Summer Regional Championships: Sparsholt College

  • Written By: British Dressage/Kim Forster
  • Published: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 09:22

There were double sash winners galore at Sparsholt Summer Regional Championships (15-17 July 2022) as temperatures and scores soared. Georgie Nicholls, Nicola Buchanan and Dannie Morgan all topped two classes gaining double regional championship wins and qualifications for the Le Mieux National Championships at Somerford Park (15-18 September).

Georgie Nicholls won the Equitop Elementary Silver on her own Briarwood Notorious (Negro x Briarwood Victoria) - pictured above - with an impressive score of 74.90%. In her own words Georgie describes Briarwood Notorious as “Notorious for putting in his own freestyle moves during tests in the past and sabotaging his test. He has been quite difficult to compete at this level as he is so hot, but today he decided to play ball and felt so fluent, he really let me ride him. We can now step up to medium which will give him more to think about and hopefully he’ll behave himself!”

Woodcroft Kika Quina (pictured above) owned by para rider Katie Haigh topped the Top Spec Medium Silver class with Georgie again scoring over 74%. “We call her Miss Perfect,” Georgie commented. “She is the polar opposite to Briarwood Notorious – always wanting to please and she is so consistent. She is fine and elegant and knows exactly what to do in between the boards. The end goal is for Katie to take up the ride in future and in the meantime, we will continue through the levels. Katie loves coming to watch us compete and I absolutely love riding her.”

Nicola Buchanan followed Georgie’s double in the Equitop Elementary Gold and Top Spec Medium Gold with the gorgeous bay mare St Giles Flamboyant (Franklin x Fürst Romancier) scoring 75.90% in the Elementary and 72.75% in the Medium Nicola was delighted with his performance. “She is a stunning mare,” Nichola enthused. “The Countess of Shaftesbury bred her at the St Giles stud and I am so lucky to have the ride on her. She is so athletic and talented she is an absolute pleasure to ride. We do have the occasional disagreement as she can sometimes be a bit opinionated to ride – but it’s all over very quickly and she focuses again. I sometimes think she actually smiles as she is working and always let’s you know how happy she is.” Nicola is planning to fit in some training with her trainer Carl Hester before Somerford Park to work on consolidating the mare’s medium movements and then progress to developing changes over the winter.

Loxleys Optimism partnered by Dannie Morgan (pictured above) was clearly on form again in both the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges and the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I. “He has been amazingly consistent this year,” Dannie said of the Lord Loxley x Sheepcote Wurlitzer owned by Claire Speer. “I’ve had the ride on him for about 18 months and he has not been out of the top ten for the whole of this year in all his outings. I knew I’d have to pull it out of the bag and win the classes to qualify for the Nationals at this level and at Sparsholt he did a great job. Winning the Inter I certainly helped us in the Prix St Georges, I was really able to go for it and everything went our way. He really doesn’t have a weakness so he gets the marks through being consistent in all the movements.” Loxleys Optimism is now up for sale and Dannie is sure he’ll be great for an ambitious rider. “He is very established in his work and a lovely person, I really can’t fault him,” Dannie added.

The Centre Line Prelim classes were seriously contested with some stunning combinations on show early in their dressage careers. Fiona Padfield and her own Catherston Temptation were only on their fourth time out at Sparsholt to take first place with 71.90 %. Fiona commented, “She was a bit green but in our very few outings she has shown a real willingness to be happy and perform. I haven’t competed for nearly 15 years and I bought her from the Catherston Stud having lost a horse I bred myself. Jennie Loriston-Clarke thought we would suit each other so I took her advice and bought her, she can be quite opinionated and has bags of personality – but we get there in the end and I’m really looking forward to our journey together.”

Sara Malpass won The Centre Line Prelim Gold class with Gemma Dalton’s Figaro of Westoak with a very pleasing score of 74.37%. I was really pleased with him,” commented Sara. “He’s never seen three judges before and he came out into quite a buzzing atmosphere and behaved so well, it was a fantastic job! To be honest I just adore him, I love training him, he is like a naughty school boy – innocent but so cuddly. After the Nationals we’ll crack on with Novice and some Music.”

17hh Led Zeppelin ridden by Lucie Stokoe made 70.86% in the BETTALIFE Novice Silver class. I really didn’t expect anything,” Lucie commented. “We had a difficult test the day before in the Prelim Silver. He was scared of the automatic drinker in his stable and consequently didn’t drink all through the night before. So, he was not a happy boy feeling flat and lethargic and it was quite a hot day. I made sure he had enough to drink and plenty of electrolytes overnight and he seemed so much better the next day so we decided to do the test with no expectations or pressure. He was so obedient and did everything I asked including a lovely halt right in front of the judges. I didn’t want to look at the results, then eventually had to and I genuinely thought it was a mistake, I was in total shock - it was so much more than I ever expected!”

Holly Kerslake and her ‘cool’ five-year-old Majesty (pictured above) owned by Kirsty Kerslake were at their second ever stay away show at Sparsholt when they topped the placings with a huge 75.31% mark. Holly tells us, “Not much phases him really, he was the same in the arena as he is at home – maybe even better. His best pace is canter, it’s like sitting on a rocking horse he is so uphill.” The plan was to aim for Elementary this year too but Holly sustained a knee injury which kept her off riding for a few months. “I am so proud of him, we’ll aim for Elementary and Medium for the Winters – I have to be careful not to get carried away and teach him too much – he’s such a fast learner,” Holly concluded.

