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Day three: NAF Five Star Winter Championships

last updated on April 14, 2016 12:05

Day three: NAF Five Star Winter Championships

Young dressage rider Hannah Bown (23) from Steventon, Hampshire stormed to victory this morning on the third day of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Hannah rode her own Sandro’s Storm (pictured right), an elegant seven-year-old son of Sandro’s Dancer to win the Blue Chip Novice Restricted Championship with a super score of 71.09%.

“This is unbelievable,” said Hannah, visibly emotional after the prize-giving. “It’s completely unexpected. It’s the best he’s ever gone and the biggest mark he’s got at the level. We qualified on a wildcard [at Merrist Wood] so really I came here for the experience. I wasn’t expecting this, but he was brilliant. He gave me everything.”

Hannah and ‘Stanley’, as he’s known at home, were already enjoying a successful show, achieving fourth spot on the leader board in Wednesday’s Novice Restricted Music Freestyle. “When we came out of the arena the other day I was emotional, and now this!”

Hannah had experienced more than her fair share of bad luck before the talented gelding came her way. “I lost my beloved event horse in a tragic field accident which hit me hard, and I broke my knee two years ago. I didn’t want another horse but the head groom at Sarah Ansty’s Woodhams Stud suggested I go and look at some of their youngsters. The moment I saw Stanley’s head over the stable door that was it - I loved him.

“The breeders had given him the very best start. He was a recently backed five-year-old, started late as he was immature,” said Hannah who trains with Sarah, the horse’s breeder, and Sara-Jane Lanning. “It’s been a complete new journey. He’s unbelievable and has turned my life around. His brain is the best – he always gives everything.”

Hannah works full-time as a radiographer for the NHS and is supported by several small businesses in order to pursue her dressage ambitions. “I’m aiming to do our first Medium test by the end of the year,” said Hannah who now has her sights set firmly on the future.

PDS Saddles Elementary Restricted Freestyle

Lucy Pye dominated the competition in the PDS Saddles Elementary Restricted Freestyle taking both first and second place. Taking the top spot was Mike Kelly’s Frumma, a British Bred chestnut mare by Richelshagen, who headed the class with 74.29%. Lucy was thrilled to also take second place with her own mare, Fiderlight, scoring 73.21% ahead of third placed Jenny Salisbury on Born Fighter.
Asked how she was feeling after her success, “it’s amazing! It’s quite a surprise to be first and second, completely unexpected” said an elated Lucy. “I was really pleased with both of them and I felt like they were both really focused today. So I felt confident when I came down the centre line.”
Lucy (21), originally from Southampton, has worked for top trainer and rider Paul Friday in Warwickshire for just over a year and this is where she began her partnership with Frumma. “My partner Jezz (Palmer) rode her last season then I picked up the ride this year whilst riding for Paul. It’s my first season with her.”
Impressively they took the regionals at Houghton Hall by storm with a huge winning score of 78.85% putting them in a great position for the championships. “Frumma is a quite a hot horse, she likes her time in the field to chill out, I think she needs that, but she really enjoys her work. She’s got a fantastic walk and on a good day she’ll walk for nines.”
Looking ahead, this partnership are definitely one to watch, “we’re looking to hopefully do the Medium regionals in summer. First we’ve got the straight class on Sunday, so a day off tomorrow for me then a busy day on Sunday as Paul, Jezz and me are all riding.”
Speaking of second placed Fiderlight, a bay mare by Sidertanz, Lucy is equally excited for this six-year-old’s future, “she’s my own horse, I’ve had her since she was three and I bought her from Roland Tong. They backed her for me and I’ve trained her ever since, bringing her up to Warwickshire with me. It’s her first national championships which is very exciting!”

Petplan Equine Area Festival Novice Open Championship

Young Lincolnshire rider Charlotte Barber (20) won in convincing style this afternoon with her father Karl Barber’s Florisou, a gorgeous six-year-old gelding by Apache, took the Petplan Equine Novice Open Area Festival Championship in fine style with a super performance to earn 77.10%, more than four percent above their closest rival.

“I’m really proud of him,” said Charlotte, clearly delighted. “I knew he could do it but I didn’t know what to expect as this is his first away show. He’s coped very well though, today is the most relaxed he’s been all week.”

“Only a month ago he couldn’t deal with different environments so I’m very happy with the way he’s worked in the big atmosphere here. He’s grown up in such a short space of time,” said Charlotte who trains with Liz Taylor.

Nottingham Trent University student Charlotte, who is studying Equine Sports Science has had ‘Bert’ since he was a three-year-old. “What we loved about him was his very loose and easy movement. Once home, he was backed and we had two foals from him before he was gelded to focus on training.”

Petplan Equine Medium Restricted Area Festival Championship

19-year-old Alice Wotton broke the 70% barrier to claim the Petplan Equine Medium Restricted Area Festival Championship. Riding Sara Wotton’s ten-year-old Florencio gelding, Belcanto Des Anges, Alice cleared the competition by almost five per cent with a personal best mark of 73.08%.

“I don’t know how I feel because it doesn’t seem real,” gushed Alice. “I’m so happy. It all came together, which I can’t believe because I was so nervous! I knew he had the ability and potential to win but it’s just me and being able to do it myself. He had a lot of energy today, so I had to ride carefully and try not to make any mistakes. He was really good though, his arena was right next to all the tents and he was fine, I’m really proud of him.”

This isn’t Alice and Billy’s – as the chestnut gelding is known by his friends – first taste of success, last year the duo also claimed the Petplan Equine Elementary Open Area Festival Championship with an equally impressive score of 72.01%. Currently training with Ruth Hurst, Alice already has her eyes on the future:

“Next it’s onwards and upwards to the next level, Advanced Medium. He’s got some changes but I’ve just got to get them more established. He knows them but we just need to learn them as a combination because I’m a bit slow to learn everything – but I’m sure it’ll be fine!”

Blue Chip Novice Open

Buckinghamshire rider Jayne Turney (34) has won a coveted national title today at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Jayne partnered Penhaligon’s Jupiter (Starnberg x Laudabilis), Shirley Rixton’s exciting six-year-old gelding to win the sizzling Blue Chip Novice Open Championship with a super score of 76.09%. Third to go in 25-strong class, Jayne and her support crew were faced with a long wait before learning that they’d secured the title.
“He’s a pleasure to ride. He’s just gorgeous and always makes me smile,” said Jayne. “I thought we could be in with a chance today but it was a really hot class. To win it is incredible – it still hasn’t sunk in.”

Freelance rider Jayne has ridden the jaw-dropping bay since September after she had a call from Shirley Rixton and her husband David saying they had a nice horse and would she like to ride him. With the help of her mentor and trainer, dressage legend Charlotte Dujardin, who was on hand to help and support, the horse and his rider certainly look ones to watch for the future.

For full results – click here

Photos –