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Fitting Bolesworth Finale

last updated on June 15, 2017 20:06

Fitting Bolesworth Finale

This evening at The Equerry Bolesworth International the inaugural CDI came to a dramatic conclusion with two worthy winners.
First up was the Berkeley Group GP Special with eight riders coming forward from yesterday’s Grand Prix.

Danish rider Anders Dahl took full advantage of going last with his own and mother in law Penny Bigwood’s Sir Donato to take the class with 71.33%. They had a ride full of confidence with the horse looking in harmony with his rider, and but for a small issue in the one-time changes, it was a clear round. It was this horse that his wife Fiona Bigwood had her devastating accident which left the horse wary of other horses around him so it’s taken time for him to settle back in to competitive life, and Anders to build a partnership since taking on the eminently talented Sir Donnerhall gelding.

A pleased Anders said; “I had a really great feeling the whole test; his piaffe/passage was so light, he was easy all the way. I’d say it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in a test with him.

“He’s a very sensitive horse and struggles with the other horses around him. At Hagen earlier this year, I could hardly get him round the arena but he’s really improved here and coped with a busy show.”

Anders is unsure what’s next for the 12 year old. “The Danish team [for the European Championships] will be strong this year so it will be tough to be selected. I could go to Denmark for the National Championships but it means 10 days away from home and the other horses. I may go to Hartpury which runs the same weekend,” he explained.

The finale to the dressage was the ever-popular freestyle, supported by Equitop Myoplast with a field of nine. Gareth Hughes and Anne Keen’s Don Carissimo, who impressed yesterday, took the lead when fifth to go with 76.17% with their music from the Hollywood blockbuster Australia. There was a notable improvement from their Windsor performance, proof that the partnership is continuing to build and a strong call out to the selectors.

Second last to go was Richard Davison, who’s been instrumental at Bolesworth in getting the CDI and expanded dressage presence off the ground, with Gwendolen Meyer’s Bubblingh and again, it was a more relaxed, content round which the judges duly awarded 74.47%, not quite the lead but a podium place was his, but which one?

Crowd favourite Carl Hester was drawn last and the crowd held on to watch their hero. Riding Anne Seifert-Cohn’s Barolo, he chose to ride to one of Charlotte Dujardin’s early Tom Hunt compositions which suits the horse perfectly. The duo looked on song tonight with every movement coming off to near perfection including a line of 17 one-time changes where ‘Rolo’ never missed a beat.

It was an agonising wait for the scores to come through but 77.47% was confirmed and Carl had taken his second class of the show, and the second all British podium.

“Thank goodness he got all his highlights right tonight! I’m delighted with how he went tonight but I do need to get him stronger and fitter,” said Carl. “I wanted to get him qualified for the Europeans as my reserve horse and I’ve done that now. I know he can go better – there is few more percent to come from him. If I knew he was a 75% horse, I’d give up but at home in the field, he feels like an 80% horse!” he continued.

We’ve enjoyed two great days in a magical setting and the sport must thank Nina Barbour and her team at Bolesworth for having the vision and determination to bring more dressage to the programme. The crowds have turned out and been rewarded with a great day’s experience of not just dressage but plenty more besides and the riders have all been quick to praise the facilities, atmosphere and team also.

Here’s to many more successful years hopefully – thank you Nina!

Full results – click here

Event website – click here