Hayley Pile with Jane Manley owned Danilo II by Don Frederico won the Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Silver maintaining an incredible recent record of four wins in four outings making this a fifth a 100% record. Hayley commented, “I am thrilled with him, Danilo II is at the best stage of his life now. He was a tricky character but has changed his attitude, his head and his body are now so much more in harmony. He really is such a talented horse,”

The stunning SP Bento ridden by Judy Harvey won the Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Gold on a super score of 70.57 %. “I was thrilled to win the Regional Final at Sparsholt,” Judy told us. It was my first time competing there and the stabling, lorry park, arenas and organisation were fantastic. SP Bento has been brilliant all season, not once unplaced at the Premier Leagues and winning a PSG at Onley recently. He really deserved this win. He is incredibly level headed and we have an amazing bond. I am so grateful to his owner, Jocelyn Rosenberg, from the Isle of Man for making it possible for me to have Bento.”

Millie Gover and Kamil 'T' were very pleased with a first in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Silver class scoring 68.77%. “The test went well and he was a very good boy,” Millie told us. “At this level there is always something to work and this was our first time out since Hickstead in May. He has a history of spending time both in and out of the arena on his hind legs but has done a lot of growing up recently and I’m much more able to control the energy he has in a positive way, then he makes it all look so easy.”

Kathryn Marsh bred, owns and trains Sapphire Ramall, (Showmaker x Ramall Opposition) winner of the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Silver class. Kathryn whose trainer is Isobel Wessells says, “She is such a trainable mare and having known her since birth I have an incredible bond with her. She has a lovely character and runs rings around everyone else on the yard but not me! We have recently done our first Inter II and Isobel tells me we just need to get out and do more of them so that’s the plan going forward.”

Top-three results

The Centre Line Prelim Silver
1 Fiona Padfield and Catherston Temptation, 71.90%
2 Alice Lamburn and Linde WS, 70.98%
3 Sharon Maguire and Waverley Lady Noblesse, 70.63%

The Centre Line Prelim Gold
1 Sara Malpass and Figaro of Westoak, 74.37%
2 Alison Jane Berman and Mikaela, 70.57 %
3 Melissa Sophie Dawes and Holly Berry, 69.08 %

BETTALIFE Novice Silver
1 Lucie Stokoe and Led Zeppelin, 70.86%
2 Amy Hose and Enrique, 70.19%
3 Andrea Kennedy and Leonardo De Lux, 68.77%

1 Holly Kerslake and Majesty, 75.31%
2 Ashley Jenkins and Kingstone-W, 74.01%
3 Caroline Hunt and Fancy That II, 73.21%

Equitop Elementary Silver
1 Georgie Nicholls and Briarwood Notorious, 74.90%
2 Sacha Hamilton and Netstutteriets Nero, 72.08%
3 Caroline Hunt and Fancy That II, 69.84%

Equitop Elementary Gold
1 Nicola Buchanan and St Giles Flamboyant, 75.99%
2 Robert Charles and Trobridge Matteo, 73.85%
3 Sara Squires and Northcliff Delilah, 73.49%

TopSpec Medium Silver
1 Georgie Nicholls and Woodcroft Kika Quina, 74.05%
2 Maeve Morris and Headmore Footloose, 69.91%
3 Sacha Hamilton and Netstutteriets Nero, 69.86%

TopSpec Medium Gold
1 Nicola Buchanan and St Giles Flamboyant, 72.75%
2 Alex Baker and BKS Furst Encore, 72.61%
3 Jezz Palmer and Tiny Dancer, 71.58%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Silver
1 Hayley Pile and Danilo II, 69.91%
2 Sara Malpass and Keystone Dicaprio, 67.85%
3 Zoe Michelle Kiff and Platinum Barbarian, 67.50%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium Gold
1 Judy Harvey and SP Bento, 70.57%
2 Angus Corrie-Deane and Don Darius II, 69.91%
3 Jezz Palmer and Ketcher B, 69.74%

Fairfax Saddles FEI Prix St Georges Silver
1 Millie Gover and Kamil 'T', 68.77%
2 Megan Assouline and Stald Lykke’s Black Magic, 66.72%
3 Sara Malpass and Keystone Dicaprio, 66.47%

Fairfax Saddles FEI Prix St Georges Gold
1 Dannie Morgan and Loxleys Otimism, 73.04%
2 Angus Corrie-Deane and Jack Johnson, 71.91%
3 Angus Corrie-Deane and Don Darius II, 70.88%

Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Silver
1 Kathryn Marsh and Sapphire Ramall, 65.88%
2 Nicola J Bell and Don Caledonia, 65.00%

Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold
1 Dannie Morgan and Loxleys Optimism, 71.52%
2 Nicola Buchanan and Discoqueen St.Giles, 68.28%
3 Emily Ormerod and Freya FST, 68.09%


Photo © Kevin Sparrow