Spencer Wilton and Super Nova make winning comeback in Lier
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Spencer Wilton and his Rio 2016 ride, Super Nova, made a winning return to international competition at Lier CDI4* in Belgium (26 February – 1 March 2020), with Great Britain largely dominating the top Big Tour placings.
The long-time partnership of Wilton and Super Nova (pictured) won both the Grand Prix and Special on scores of 75.761% and 76.809% respectively, signalling a solid and exciting return to competition for the pair whose last international appearance was at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. The duo has firmly thrown their hat in the ring for Tokyo selection.
“He [Super Nova] felt better than he’s ever felt before,” Spencer told British Dressage after his return home to the UK. “At 15 or 16 you think this is it, but at 17 he’s found a new lease of life and feels amazing.”
In the spring of last year, Spencer underwent spinal surgery in Australia after suffering a ruptured disc whilst in the country on a teaching trip. “It delayed my journey home and obviously meant a lot of time off, so ‘Neville’ has had an easy year although he has spent time hacking with Claire Hinton who works for me.
“She messaged me one day and said “I’m going to go hacking!” which really surprised me as she hadn’t ridden for years,” said Spencer. “It was a real game changer. She got back on board and hacked Neville the entire time I was off. She knows him like the back of her hand and she also has a newfound respect for how complicated he can be.”
With the pair now back to full competition fitness and with a Grand Prix win at Sparsholt College last month under their belt, the performance in Lier marks an exciting start to their 2020 campaign.
It’s an amazing feeling and he [Super Nova] feels now like the horse I was always hoping he’d be.
“I’m so happy with Neville,” said Spencer of the De Niro x Weltmeyer gelding who is owned by Jen Goodman. “Now, he’s feeling physically stronger than ever and with that comes confidence. He feels really confident - confident in his surroundings and really trying to do the right thing. It’s an amazing feeling and he feels now like the horse I was always hoping he’d be.”
“Touch wood, my back is OK now. With support from the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Programme I’m back in the gym twice per week with a strength and conditioning coach, which has made a massive difference.”
Spencer was followed in both the Grand Prix and Special by his countryman Sonnar Murray-Brown with his 13 year old Trakehner gelding, Erlentanz (by Latimer). Sonnar and ‘Erly’ create a great picture together and confidently delivered two assured, expressive and harmonious tests for plus 74% in both the Grand Prix and Special, building on their percentage scores in Le Mans a fortnight ago where they won the Grand Prix. “Time to leave Belgium but chuffed with today’s Special!” said Sonnar on Sonnar Murray-Brown Dressage Facebook. “The team have had a good show at Lier CDI with two solid second places. With so much more to come can’t wait for our next show together!”
With so much more to come [I] can’t wait for our next show together!
Gareth Hughes enjoyed a super CDI with Claudine Kroll’s talented yet inexperienced KK Woodstock (by Wolkentanz II), this combination another to build on the scores they achieved in Le Mans. A Grand Prix of 72.891% for fourth was followed by a podium place in the Special with a fantastic 73.085% whilst Tom Goode and Dior also showed great promise for Britain.
Tom, who is Head Rider for Emile Faurie at his Oxfordshire base, and the good looking bright chestnut son of Gribaldi, followed a promising 69.435% Grand Prix with a Freestyle PB of 75.410% to finish just outside top three. Their Grand Prix showed great quality but with a couple of miscommunications which were expensive. Their Grand Prix Freestyle, choreographed to a Dionne Warwick compilation, was powerful and expressive, the judging panel of Thomas Kessler (GER), Janine van Twist (NED), Jacques van Daele (BEL), Susanne Baarup (DEN) and Clive Halsall (GBR) awarding it 75.410% for fourth place and within breathing distance of the top three.
Emile Faurie took to Facebook to say, “We had our first international start at Lier CDI4* this weekend. I rode Quentano II, this still green but immensely talented young Grand Prix horse ended eighth in the Grand Prix Special with 70.3%. Tom rode my own and Sam Geddes’ Dior to a brilliant fourth place and a personal best in the GP freestyle with 75.4%.”
Tom rode my own and Sam Geddes’ Dior to a brilliant fourth place and a personal best in the GP freestyle with 75.4%.
Britain’s sole representative in the Under 21s, Pony rider Ronni-Mae Morgan with DST Carluccio, achieved a creditable 19th in both the Pony Team and Individual Tests with 64.333% and 65.180% respectively.
Results: top-five and British riders
1. Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II, 75.761% (GBR)
2. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 74.174% (GBR)
3. Adelinde Cornelissen and Aqiedo, 73.000% (NED
4. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, 72.891% (GBR)
5. Marlies van Baalen and Ben Johnson, 72.304% (NED)
12. Louise Bell and Into the Blue, 69.717% (GBR)
14. Emile Faurie and Quentano 2, 69.674% (GBR)
17. Thomas Goode and Dior, 69.435% (GBR)
20. Emma Hindle and Diesel 8, 68.978% (GBR)
Grand Prix Special
1. Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II, 76.809% (GBR)
2. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 74.340% (GBR)
3. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, 73.085% (GBR)
4. Carina Bachmann and Tarantino 5, 72.298% (GER)
5. Diederik van Silfhout and Chardonnay, 71.383% (NED)
8. Emile Faurie and Quentano II, 70.340% (GBR)
11. Emma Hindle and Diesel 8, 68.830% (GBR)
13. Louise Bell and Into the Blue, 67.830% (GBR)
Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Marlies van Baalen and Ben Johnson, 78.155% (NED)
2. Adelinde Cornelissen and Aqiedo, 77.560% (NED)
3. Camille Cheret Judet and Duke of Swing, 75.580% (FRA)
4. Thomas Goode and Dior, 75.410% (GBR)
5. Andrea Timpe and Don Darwin, 73.960% (GBR)
Pony Team Test
1. Sophia Baje Obel Jørgensen and Adriano B, 74.238% (DEN)
2. Evi Van Rooij and King Stayerhof’s Jango, 73.000% (NED)
3. Martha Raupach and Mad Max WE, 71.096% (GER)
4. Jill Bogers and First Hummer, 70.953% (NED)
5. Lara Middelberg and Drink Pink, 70.428% (GER)
19. Ronni-Mae Morgan and DST Carluccio, 64.333% (GBR)
Pony Individual Test
1. Sophia Baje Obel Jørgensen and Adriano B, 74.955% (DEN)
2. Evi Van Rooij and King Stayerhof’s Jango, 72.523% (NED)
3. Clara Paschertz and Da Capo’s Dancing Boy, 72.388% (GER)
4. Martha Raupach and Mad Max WE, 71.081% (GER)
5. Emilie Balling Nissen and Divino van Stal Romano, 70.631% (DEN)
19. Ronni-Mae Morgan and DST Carluccio, 65.180% (GBR)
Photo © Digishots