Summer Regional Championships: Somerford Park
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Double Olympic Champion Charlotte Dujardin made her intent for the 2018 LeMieux National Championships clear with a dominant performance of the upper levels at the Somerford North West Regional Championships last weekend.
Afterwards, she dubbed her four mares, three of them British bred, her ‘dream girls’ (pictured) after they all earned places at Stoneleigh in September. And proving that that she’s grounded, it was just her and dedicated groom Alan Davies to travel, prepare and care for all four horses over the two days…who needs an entourage!
Two busy days in blistering heat saw some first rate dressage action with all but two of the 14 sections won on scores topping the 70% barrier. The highest score went to Charlotte with her bright star Hawtins San Floriana whom she co-owns with Carl Hester. The San Amour x Florestan six year old posted an astonishing 79.95% in the TopSpec Medium Gold Section to take the win and her second Nationals ticket having qualified for the Shearwater Six Year Old Young Horse Championships last weekend at Hartpury.
Charlotte rode a further 79%+ test with Emma Blundell’s seven year old Mount St John VIP to claim the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold title with 79.08%. Another young rising start, the Vivaldi x Donnerhall mare is already a Stoneleigh ‘veteran’ with the Shearwater five and six year old and Top Spec Medium open titles under her belt. Charlotte bagged a further place at the Nationals in finish with Carl Hester’s Benetton Dream x Dimaggio Brioso II with 74.78%.
The final gold ticket for the Gloucestershire rider came in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold with the British bred River Rise Nisa, who’s by the same sire as her legendary partner Valegro, Negro. It’s winner takes all in this section as only the winner progresses and 76.75% put them top of the podium.
The Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I title went to Jess Dunn from neighboring county Lancashire with Jennifer Whittaker’s Dutch-bred Alicante Valley. The duo are on prime form having won at PSG level internationally at last week’s Hartpury CDI3*.
One of the most excited victory reactions came from Katie Owens who was the winner in the Childéric Elementary Silver section with her six year old British bred Saffira, by Showmaker. Their preparations didn’t go to plan when Katie had a fall the day before… on Friday the 13th! But the UKCC Level 2 qualified rider was none the worse for wear and made her trip over the Pennines from North Yorkshire a celebratory one with a score of 77.14%, which included an 81.09% score from judge Andrew Bennie.
On Facebook, she claimed; “Actually think I’m the happiest person alive right now after winning the elementary silver regional today with my girl Steve on 77%. She was so amazing can’t believe I am lucky enough to have a horse like her and so so much thanks to Becky and all the Moodys for all the hours of help and opportunities they’ve given me!”
It was also a good day at the office for Warwickshire rider Rebecca Hughes who declared she was ‘on cloud nine’ with Alison Croft’s young British bred star, Tantoni Dallaglio. The duo came together in late 2017 and have enjoyed winning ways ever since, never scoring under 70%. Their winning streak continued in the Childéric Elementary Gold with 73.91% which was followed the next day with an improved score of 74.37% in the TopSpec Medium Gold which, on a ‘normal’ day probably would have been enough for the win, but with the ‘Charlotte factor’, it gave them second but still at place at the Championships in September.
British Dressage thanks organiser Wayne Burrow and his team plus the venue Somerford Park and all involved for a successful Regional Championships. Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.
North West Regional Champions
BackInAction Prelim Silver
Natasha Taylor with Elsinore Els, 70.98%
Suzannah Offley with Cliffhollins Mystry, 70.8%
Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver
Katie Bagot with Zomaar, 72.28%
Hilary Janion with QEG Lux, 69.75%
Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold
Emma Wooley and Hancock V, 74.32%
Childéric Elementary Silver
Florence Human with Fulgencio , 74.22%
Katie Owens with Saffira, 77.14%
Childéric Elementary Gold
Rebecca Hughes with Tantoni Dallaglio, 73.91%
TopSpec Medium Silver
Annabella Pidgley with Ine, 73.51%
TopSpec Medium Gold
Charlotte Dujardin with Hawtins San Floriana, 79.95%
Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver
Harriet Kipping with Camelot’s Black Knight, 67.72%
Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold
Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John VIP, 79.08%
Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold
Charlotte Dujardin with River Rise Nisa, 76.75%
Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold
Jessica Dunn with LG Alicante Valley, 73.11%