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Solihull summer sun shines on the paras

last updated on September 07, 2017 17:32

Solihull summer sun shines on the paras

The country’s brightest para stars headed to Solihull in West Midlands for the Summer Festival of Para Dressage. In its third year, the show plays host to the summer championships for bronze and silver riders

Cheshire’s Nikkie Morgan headed the Grade V Bronze Championship with her stunning Gypsy Cob Bailey W with the only plus 70% score in the section. Nikkie, who has hip dysplasia, is enjoying her third season with Bailey but this is their first Championship win. With qualifications under their belt for the Traditional Gypsy Cob Championships and Area Festival Finals later this year, it might not be their last!

The Grade III was also claimed by a lovely coloured horse, Louis VII, partnered by Victoria Smith. Based near Cheltenham, Victoria trains with Kelly Lessel and the Cotswold RDA and has been doing para dressage with ‘Lulu’ for just under a year. They finished third at the RDA championships at Hartpury so this win, with a score of 66.38%, shows they’re going from strength to strength.

The final Bronze section added a further touch of colour when the Grade II title went to Gabriella Blake and her appaloosa gelding, Geronimo IV with 67.05%. It was touch and go if the duo would make the Championship after Geronimo developed laminitis but fortune was with them and everything was perfect on the day.

The hottest class of the day was in the Silver Championship for Grade V riders. Victory made the long journey from Kent a worthwhile one for Katie Radzik with Joyce Wood’s Oldenburg mare Lollipop. Kate, who has cerebral palsy ataxia, competes ‘Lolly’ in able-bodied dressage at Medium level with a number of wins to their credit however their victory at Solihull was a close one, winning by less than 0.5%.

Sarah Davies and Kathryn Bartlett’s Hundon Lodger may be a very new partnership with just four results registered with BD but their win in the Silver Grade IV Championship makes it a prolific one. Both judges, Sandra Edwards and Pam Bushell awarded the Medoc-sired bay scores over 70% to take the class for Sarah, who rides with North Midlands RDA.

Loughborough’s Vicky Nurcombe BHSAI (pictured middle) posted the highest score of the Silver Championship with her 22 year old partner, Fabrication, or Harry as he’s known. 70.40% gave them a slight edge to take the winners honours and title. It was a change of fortune for Harry as he had to play bridesmaid at the Winter Championships to stablemate Tomgarrow Teans. Vicky has plans to get them qualified for the Winter Championships in March – hope to see you at Vale View!

West Country rider Anna-Mae Cole is living up to the potential identified when she won the 2015 Para Development title and adding the 2017 Grade II Silver Winter Champion title to her CV is proof. The World Class Podium Potential rider, coached by Nina Venebles, partnered her huge Goldschmidt-sired Dancing for Gold for a decisive win with 70.32%.

In the Grade I Silver Championship, it was another Kent rider on top of the podium. This time it was Katherine Mannion and her veteran partner of three years, Little Dale Hallmark, sired by Catherston Liberator who took the title with 67.75%.
A huge thanks to everyone who made the day a great success!

Bronze Championships

Grade V - Nikkie Morgan & Bailey W, 70.83%
Grade III - Victoria Smith & Louis VII, 66.38%
Grade II - Gabriella Blake & Geronimo IV, 67.05%

Silver Championships

Grade V - Katie Radzik & Lollipop, 67.57%
Grade IV - Sarah Davies & Hundon Lodger, 70.17%
Grade III - Vicky Nurcombe & Fabrication, 70.40%
Grade II - Anna-Mae Cole & Dancing for Gold, 70.32%
Grade I - Katherine Mannion & Little Dale Hallmark, 67.75%

Full results – click here