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Christmas comes 'Erly' for Sonnar

last updated on December 13, 2017 12:19

Christmas comes 'Erly' for Sonnar

The final major competition of the domestic calendar, Keysoe High Profile Show, took place last weekend at the The College Equestrian Centre in Bedfordshire. Christmas trees gave a festive feel, as did the snow which ultimately caused the cancellation of day two, but not before a flurry of great competition on Saturday.

The exciting partnership of Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz (pictured at the LeMieux National Championships), both new to the level, won the Grand Prix delivering a plus-70% performance. “I’m so thrilled with him,” exclaimed Sonnar “He’s still only ten and that was his fifth Grand Prix. Yes, I’m very happy.”

Sonnar and ‘Erly’, a ten-year-old German born gelding by Latimer, made their Grand Prix debut in July this year and have shown glimpses of a very bright future with appearances at a few ‘low key’ shows and Vale View High Profile where they scored 70% for a close fourth. The pair caught a lot of attention last year at Small Tour, a highlight being second to Charlotte Dujardin in the Future Elite Championship at the Horse of the Year Show.

Realising the potential of his horse, Sonnar made the decision to move from Hampshire to a new base in Gloucestershire to be closer to trainer Carl Hester who is ‘ten minutes round the corner’. “He [Erlentanz] did so well at Small Tour, and knowing that it’s a big jump to Grand Prix I thought ‘I’m not going to do that alone’. It’s the first time I’ve trained a horse to Grand Prix and I didn’t want to risk going off the path, I wanted to keep progressing forward. Carl has been fantastic.”

Sonnar clearly thinks a lot of Erly; “He’s a delightful horse and is lovely to train. He always tries and he wants to please, plus he has so much expression and talent. I’m very lucky.”

Talking about their test on Saturday, Sonnar said; “I was happy with the changes – both the one-tempis and two-tempis felt good. Now, it’s all about developing the strength in piaffe and passage. He just needs to stay willing in the work, then the stronger he becomes, the more we can go for the bigger marks.”

The winners:

FEI Pony Team Test
Maddy Whelan with Beaurepaire Frodo, 68.14%

FEI Children on Horses Team Test
Jemima Jennings with Diamond Buttons, 63.75%

FEI Prix St Georges
Paul Hayler with Lonswelt, 71.84%

FEI Intermediate I
Lara Edwards with Bodyguard Moorland, 67.96%

FEI Intermediate A or Intermediate II
Julie Hugo-Ross with Welcome O, 67.89% (Inter II)

FEI Grand Prix
Sonnar Murray-Brown with Erlentanz, 70.35%

For full results click here.

Photo c Adam Fanthorpe