Somerford Park Premier League: Lewis Carrier lifts Big Tour double
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Lewis Carrier and Diego V won the LeMieux Grand Prix (GP) and Grand Prix Special (GPS) at Somerford Premier League (27 – 29 May 2022). Becky Moody was in indomitable form taking home four wins, whilst Caitlin Burgess and Annabella Pidgley each scored a hat-trick.
Lewis (pictured above) was rightly pleased with his three tests. He began the show by taking second place in the Stübben Intermediate II behind an in-form Becky Moody and Jagerbomb. Diego, who is by Spielberg, produced personal bests for both Grand Prix level tests.
“I’m pleased with how much we’re improving,” said Lewis. “This was only his third Special. It’s a good test for him as it has a lot of extended trot and he has a good one. He got a 9 for his walk to piaffe transition which he finds natural and easy. The test throws a lot at you, especially the two pirouettes with 9 one-tempis between, but Diego likes doing the fun stuff like that.
“We’re on the World Class programme so have training with Gareth Hughes and at home my eyes on the ground are my groom Michelle and fiancée Olivia.
“Diego’s 14 now and I feel like he’s coming into himself. I was just 16 when I got him as a four-year-old so we’ve worked our way up together. I feel there’s a lot more to come.”
Becky Moody had her two exciting eight-year-olds in contention in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges (PSG) classes. Jack Diamond (Electron x Diamond Hit) already has a national title under his belt, the Medium Gold in 2021. Contesting only his second and third PSGs, Jack (pictured above) won both with 76.7% and 75.2%.
Her second string, James Bond II (Desperado x Fidertanz) is equally untested at PSG level and placed third and fifth. “Although the mark was lower, I was much happier with the second test as he felt more confident, although he came a bit behind me in the canter,” commented Becky. “He’s basically just been training so needs to get a bit more show mileage.”
Becky’s homebred, Jagerbomb (Dante Weltino x Jazz) was fresh from his victories in the Inter I and Inter I Freestyle at the Winter Championships. Winning the Stübben Intermediate II on 72.99% is a great step up for him on his way to Grand Prix.
“He was predictably green in the passage and piaffe transitions but he has such capacity for the work – it’s pretty exciting,” said Becky.
Matt Frost and Summerhouse Delano (pictured above) were second to Becky in the PSG classes but took pole position in Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I. “I’m delighted with him, he rose to the occasion,” said Matt who bought the 18.2hh Dayano x Jazz gelding from Sara Gallop three years ago.
“He hasn’t been to many big atmosphere shows so was a bit ‘on fire’ but that helped with his expression and way of going. He doesn’t know how big he is so he can be a bit clumsy. He’s a lot of horse to steer around the arena.
“We’ve struggled with his canter pirouettes because of his size so I was thrilled to get a 9 for one of them. As he was buzzier he was naturally a bit quicker [in the hind leg] so could make it smaller. I felt he was confident in the test and enjoying himself – it’s the best feeling ever.”
Sunday’s Inter I was won by Hong Kong rider, Jackie Siu, riding Carl Hester’s Brioso (Benetton Dream x Dimaggio). Jackie trains with Carl and took on the ride on the 12-year-old mare a few months ago as her ride for the Asian Games (subsequently postponed).
“I’m enjoying every minute of getting our partnership underway and really embracing all the input from Carl,” said Jackie. “It was our first Premier League and the tests got better and better. We made some expensive mistakes in the PSG but in the Inter I she was so beautiful to ride and showed me how much quality she has.”
Jackie had another of Carl’s horses in the Inter II where she and the Zucchero gelding Ekitof were third. She started competing him in March after he had a three-year break from competition, having done two Grand Prix tests with Carl.
“It’s fabulous to have a Grand Prix horse again,” said Jackie who was doing only her third show with him. “I’m starting to get to know him in a show atmosphere.”
Friday’s Inter I was won by Michael Eilberg and Mike and Vicky Hannam’s MSJ Dante VX (Dante Weltino x Quattro B). He was so pleased with his 73.63% score that he substituted Figlio for Sunday’s test at the same level and took the advantage of working Dante at the show for the remaining two days.
