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Day three: LeMieux National Championships

last updated on September 17, 2017 12:34

Day three: LeMieux National Championships

The heavens opened for many today on day three of the LeMieux National Championships in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Freestyle, however a small thing like the weather didn’t stop superstar Charlotte Dujardin from achieving the highest score of the Championships so far, a whopping 81.50% in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Freestyle.

Riding the Mount St John stud’s eight-year-old Fidermark mare, Mount St John Freestyle, to a Simon and Garfunkel themed soundtrack, Charlotte was also crowned Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Supreme Champion after her fantastic performance yesterday was combined with today’s score.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” announced Charlotte. “It’s my first ever freestyle with her, so I’m over the moon. I felt quite emotional at the end as she gave everything. We were both soaked from head to toe though! We’ve not even practiced the floorplan so I’m super happy with her. It’s music that Carl’s had for about 15 years and was Del’s (Hawtins Delicato) music, there’s a few in the yard who’ve started with it!”

Speaking to the crowd who braved the weather to catch a glimpse of the Olympian and her exciting up-and-coming star, commentator Andrew Pollard asked how she’s managing to remember the eight different tests she has to ride over the course of this week;

“I’ve been asking myself that same thing!” She exclaimed. “The hardest thing is getting off one and straight onto another to ride a different test – but somehow I managed to do it today, we’ll see if I can remember tomorrow!

LeMieux Grand Prix Gold Championship

Having finishing second in 2015, it was at last Lara Butler’s day in the LeMieux Grand Prix Gold Championship. After performing a sublime test in front of the crowds she earned a score of 73.78% to top the class aboard Dr Bechtolsheimer’s 15-year-old Rubin Al Asad.

Speaking about her winning test Lara said “He flew in the trot extensions so they were a highlight and the passage was great too – that’s always something I can bank on. Even the half passes were good and they aren’t normally! He was just super, he was flying and he really took me around which was the best feeling.”

A National Grand Prix title has been long in the pipe line for the elegant combination who’ve scored above 70% in all but two of their tests in 2017. Lara and the Rubin Royal sired gelding known as ‘Rufus’ were also the named reserve for this year’s FEI Longines European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. About her superstar partner Lara enthused, “He’s just in such great form, he’s so pleased to be back out and proving to everyone how nice and how fit he is – he can still show the young horses how to do it!”

Despite her good form Lara approached the show not necessarily thinking about the win, ‘I always come out with high hopes and the aim is to do the best I can possibly do, if that means I win then that’s great.”

Tomorrow’s Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle final will be an exciting watch as the pack behind Lara aim to catch her up. Hayley Watson Greaves and WG Rubins Nite were hot on her heels and finished a very close second today scoring 73.62% with Carl Hester and Katherine Bateson’s Alcazar taking third place with a solid 71.70%.

“I love the freestyle it’s the fun bit, so I’m going to enjoy it and hopefully we can do the same as today!” Lara concluded.

TopSpec Medium Gold Championship

Another day…another one-two- three. Simple as that. Well, it is if you’re the double Olympic champion and have essentially made the 2017 Nationals your own show. Of course, it wasCharlotte Dujardin who headed the TopSpec Medium Gold Championship this morning.

The first of her three rides was her own six year old Gio, or Pumpkin as Charlotte calls him. The Apache x Tango gelding scored 73.38% to give his rider an early lead in the class.

It was then the turn of Mount St John VIP. The Vivaldi-sired six-year-old mare had just competed in the Shearwater Insurance Young Horse preliminary judging so was ‘ring ready’ and it clearly gave her the acclimatisation and confidence to perform to her potential as the judges were bowled over to award 77.73% and her ahead of Pumpkin.

The final horse of the class was Sarah Tyler-Evans’ River Rise Nisa, or Nancy, another aged just six. It was a clean test for the Negro mare but just couldn’t match the power of VIP but the score of 74.95% put her to second.

“A good day!” said Charlotte. “VIP was really good and very easy; she’s just like clockwork. I think she was better for doing the young horse test first, it really set her up well. I love how trainable she is and how easy she finds the work.

“I’m also really pleased with Nancy. She was here last year as a five year old and was quite green so to come here a year on and be second in the Medium is great. She’s certainly one for the future, Grand Prix I think as she’s hot, but very willing.

“And dear Pumpkin Pie. He’s like my little sports car; so much fun and really easy. His medium trot is still his weakness but once we’ve mastered that, we’ll be flying.”

Shearwater Young Horse Championships

The assessment and pre-judging took place today for the Shearwater Young Horse Championships with the top four from each section – four, five and six-year-old – going through to tomorrow’s finals. Leading the way in the four-year-olds is Rowan Bryson’s son of Glocks Zonik, Izonik, ridden and part-owned by Kerry Mackin, who scored an impressive 8.30 from the three judges, Ulf Möller, Eva Möller and Lars Andersen. Jessica Dunn piloted her own Chagall-sired mare, Helga to the top of the five-year-old section with their mark of 8.00, while it was a tie at the top spot in the six-year-olds for Charlotte Dujardin with her own son of Apache, Gio and Bryony Goodwin with 2015 four-year-old champion Hawtins Duchessa, sired by Decamerone and owned by Judith Davis, who both scored 8.00 also.

For full results, click here