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Summer Regional Championships: Bury Farm

last updated on August 19, 2016 14:41

Summer Regional Championships: Bury Farm

High scoring winners dominated at Bury Farm’s popular summer regionals, which attracted huge entries across the levels, with the Prelim, Novice and Medium Silver Championships split into two sections.

Grade II international para rider Amanda Shirtcliffe and her new ride, Jon McFarland’s talented Danish-bred nine-year-old mare New Princess, by Newman (pictured), confirmed their fast growing partnership with a clear win in the BackinAction Prelim Silver section A, scoring a personal best of 72.44% and qualifying for their first able-bodied national championships.

“My trainer Louise Robson and I found Princess through the Assoulines after a year-long search, as we were looking for a special horse which combined correct movement, trainable temperament and the potential to go all the way,” explained Amanda, who took up para dressage after being diagnosed with Dystonia, an incurable neurological movement disorder in 2012. Since then Amanda has been chosen for the BEF Excel Talent Programme, successfully competed internationally with other horse Ruby Rose II, and is now hoping to be selected for the World Class squad later this year.

“Princess, who previously did mainly hacking with her amateur owner, has been with us since May and we’ve only done a handful of tests together,” said Amanda, who is training Princess to become “voice activated” which her official able-bodied test dispensation permits.

“ We’ve come a long way from our first dressage test when our steering was a bit wonky and she jumped out of the white boards by mistake because she wasn’t sure what they were! She’s an incredibly sweet, honest mare who learns very quickly and is a real trier – I feel things are coming together for us and we’re getting a good bond. My disability means that both my legs and right arms are affected, as is my balance, co-ordination and motor skills, but Princess never puts a foot wrong, she looks after me and makes me feel safe.

“Getting a result like this and qualifying for the nationals this early on in our partnerships was a huge surprise and I’m chuffed to bits – I think she is definitely a superstar in the making!”

Full-time mum Georgina Howard from Sevenoaks, Kent, enjoyed a well earned “dream come true” outing qualifying both her horses -- 11-year-old Danish Warmblood Capri (by Blue Hors) and nine-year-old Hanoverian San World (by Sandro Hit) -- for Stoneleigh both on impressive plus 70% scores.

With 17hh Capri, who she has owned since January, Georgina scored a personal best to win the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver with 74.82%, before going on to claim runner-up spot in the TopSpec Medium Silver Championships.

“This was only our fifth outing together, but he was just magical to ride and as we did our final halt on the centre line I burst into tears and gave him a big kiss!,” said Georgina, who trains with Sarah Williams, as well as Mette Assouline, who helped Georgina find both her horses through Danish Olympian Andreas Helgstrand. “Capri is the loveliest horse you could wish for, he always tries his heart out and I just love him to bits. He’s incredibly straightforward to train and so rewarding to ride, you couldn’t wish for better.”

Georgina was equally excited about her win with San World, who she describes as “very different to his stable–mate and a bit of a monkey”.

“San’s a real powerhouse and because of that can feel a bit intimidating at times, but once you get over that, he gives you the most amazing feeling which more than makes up for it!

“I feel really privileged and excited to be riding at the nationals for the first time. Every year I’ve been to the event as a spectator and dreamed of getting there one day myself and now it’s finally happened, I’m beside myself with excitement!”

It was also a day to remember for Beaconsfield-based professional rider/trainer Robert Waine, who beat off a huge entry to win the Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold on 74.80% with Nazareno Vicon, a six-year-old Andalusian stallion owned by Maria Dent, wife of the well known TV and movie stunt co-ordinator, horsemaster and director Steve Dent.

“Nasa was bought originally in Spain to be trained as a stunt/actors’ horse, but his owners spotted his talent and exceptional movement early on and thought he might have a good chance to make it as a dressage horse instead,” said Rob, a UKCC level 2 dressage coach who runs his own training/livery yard and trains with Carl Hester and Lisa Hopkins. “He’s such a dude and I love riding him because he enjoys his work, learns quickly and has a huge engine. He’s also got a great talent to be able to extend and collect easily, which is a huge asset and makes him an exciting prospect for the future.

“We were first to go at 10am and then had quite a long wait as the class didn’t finish until 5.30pm, but the test felt good and he felt onside throughout so I was hopeful,” said Robert, who was also placed fourth with Kirsty Anthony’s six-year-old mare Sansoucci (by Sandro Hit) on 71.85%.

“He’s the first stallion as well as the first Spanish bred horse I’ve trained and competed, but he’s never proved a problem and it’s certainly taught me not to judge a book by its cover -- it’s all about correct training and I’m very excited about him.”

Highest score of these regional championships went to Paul Hayler with Fiona James’s six-year-old gelding FJ Veyron (by Vivaldi) who won the Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold
on 75.15%.

This combination also won the six-year-old young horse class at Port Royal last month and will be making a return visit to the nationals, where they came second in the four-year-old section of the Shearwater Young Horse Championship in 2014

For full results - click here


BackinAction Prelim Silver Sec A
Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess, 72.44%

BackinAction Prelim Silver Sec B
Gemma Carman with Ekko Falkenfurst, 70.83%

Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Sec A
Tiggy Bentley with Keystone Rhadiant, 73.59%

Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Sec B
Helena Charlesworth with Babybel, 72.11%

Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold
Robert Waine with Nazareno Vicon, 74.80%

Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Sec A
Georgina Howard with San World, 72.34

Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Sec B
Hayley Colwell with Euforia, 73.20

Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold

Paul Hayler with FJ Veyron, 75.15%

TopSpec Medium Silver Sec A
Katie Bailey with Bocelli IV, 72.72%

TopSpec Medium Silver Sec B
Clare Knowles with Corona S, 71.36%

TopSpec Medium Gold

Rachael Clark with Daddys Hit, 71.91%

Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver
Georgina Howard with Capri, 74.82%

Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold

Owen Cooper with Don Dante II, 72.28%

Fairfax Saddles PSG Gold
Claire Abel with Rowan Magic, 69.78%

Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold
Nathalie Kayal with DHI Homerun 73.20%