“He feels like he’s really confident [in the test] now and is fluent from one movement to another,” commented Mike. ”I’m pleased with his level of consistency – when he was younger he was unsure and made mistakes. I practised his Grand Prix work in the show environment and on the last day he was awesome.” We look forward to seeing Dante’s GP debut, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Mike’s second ride, Figlio, a 10-year-old by Fidertanz improved his scores and positions throughout the show, ending with a second in the Inter I on Sunday.
Daniel Bremner won Sunday’s Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium class on Susan Singer’s Frederico, a super athletic nine-year-old by Franziskus. Having competed at PSG the first two days, Daniel dropped him back to Advanced Medium, a level he is secure at. “We haven’t practised the canter serpentine for six months and I think he was better for it,” he said.
The current Elementary Freestyle Gold champion, Lumière L, made a successful move up to Medium level. The six-year-old Guardian S gelding was bought by Anne-Marie Cowan as a three-year-old and she describes him as: “the most divine character, like a great big puppy dog”.
“The bigger the occasion the more he rises to it and he never lets me down,” said Annie. “This was his first Premier League Show and second-ever attempt at Medium. He was doing so well at Elementary, I wanted to move up.”
“He was quite hot at the Nationals at Somerford last year, so this was a good opportunity to get him out here again.”
Magic Dream was Becky Moody’s third winner when she took the BD international young horse 5yo class with 85%, the highest young horse score of the show. Becky was pleased with the marks from judge Sandy Phillips, acknowledging “Sandy doesn’t throw marks away”. “’Shroom’ is a pretty cool horse and getting better and stronger all the time,” commented Becky.
Daniel Bremner’s Monet X was also a high scorer with a mark of 80% in the five year old class. He was bred by Sandra Biddlecombe and is by Guardian S out of a Bretton Woods mare.
“He’s a gorgeous powerful horse and a big mover,” said Daniel. “He did a couple of tests last year, then because he was so big, I turned him away from June to January. He felt better for it. He’s done four Novice classes this year, all with big scores.”
“He’s a special horse. He’s loose and not too strong – really easy to ride.”
Kirstie Clarke’s mare Nirvana (Geniaal x Jazz), winner of the KBIS 4yo class, came from Holland in February. “It was her first show, he’s never been away from home before,” explained Kirstie. “She’s very sweet and really trainable. She does everything you ask her. She’s not a typical Jazz, she’s not strong or spooky.
“In the test she was a little bit green but very rideable. She took the lead for the other horse in the test – she’s as brave as a lion.”
Nirvana’s sire Geniaal was also at Somerford and had a Inter I third place with Sarah Higgins.
Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof (pictured below) had a clean sweep in the Young Riders’ classes at Myerscough and Keysoe Premier League show and repeated their success at Somerford. They also added a PSG class to their tally.
The 14-year-old Lord Leatherdale gelding started the show with some exuberant antics in the arena walk and warm-up before settling down to some model dressage.
“I decided to do the PSG on the first day as he gets hot at big shows and I thought he would be more settled for the Young Rider tests. As it happens he was very good in all of them,” said Caitlin who trains with Richard Preston. “My goal is always to get him more rideable in the test. He likes to take over and to be able to put in more power, I need him more on my side.”
Annabella Pidgley is having a great start to the season with her string. She took the first two places in the Junior classes with Sultan des Paluds FRH (pictured above) and Espe and won her second U25 Grand Prix on 76%+ with Gio.
Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson (Chiskin Jaguar x His Highness) achieved their goal of plus-70% scores in the Pony classes. They won the Individual test and were a close third in the Team test. Lauren has had the big-moving pony for three years and according to mum, Julie, he is starting to come into his element. The pair has had a busy couple of months, competing at Le Mans international and Hickstead Premier League.
Thirteen-year-old Sofia Games was a busy young lady, with three horses in competition. She won the Pony Team test with Next Black Magic. The pair has competed at three international shows already this year – Keysoe, Le Mans and Compiègne. “It’s opened Sofia’s eyes to the best in the world,” said mum Katie. “’Tottie’ is on fine form and they did a super clear round test. They have solidified their partnership.”
