top ten, that would be amazing … then we went into the lead.

“The test felt nice, although there were a few little tight moments. His medium trot didn’t feel brilliant but he’s so talented, his ‘not brilliant’ is actually pretty good! He showboats and that’s his party piece”

A former member of the Household Cavalry, it was Furst Impression – or Tigger as he’s known at home – who inspired Jamie to take on dressage.

“He found me and now my daughter has my show jumper,” continued Jamie. “So I thought I’d give it a go, see how I get on and here we are – we’ve already qualified for the Summer Regionals at Medium but the big aim is to try a PSG by the winter, because that will mark two years of dressage for us, Novice to PSG in two years.”

Petplan Equine Area Festival Prix St Georges Championship

It may have been a ten hour journey to get to Hartpury for Sharon Lindop but a win in the Petplan Equine Area Festival Prix St Georges Championship made every second worthwhile. Riding her own elegant Sandhaven, Sharon was drawn early and her score of 66.45% set the pace but left the Aberdeenshire rider with an anxious wait. “There were so many riders to come in the class who I respect so it was a horrible wait. I tried to switch off but it was hard,” said an elated Sharon.

A few riders came close but no one could better the score and victory belonged to Sharon, a business consultant to small and medium sized oil companies by day. Sharon brought Sandhaven from renowned producer Astrid Bolton who advertised the Sandro Boy Junior sired leggy gelding as a working hunter prospect but Sharon felt he had eventing potential, despite being bred for show jumping! On the way back to Scotland from trying him in Lancashire, he earned his name…from a bottle of wine! “Astrid just called him ‘the brown one’ so we needed a name. My husband Paul and I stopped and we had a bottle of wine with dinner which was Mudgee Merlot, so Mudgee was christened!” recalled Sharon.

She started him out as a five year old in the Burghley Young Event Horse classes and he was eighth at the championships, ridden by Nicky Roncoroni. Sharon, who evented up to two star level, soon realised that he’d struggle to make the time across country but training sessions with Albert van Shee made her realise that she, and the horse, could have a career in dressage.

This is their fourth trip to Hartpury but most successful despite their inexperience at this level with just eight PSG tests under their belt. “I was hoping for a top ten. It was a safe test with no real errors and I guess I could say we should have had ‘more of this, more of that’ but it all just fell into place today. He’s not easy and I’ve considered giving up on him but my training with Albert has really helped us bond,” commented Sharon.

She also has training with Paul Hayler who travels up regularly for clinics; “I organise my entire diary around his visits!” laughed Sharon. She also said her husband is a great pair of eyes on the ground ‘despite not being able to rise to the trot’ but he listens to all her training and is on the ear piece at competitions to help her stay ‘calm and focused’.

Sharon is hoping to don her ‘brave pants’ and have a go at some Premier League fixtures later this year.

Petplan Equine Area Festival Elementary Restricted

As the only combination to break the seventy percent barrier, winners Tyler Bradshaw and her own Dajano, a black Dutch warmblood by Uphill, can celebrate a convincing win tonight. They took the class on 71.03%, ahead of under-25 riders, second placed Leanne Kerry on Royal Rival and Bonnie Bourne in third on Twyford Salamander, who both scored 69.02% and were split by collectives.

Tyler had a long wait after the first round of competitors, “the nerves were definitely high, I was watching the scoreboards for hours!” Between great showers of rain the sun shone over the pair as their second round produced another ‘consistent’ test. “It’s always going to be a mixed bag, you’re not sure what you’re going to get when you go down the centre line!”

Having trained at Talland School of Equitation on a scholarship, Tyler (25) has been running her own business as an instructor near Tiverton in Devon for the past two years and had many clients at home rooting for her today. “It’s all a bit of a shock really, as it’s a new partnership with him, I wasn’t expecting it at all!”

The eye-catching ‘genuine’ giant Dajano, standing at 18.1hh and known as ‘DJ’ at home, was bought unseen by Tyler from a contact in Holland. “I’ve only had him a year now and when he turned up he was quite backward thinking. I can remember putting nothing on, no whip, no spurs, expecting him to be quite sharp. We’ve spent most of our time trying to find that button, that impulsion, and I think we’re finally getting there.” Tyler trains with Emile Faurie and recalls him saying “You can ride him round like a sausage if you like but he could be quite a nice horse!”

A semi-finalist for 2014’s British Dressage Young Professional Award, Tyler has complete dedication for both her business and her competitive riding, to the extent of not letting cracked ribs and broken vertebrae in a fall only nine months ago get in the way! Speaking of DJ, “I hope one day he’s going to be an Olympic horse. I couldn’t ask for a nicer horse, I’m very lucky.”

Shadow Horse Elementary Open

Jessica Dunn (26) from Burnley, Lancashire won the red-hot Shadow Horse Elementary Open Championship this afternoon riding Katie Keenan’s MFS French Noir (French Kiss x Prince Thatch).

In a class where no fewer than seven combinations breached the 70% barrier, MFS French Noir, a sporty seven-year-old British-bred gelding was beautifully ridden by Jessica to produce an impressive performance earning 74.64%.

“I really enjoyed this one,” said Jessica, clearly thrilled with the horse’s performance. “I was nervous for this test. He was third at the nationals so I really wanted this to be his chance to shine.

“I came out quietly confident. I felt he couldn’t have done much better but I didn’t want to get over-excited as it was a strong class. There was already a score of 73% and it’s hard to beat a score like that at a championship.”

It hasn’t been a straightforward journey for Jessica and the talented MFS French Noir, “He has a complicated mind set and was a bit lost for a while. He’s taught me a lot about how to read horses.” They however look to be a very exciting combination for the future.

Jessica has now been back in the UK for 18 months since returning from three years in Germany with renowned rider, trainer and breeder, Wolfram Wittig. “It was amazing – I’m in awe of him. It was hard work with 12-hour days and thirteen horses to ride daily but I had a free rein on competition experience and learnt so much, including the ability to keep the horse’s body fluid with the legs quick and stepping under.”

Jessica’s ability was recognised at a young age: “I was lucky as a 12-year-old to meet Stephen Clarke. He mentored me, and at 21, it was he who advised that I went abroad to train with Wolfram.”

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Music Freestyle

Hertfordshire rider Tahley Reeve-Smith rode a showstopper of a test to win the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Music Freestyle at the end of day two at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

Tahley partnered her Sharola Show Star, an attractive six-year-old son of Show Maker, to top the leader board in the super-competitive class with a huge score 77-50%.

“I’m so happy with him,” smiled Tahley, clearly delighted with her horse’s performance to their Equivisions-compiled West End musicals soundtrack. “He’s inexperienced so I had no expectations at all. I’ve focused on him for the past six months or so, though he’s competed very little so I’m thrilled that he’s coped well today. He’s not been the boldest horse so this year was just to let him see everything. I’ve even taken him to adult camp to see more of the world!

The tall, athletic Sharola Show Star oozes potential for the future though his early years have not been a walk in the park. Describing the early days Tahley said: ‘He was one of the hardest horses to back and start off as he was so sharp. I came off him so many times! But he’s a very kind horse.”

‘Freddie Longlegs’, as he’s known at home, was bred by Tahley’s mother, Susan. “He has two half-brothers and a half-sister and I used to compete his dam sire, Sharola Rainmaker. They all have a way about them. It’s a lovely line.”

Tahley trains with Carl Hester, Becky Moody and Roland Tong. “Each sees something different. It’s useful to get all their viewpoints.”

For full results - click here

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