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Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championships 2010: Day four

last updated on September 13, 2010 11:59

Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championships 2010: Day four

25 year old Gloucestershire star Laura Bechtolsheimer is crowned 2010 Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Champion at the Dressage Deluxe National Championships held at Stoneleigh Park. 

Performing an upbeat grand prix freestyle to a reggae soundtrack, Laura and her World Equestrian Games (WEG) reserve Andretti H scored a new personal best, breaking the 78.25% they scored at Hickstead Exquis World Dressage Masters CDI5* earlier this year with an incredible 78.55%.  

With samples of superbly executed piaffe and passage throughout, the routine captivated an entire grandstand audience at the Warwickshire showground. After their performance Laura showed the exquisite bond she has with Andretti as she punched the air and threw herself down to his shoulder for a celebratory hug. 

Aboard Dr and Mrs Bechtolsheimer’s 15 year old bay Laura thanked her mother for supporting her throughout this championship. “Dad wasn’t able to attend and so my poor mum had to help me prepare, playing all roles. We had to do our job well so that we didn’t let her down,” she told spectators.  

“To win feels absolutely amazing, my mind is already in Kentucky and this horse deserves a completely concentrated rider,” an elated Laura confessed, “however, he doesn’t really make mistakes regardless of what I do on top!”

When questioned about her preparation for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky USA September 25 - October 10 2010 Laura replied, “Alf’s (Mistral Hojris) training is going really well. I’ve met up with the whole team here and everyone is on top form. The horses travel on Saturday (18th September) and we follow the day after, we can’t wait to get there now!”  

Laura, who holds both third and 20th place in the FEI World Dressage Rankings with her WEG ride Mistral Hojris and national champion Andretti H respectively, will appear at the Albion National Convention with trainers Klaus Balkenhol and father Dr Bechtolsheimer at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire 27-28 November 2010. Laura explained, “we can’t wait to show everyone over here (UK) how we do our thing, and explain to others our training philosophy. I want people to see how we get the horses to perform using both kind and horse friendly techniques.” 

Watch Laura and her Great Britain team mates as they battle for medals at WEG:
Keep up to date with results and reports from the games on:


Stretch and Flex Elementary Open Championship
Darryl Thickitt and Warlocks Charm, 74%

Nottinghamshire rider Darryl Thickitt claimed the 2010 Stretch and Flex Elementary Open Championship title with an impressive 74% at the annual championships. 

Riding Jennifer Charlesworth’s Dutch seven year old Warlocks Charm, Thickitt headed up a strong class with the top eight breaking the much coveted 70% barrier. Qualifying the Jazz gelding at Frys in August with another plus 70 score, Thickitt explained that they are aiming for the medium and advanced medium classes at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships in April. “After winning the British Young Horse National Championship at Hickstead as a five year old he has been competed very lightly to give him time to mature and grow up a bit. We are going to keep producing him slowly.”

The livery yard owner from Retford told British Dressage Magazine, “He’s a really super, talented horse. Everything is just so natural, he doesn’t look it but he’s very sensitive and he’s needed time to grow up and relax.”

Thickitt said of the championship winning performance, “He felt consistent and had superb energy; the simple changes really came off. He’s been stabled here for the whole event so he’s had time to settle; even when the crowd in the next arena gave a loud applause he retained his focus.”

Darryl, who is trained by senior dressage team captain Richard Davison, had a busy championship weekend as he contended the Advanced Medium Open Championship title with the Dutch Flemmingh sired mare Tinea Field.


Shearwater Potential International Dressage Horse Championship 4 year old
Michael Eilberg and Woodlander Farouche

Worcestershire dressage star Michael Eilberg, 23, has taken top honours at the nationals. Riding Woodlander Farouche, an exceptionally talented young mare who showed palpable quality in the arena, he claimed the four-year-old division of the Shearwater Potential International Dressage Horse Championship and went on to stand Supreme Champion of the Young Horse Classes.

The ability of the horse was there for all to witness and judges Peter Storr, Peter Engel and Becky Moody didn’t disagree. After ride judge Moody had hopped on to put the horse through his paces, a quick conference with fellow judges gave the striking chestnut the nod for the Supreme.

The British-bred horse owned and bred by Lynne Crowden is dressage royalty - she is sired by the renowned dressage stallion Furst Heinrich and her maternal grandfather Dimaggio was crowned World Breeding Champion in 2000. Her mother too, Woodlander Dornroschen, is one of Michael’s current top rides.

“You couldn’t start with a better horse,” said Michael, “she has super paces and an engine to die for! You could see, even in pictures as a foal, that she had something.” 

“For a four-year-old she’s also really good with the crowds,” he added.

Michael’s feet barely touched the ground during the championships with no less than ten rides on five different horses, racking up several top placings. A highlight was his achievement with Marakov, one of his most experienced horses - with the ten-year-old Latvian gelding he finished second behind world number three Laura Bechtolsheimer in Saturday’s grand prix. This is all the more remarkable given that 2010 is his first year at grand prix, the highest level of the sport.

Shearwater Potential International Dressage Horse Championship 5 year old
Emile Faurie and Retro Hit

Oxfordshire dressage rider Emile Faurie from Milton under Wychwood rode his young horse to victory at the championships. 

Faurie partnered Retro Hit, a young British-bred mare to head the five-year-old division of the Shearwater Potential International Dressage Horse Championship. Sired by leading Oldenburg stallion Royal Hit and out of a Cardinar mare, the horse who is owned by Kate Byrom demonstrated all the attributes of a future dressage star.

“She has a very active hind leg and you can see what good flying changes she’ll be able to show one day,” said German judge Peter Engel. “She has really nice movement, swinging in the back with three very good paces. She has great rideability too.”

South African born Faurie, 46, has represented GB at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian games and three European Championships. He is currently at the top of his game with a new grand prix ride, Elmegardens Marquis. The newly formed partnership has made its mark this year resulting in their selection as non-travelling reserves for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky later this month.

Martin Collins Advanced Medium Open Championship
Peter Storr and Vinducath, 71.37%

Cotswold dressage trainer and Sydney 2000 Olympian Peter Storr wins the Martin Collins Advanced Medium Open Championship. Aboard Shiree Darley’s black stallion Vinducath, Storr secured the top spot ahead of 27 competitors in the class with a healthy 71.37%. A pleasantly surprised Storr said of his win, “I wasn’t expecting to take this title. He’s green and has only competed in a few advanced medium classes.”

The 8 year old by Sandro Hit has not been an overnight success for the trainer from Broadway, “it’s taken him a while to grow into himself,” Storr explained. “He competed in a few young horse classes but only had minor placings. It has taken this long for him to gain strength and balance.”

Vinducath’s South African owner lives in Johannesburg and travels to Storr’s Worcestershire base for training once a month. Visiting the Stoneleigh showground to support her horse she told British Dressage Magazine that she and Peter are slowly training the Dutch-bred stallion with a view to her taking the ride in the future. 

One of many Midlands based competitors at the championships, Peter also contended the Bates Saddles Intermediate I and Intermediate I Freestyle Championships on Pamina 353 and took third place in the Haygain Medium Open Championship with 70.43% on his advanced medium winner Vinducath. 




























































































Full results for the Dressage Deluxe National Championships can be viewed here.