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Wellington's a winner

last updated on June 13, 2018 16:32

Wellington's a winner

Five days of competition came to a close yesterday on the Duke of Wellington’s beautiful estate in Heckfield, Hampshire. 

Wellington Premier League (6 – 10 June 2018) promised a wealth of high class dressage and it didn’t disappoint with exciting combinations from Advanced Medium to Grand Prix plus top Para talent in the Equissage Pulse Para Gold Semi-Finals (report to follow). A hotbed of talent for the future, the show also featured qualifiers for young horses and ponies, and FEI Pony tests.

At the top of the tree in the LeMieux Grand Prix supported by FMBs Therapy Systems was young rider Bobby Hayler (26) who took the 31-strong Grand Prix riding her partner of eight years Aldborough Rubinhall (pictured). She was awarded a personal best score of 71.633% to take the class ahead of runners-up Vicky Thompson-Winfield and the PRE stallion Mango Jacaro (69.90%).

The winning pair delivered an assured and enthusiastic performance to earn a career highlight to date. “It was the best ride I’ve ever had on him,” enthused Bobby, who admitted to getting quite emotional. “He [Rubin] was so focused and wanting to please, and so in tune with me, that I actually started to cry halfway through the test! I’m so happy.”

The Rubioso N-sired 16-year-old is a real family favourite of the Haylers and clearly has a special place in his rider’s heart; “He is what he is, he’s not a top international horse, but he gives everything. For him to perform like that and give so much…it’s just amazing.

“The piaffe and passage he loves. They are his strength and he can really ‘play’ with those movements. Anyone who saw him before the prize giving will attest to that!” she quipped.

Rubin was bred by Bobby’s parents Gill and Paul. “He’s a credit to Mum and Dad,” says Bobby who took over the ride on the gorgeous grey stallion when he was eight years old. Their partnership has seen them represent Great Britain at the Junior European Championships in 2010, and on to the heights of international Grand Prix.

Bobby has recently spent a year in Germany training under the watchful eye of Arnd Erben, an experience she credits for helping take her riding to a new level. “The year spent in Germany has helped me enormously. Riding the horses I rode, and being submersed in that environment. The more I’m given, the more I learn, and I have a passion for the Grand Prix. I’ll continue to train in Germany when I can.”

Saturday’s gala evening audience was treated to a superb Prix St Georges Freestyle kindly sponsored by Nirvana Spa. The start list, like a who’s who of British dressage, featured many top names including Charlotte Dujardin who ultimately won the class aboard Florentina VI (Vivaldi x Rubels). Their score of 78.79% couldn’t be touched. Taking the runners-up spot was Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Davina (Dimaggio x Rubinstein), winners of Thursday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I.

“[I'm] Delighted to have won the Nirvana Spa PSG Freestyle to Music at Wellington Premier League this evening with mine and the Dockley’s beautiful Florentina. A great show and just incredible facilities. So thrilled with this very special mare,” said Charlotte on her Facebook page.

The winners:

Wednesday 6 June
Class 1: Equissage Pulse Grade V Team Test
Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 73.256%

Class 2: Equissage Pulse Grade IV Team Test
Izzy Palmer with Touchdown M, 69.188%

Class 3: Equissage Pulse Grade III Team Test
Natasha Baker with Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, 75.00%

Class 4: Equissage Pulse Grade II Team Test
Suzanna Hext with LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 72.652%

Class 5: Equissage Pulse Grade I Team Test
Sophie Christiansen with Amazing Romance, 74.464%

Class 6: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges supported by Dressage Anywhere
Vicky Thompson-Winfield with Exquisite-D, 71.535%

Thursday 7 June
Class 10: Equissage Pulse Grade V Individual Test
Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 73.155%

Class 11: Equissage Pulse Grade IV Individual Test
Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 69.573%

Class 12: Equissage Pulse Grade III Individual Test
Natasha Baker with Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, 76.103%

Class 13: Equissage Pulse Grade II Individual Test
Julie Payne with Pandora, 74.706%

Class 14: Equissage Pulse Grade I Individual Test
Sophie Christiansen with Amazing Romance, 72.321%

Class 15: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Davina, 70.57%

Class 16: Shearwater Young Horse 5YO qualifier supported by Day Equestrian
Beth Bexon with Woodcroft Icon, 8.50

Class 17: Shearwater Young Horse 6YO qualifier supported by Flying Changes - Bespoke Tailcoats
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Bella Ruby, 8.14

Class 18: Hickstead Young Horse Int. 5YO Qualifier supported by Feedmark
Beth Bexon with Woodcroft Icon, 8.22

Class 19: Hickstead Young Horse Int. 6YO Qualifier supported by Feedmark
Amanda Towie with Virtue V, 8.36

Friday 8 June
Class 20: Voltaire Design Advanced Medium Freestyle
Dean Skeates with Rossana, 72.056%

Class 21: Equine Construction Advanced Medium supported by FMBs Therapy Systems
Vikki Pengilly with Zion E, 69.868%

Class 22: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges supported by Andrews Bowen
Kate Cowell with Dramatic Conquest, 68.684%

Class 23: Cavalor Intermediate II supported by Kingsman Equine
Becky Edwards with Headmore Delegate, 72.851%

Saturday 9 June
Class 24: Pony Team Test supported by Highfield Park Hotel
Annabella Pidgley with Ine, 71.923%

Class 25: Nirvana Spa Prix St Georges Freestyle
Charlotte Dujardin with Florentina VI, 78.792%

Class 26: LeMieux Grand Prix supported by FMBs Therapy Systems
Bobby Hayley with Aldborough Rubinhall, 71.633%

Class 27: Rawlings Fuels British Dressage Young Pony 4YO Qualifier
Bryony Goodwin with RSC The Ogopogo, 7.84

Class 28: Rawlings Fuels British Dressage Young Pony 5YO Qualifier
Jayne Turney with Hilkins Showgirl, 8.60

Class 29: Rawlings Fuels British Dressage Young Pony 6YO Qualifier
Olivia Wrennall with Don Deluxe, 7.66

Class 30: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Gareth Hughes with KK Dominant, 70.789%

Sunday 10 June

Class 31: Scott Dunn's Pony Individual Test
Charlotte Neal with Rober, 67.256%

Class 32: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges supported by Equine Rebalance Therapy Centre
Debbie Poynter with Keystone For Real, 70.482%

Class 33: Equine Construction Advanced Medium supported by FMBs Therapy Systems
Charlotte Dujardin with River Rise Nisa, 79.53%

Class 34: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Paul Friday with Roman Noir Himself, 72.939%

For full results click here
Photo c Kevin Sparrow