Summer Regional Championships: Keysoe International

  • Written By: Kim Forster
  • Published: Tue, 09 Aug 2022 10:52

The penultimate Summer Regional Championships at Keysoe International (2-4 August) gave us three days of exciting competition as riders sought to secure a ticket to next month’s LeMieux National Championships. Two riders made doubly sure of their trip to Somerford Park with two top places each. Virginie De Senneville won The Centre Line Preliminary Silver and the BETTALIFE Novice Silver classes. Meanwhile Lisa Hopkins took the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges and the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold sections.

Virginie (pictured above)who scored an excellent 71.85% in the Prelim and 71.36% in the Novice has been riding Claire Wyatt and Henry Boswell owned Fire Kracka (Fidertanz x Diva) since the beginning of the year.  “He is super chilled,” Virginie explained.  “He is really forward and both tests went very well, for a stallion he is so polite and good in the warm up with maybe the odd call sometimes.  You wouldn’t really believe he was a stallion at all!  We will do a few more competitions and give him a little time off before the Nationals.”

The Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold (73.77%) and Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold (71.76%) gave Lisa Hopkins (pictured above) and Liss La Belle, owned by Christian Landolt the chance to show the harmony of their relationship.  “We have really clicked since I began competing her in May last year, we often get lovely comments from the judges about how what a great partnership we are which is such a compliment,” commented Lisa.  “This was only her third Inter I, and her trot work was lovely as well as the pirouettes which were super.  She is quite intelligent and loves her work, she is such a lovely horse to have around and we have a great connection.”

Jayne Turney and Shirley Rixon owned Penhaligon Freigeist topped The Centre Line Prelim Gold class on a score of 74.37%.  “I was so proud of him today,” Jayne told us. “He’s had quite a sheltered life so far, Shirley bought him as a foal and I have been riding him for about a year.  He is such a happy horse he makes you smile every time you ride him. We have only really been to local shows, then we went to the Young Horse Semi-final at Hartpury and he seemed to cope with that.  Keysoe is quite a busy atmosphere and we didn’t know quite how he would react, but again he was happy to work.  Each time we go out he makes progress and there is so much more to come from him. I just love riding him!”

Headmore Flintstone and Alice Oppenheimer topped the BETTALIFE Novice Gold with a score of 72.90%, known to his friends as Fred and owned by Sarah Oppenheimer the Flawless x Elite Rubinsteena gelding stands at 17.1hh. However, Alice says “It’s more like 17.4hh! Fred is a big lad and he needed more time to develop more and get stronger in his body.  We only started competing with him last September so we are pleased to get to this stage and continue building his experience.  He is a pretty cool horse with a great temperament and so very easy to take care of – a really loveable chap.”

Rebecca Mcnair (pictured above) won the Equitop Elementary Silver class on her horse in a million Lolalinja US who she bought as an unbacked three-year-old unseen.  “Zelda as she is known at home was the easiest horse I have ever backed and ridden away,” said Rebecca.  She has to be the most trainable horse I have ever ridden.  We were first to go in the class and had planned to leave for home quickly as I live five hours away from Keysoe.  When I saw the score of 74.27%, I thought I might be in for a place so plans had to change. We waited for the class to finish and then the presentation, we ended up getting home at midnight but it was worth it!”

The Equitop Elementary Gold class was topped by Katie Richards on her own Dixie Rose, (Don Dante x Wolke) with a score of 70.42%

Sophia Marston and E-mail (Jazz x Ancis) owned by Imogen Murray took the Top Spec Medium Silver title scoring 69.95%. 

The Top Spec Medium Gold class was won by Emma Corbett with stallion Tantoni Salamanca, owned by Georgina Pole-Carew of Tantoni Warmbloods.  Emma who is based with Becky Moody has had the ride for about a year, “He is a gentle giant, so lovely and light to ride – he’s dreamy,” Emma enthused.  “We only started competing last September and he qualified for the Winters at Novice.  Becky has been an absolute superstar as a trainer and I just adore riding him.  He is a really special boy and I’m so excited for what we do next!”

Winners of the Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Silver, Natasha Leak (pictured above) and her own Belissimo had a great time at Keysoe. “It felt quite strange to be back at a big show, I found it really nerve wracking,” Natasha commented. “To be honest I was a bit annoyed with myself after the test as I was worried about the changes and then didn’t really get a great start but that made me ride for every mark.  We clawed back a few in the canter when we did get the changes and the pirouettes went really well too.  So in the end I was really pleased with him.  We also came third in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges the day before the Advanced Medium and I was really happy with that as it was only the fourth time we had ever ridden at that level – he was a bit green but brilliant signs for the future.”

The Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Gold was won by Heather and Rowan Bryson owned Izonik ridden by Katherine Bailey on a score of 73.77%.   “He did some really lovely trot work in the test,” Katherine enthused.  “Sometimes he anticipates a movement and we can make mistakes but overall, he is a lovely boy at home and away.  We also came tenth in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St George which I was also super pleased with as he is still very green at that level.  We’ll keep working at home before the Nationals and tweak those areas with the mistakes.  We are really looking forward to going to Somerford Park!”

The Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Silver class was wone by Lucy Swinden (pictured above) on the stunning Odwigs Echo with a score of 69.26%.  Lucy bred Echo as he is known at home and it was a true family affair as she owned both sire Stanhopes Odwig and dam Spirit of Summer.  “It’s such a brilliant feeling to have bred him and see his progress and potential,” Lucy commented. “The test went really well and I was pleased he was less bothered by the flags at the end of the arena than he had been the day before in the Prix St Georges.  He tried his heart out, I can now feel he is becoming so much more consistent as we have been working really hard at home.  Becky Moody has been amazing, helping with test riding, accuracy, riding corners, setting up and making the most of every part of the arena.  We still have more to work on but that’s why I love it so much – there is always more to improve!”

Daltrey and Bridget Tate (pictured above) took top spot in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Silver class with 70.05%. I feel so lucky to ride this horse and it wouldn’t have been possible without my trainer Mike Eilberg,” she explained.  “I had him on my yard on sales livery for Mike and we were just getting to the point of selling him when my own horse died.  Mike suggested I buy Daltrey, he even let me pay in instalments which was so very good of him.  He is such a fantastic horse for me, he’s a lovely person but can be quite lazy.  For training we do more galloping and jumping than school work – it keeps him fit and more interested when we do schooling sessions.  I’m aiming him for the U25s next year so we have more work to do.”

Congratulations to all the competitors and thanks to the organisers and their team for their hard work in making the regional championships run smoothly.

Results Top Three

The Centre Line Prelim Silver

1 Virginie De Senneville and Fire Kracka, 71.84 %             

2 Imogen Marsh and Heolieta M, 71.09 %           

3 Elaine Blair and Equador 1, 69.89 %    

The Centre Line Prelim Gold

1 Jayne Turney and Penhaligon Freigeist, 74.37 %            

2 Danielle Jane Hardwick and Love Actually Wins MFS, 74.37 %  

3 Tahley Reeve-Smith and Larkshill St James, 72.53 %

BETTALIFE Novice Silver

1 Virginie De Senneville and Fire Kracka, 71.36 %             

2 Lindsay Middleton and Galetha, 69.88 %          

3 Christine Charlier and Lambana BD, 69.75 %


1 Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Flintstone, 72.90 %

2 Lewis Carrier and Woodthorpe Master Dumbledore, 72.47 %  

3 Thomas Oliver Goode and Frankie P.S, 71.67 %

Equitop Elementary Silver

1 Rebecca Mcnair and Lolalinja US, 74.27 %        

2 Louise Gallavan and Fabergé TF, 71.77 %          

3 Flora Hayes and Machno Excalibur, 71.72 %

Equitop Elementary Gold

1 Katie Richards and Dixie Rose, 70.42 %             

2 Jade Holleman and Bullards G&T, 69.74 %       

3 Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Flintstone, 69.74 %

Top Spec Medium Silver

1 Sophia Marston and E-Mail, 69.95 %                 

2 Henrietta Phillips and Rianne, 68.69 %              

3 Jessica Clarke and TT Amika, 68.65 %

Top Spec Medium Gold

1 Emma Corbetta and Tantoni Salamanca, 71.85 %          

2 Marsha Webb and Ivanhoe, 71.85 %    

3 Owen Cooper and Denby du Ritz, 71.13 %        

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Silver

1 Natasha Leak and Belissimo, 71.32 %  

2 Judy Hancock and Just Dance BH, 69.78 %       

3 Rebecca Jayne Bates and Dortheasmindes Twis, 69.08 %

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Gold

1 Katherine Bailey and Izonik, 73.77 %   

2 Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 73.16 %  

3 Daniel Edward Sherriff and Fred Astaire WD, 72.72 %

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Silver

1 Lucy Swinden and Odwigs Echo, 69.26 %          

2 Richard James Black and Furst Ruprecht, 68.38 %         

3 Natasha Leak and Belissimo, 68.33 %  

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold

1 Lisa Hopkins and Liss La Belle, 71.76 %

2 Nikki Barker and Iwan, 71.18 %            

3 Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 71.08 %

Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Silver

1 Bridget Tate and Daltrey, 70.05 %        

2 Lucy Swinden and Odwigs Echo, 67.65 %          

3 Georgina Jane Howard and Capri, 67.16 %

Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold

1 Lisa Hopkins and Liss La Belle, 73.77 %

2 Andrew Gould and Rockwood Virtue, 68.73 % 

3 Lucy Cliff and GESTION, 68.53 %

Photo © Kevin Sparrow