Results – top three
Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 92
1. Tara Oliver Donohoe and Senators Rhonaldo, 70.68%
2. Rose Foley and Corchapin, 69.37%
3. Emily Watts and Fanucci, 69.32%
Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Dante VX, 73.63%
2. Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS, 70.64%
3. Sarah Higgins and Sirius Black III, 70.05%
TopSpec Medium 73
1. Anne-Marie Cowan and Lumière L, 70.59%
2. Alex Ingoe Topham and Seagry DonnaDiva, 70.00% (58)
3. Artur Nicpon and Sissily, 70.00% (57)
Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 72.99%
2. Emma Blundell and Mount St John VIP, 72.30%
3. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 71.72%
Stübben Intermediate II
1. Becky Moody and Jagerbomb, 72.99%
2. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 70.49%
3. Jackie Siu and Ekitof, 68.87%
KBIS Young Dressage Horse 4YO
1. Kirstie Clarke and Nirvana, 78.00%
2. Andrew Hackett and Secret Obsession, 77.00%
=3. Alexandra Hellings and Bentayga UKB, 73.00%
=3. Robert Gilsenan and Wild at Heart, 73.00%
=3. Robert Gilsenan and Forest Fairy Caledonia, 73.00%
KBIS Young Dressage Horse 5YO
1. Daniel Bremner and Monet X, 80.00%
=2. Tegan Jones and Maritima, 76.00%
=2. Levi Hunt and Sir Lucien, 76.00%
KBIS Young Dressage Horse 6YO
=1. Fiona Brennan and Leroy, 74.00%
=1. Darcas Lever and Legacy DZL, 74.00%
=3. Emma Haigh and Lady Madonna BS, 72.00%
=3. Kirstie Clarke and Powered by Grand Gesture, 72.00%
Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Matt Frost and Summerhouse Delano, 73.48%
2. Fiona Brennan and De Angelis II, 72.75%
3. Sarah Higgins and Geniaal, 72.60%
Young Rider Individual Test
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 70.20%
2. Lilah Gibbs and Dude III, 67.40%
3. Chloe Hill and Fort Knoxx, 66.37%
Junior Individual Test
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan des Paluds, 75.83%
=2. Annabella Pidgley and Espe, 72.30% (46)
=2. India Durman-Mills and Escade, 72.30% (46)
Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, 76.67%
2. Matt Frost and Summerhouse Delano, 74.12%
3. Becky Moody and James Bond, 73.33%
Pony Individual Test
1. Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson, 71.80%
2. Abigail Gray and Godrics Campeggio, 67.65%
3. Beatrice Butterworth and Non Plus Ultra, 66.17%
LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 72.59%
2. Samantha Thurman-Pickett and Gerardo, 69.85%
3. Daniel Greenwood and Chevalier-O, 69.61%
Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 96
1. Sara-Jane Lanning and Breit Fantastic, 69.96%
2. Tara Oliver Donohoe and Senators Rhonaldo, 69.61%
3. Levi Hunt and Fandango V, 68.51%
Grand Prix 16-25
1. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 76.79%
2. Sarah Rao and King Ron P, 66.82%
3. Camille Audo and Behroez, 66.62%
Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Jackie Siu and Brioso, 72.25%
2. Michael Eilberg and Figlio, 71.18%
3. Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS, 70.54%
Young Rider Team Test
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 71.37%
2. Jessica McConkey and Wilson Stensvang, 70.49% (45)
3. Anna Dalrymple and Vagabond de Massa, 70.49% (44)
Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, 75.20%
2. Matt Frost and Summerhouse Delano, 74.95%
3. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Distinction, 74.56%
Junior Team Test
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan des Paluds, 76.72%
2. Annabella Pidgley and Espe, 74.85%
3. Martha Jobling-Purser and Ivan Carlos, 71.72%
Pony Team Test
1. Sofia Games and Next Black Magic, 71.62%
2. Myles Graham and Dresscode Cocktail, 71.33%
3. Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson, 71.10%
Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98
1. Daniel Bremner and Frederico, 71.80%
2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 71.05%
3. Rob Barker and Herbstrot, 70.39%
Grand Prix Special
1. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 72.77%
2. Lisa Marriott and Valucio, 69.79%
3. Matt Frost and Helga, 67.96%
BD International Young Horse 5YO
1. Becky Moody and Magic Dream, 85.40%
2. Tom Goode and Iceland Girl PS, 78.00%
3. Tegan Jones and Maritima, 71.40%
BD International Young Horse 6YO
1. Sarah Rogers and Forest Hill, 77.40%
2. Darcas Lever and Legacy DZL, 67.70%
BD International Young Horse 7YO
1. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini, 72.66%
Photo © Jasmine Punter Photography
Words: Helen Triggs