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Stars shine bright at Houghton Hall

last updated on February 10, 2017 11:58

Stars shine bright at Houghton Hall

High standards and great scores were the theme for the first Winter Regional Championships which took place this week at Houghton Hall, Cambridgeshire (4 – 8 February 2017).

Hertfordshire-based rider Tahley Reeve Smith stormed to victory in no less than four classes. With her homebred seven-year-old Sharola Show Star (pictured) by Showmaker, or ‘Freddie Longlegs’ as he’s known at home, the pair danced their way to win the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold, the PDS Saddles Elementary Gold Freestyle to Music and the Spillers Medium Gold Freestyle to Music with impressive scores up to 76.03%.

Tahley is no stranger to success having qualified for National Championships on over 20 horses from novice to small tour throughout her dressage career. The athletic combination will head to the Championships at Hartpury on the back of a win at the same event last year in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Freestyle, a class which Tahley will have another shot at this time around with Sarah Carmicheal’s five-year-old mare Hoemathika M who secured her fourth 2017 regional title on the final day of competition. Speaking about ‘podium girl’ Hoemathika M on Facebook Tahley said, ‘Happy just amazes me how she just gets on with the job, she’s definitely an old head on young shoulders’.

Another combination to excel in more than one class was the talented pair of Nikki Crisp and Viv Gleave’s Durable. The striking bay stallion continues his great record with Nikki by adding two more titles to his ever-increasing championship title tally. In the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold the duo scored 70.92% before going on to record the highest score of the show with a win in the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Gold Freestyle to Music earning 78.22%.

Also impressing at Houghton Hall were Jezz Palmer and Paul Friday’s Zanthoos Himself who took first place in the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle with 71.63%. Judged by Jo Graham, Anita Darken and Claire Ballantyne, Jezz stood out to finish almost four percent ahead of the field. The win continues a good run of form at Houghton Hall Regional Championships for Paul Friday’s Warwickshire based team; Jezz also qualifies Judith Davis’s Hawtins Horatio for the finals in April after scoring over 74% for second place in the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Gold Freestyle.

From the highest levels at the show to grass roots, Regional Championships never fail to highlight stars of the future. Taking a win in the KBIS Preliminary was BYRDS rider Myles Graham with his liver chestnut pony Heavenly High Jinks. The pint sized combination scored 71.01% to finish ahead of Frances Long with Mama Mia III, the only other combination to break the 70% barrier. At only nine-years-old, Myles was the youngest winner at Houghton Hall and heads to Hartpury to contest two classes having also qualified for Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships at Novice. Myles, from Wootton Bassett, trains with his mother Caron Roberts.

British Dressage would like to thank Houghton Hall and all their staff, volunteers and sponsors for running another hugely successful Regional Championships. Congratulations to all combinations who took part and we look forward to seeing those who qualified at Hartpury in April.

Regional Champions:

KBIS Preliminary
Myles Graham with Heavenly High Jinks – 71.01%

Blue Chip Novice Silver
Alice Begg with Gazz-K – 68.45%

Blue Chip Novice Gold
Keri Bates with Airtime – 73.04%

Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Cornelia O'Mahony with Gravitas II – 71.46%

Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
Tahley Reeve Smith with Sharola Show Star – 72.29%

Albion Medium Silver
Jane Littlejohn with Urban Knight – 67.07%

Albion Medium Gold
Judy Harvey with Palimera – 71.26%

Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
Antonia Brown with DHI Buddy – 68.77%

Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
Nikki Crisp with Durable – 70.92%

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Silver Music Freestyle
Kirsten Fox with Fernandra – 74.07%

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Gold Music Freestyle
Tahley Reeve Smith with Hoemathika M – 75.00%

PDS Saddles Elementary Silver Music Freestyle
Casey McKenna with Keep Cruising – 73.59%

PDS Saddles Elementary Gold Music Freestyle
Tahley Reeve Smith with Sharola Show Star – 76.03%

Spillers Medium Silver Music Freestyle
Robyn Walker with Master Merlin – 72.67%

Spillers Medium Gold Music Freestyle
Tahley Reeve Smith with Sharola Show Star – 73.11%

Nupafeed Advanced Medium Music Freestyle
Nikki Crisp with Durable – 78.22%

Magic Prix St. Georges Music Freestyle
Jezz Palmer with Zanthoos Himself – 71.63%

For full results click here

Photo credit: Kevin Sparrow