Super Somerford for Carl and En Vogue

  • Written By: Helen Triggs
  • Published: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:36 GMT

Carl Hester and his Tokyo hopeful En Vogue danced to glory in the sun at Somerford and he also introduced an exciting prospect, Nutbush, to a bigger audience at Somerford Premier League Show in Cheshire (28 – 30 May 2021).

Carl Hester and En Vogue C LL FOTO DE

After winning the LeMieux Grand Prix with a substantial margin, Carl rode only his fourth Grand Prix Special with En Vogue (pictured in April). The 83.73% score was a personal best for the 12-year-old Jazz gelding, owned by Charlotte Dujardin.

Carl went to Somerford after failing to get an entry to Compiègne CDI5* as he wants to gain more match experience for En Vogue. “You practise things at home and then you go to a show and find out where you really are,” he commented in an interview with the Somerford PR team. “It’s a nice change to go to a show where the atmosphere is peaceful and you can concentrate on your ride.

“I have to remember he’s a young green horse. It’s about me learning more about him in the ring, which bits to go for and when to settle for less.”

His Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges (PSG) winner, Nutbush (Negro x Sion) was gifted to him by Aram Gregory after the death of his wife, Olympic GP rider, Jane, who bred him. ‘Gus’ who he now owns with Roly Luard and Ann Barrott was previously competed for Carl by Sadie Smith and the pair were novice gold freestyle champions at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships in 2018. “He’s a big laid back horse and I look forward to riding him because he’s so kind,” said Carl. “I wanted to know what he’d be like in a different atmosphere and he’s no different than at home. He’s potentially a very good Grand Prix horse.”

Alicia Lee and Bonita 466 c Lukasz Kowalski

Podium Potential Pathway rider Alicia Lee scored just under 70% to win the under-25 Grand Prix on Bonita 466 (pictured in 2020). The Benetton Dream x Prince Thatch mare was bred in Switzerland and bought by Alicia in 2015. Last year they had good results at CDI Grote Brogel in Belgium which they followed with a trip to the European Young Riders Championships in Hungary.

She described her test which earned her a fourth place in the Haygain Inter II as “confident and giving” and her winning U25 Grand Prix as “not mistake free, but pretty special”.

Ellie McCarthy describes her Inter II winner GB Londero Von Worrenberg as “hot but sensible”’. She has owned the Swiss-bred Londontime gelding for just over a year and is building a strong partnership with the handsome black 11-year-old. The pair scored over 72% in the Inter II. Ellie posted on social media that “Londy felt just incredible and gave me the best feeling. One judge had us on 75% with a 9 for our one-tempi changes.”

In Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I, Matt Frost and Helga beat Gareth Hughes and Happiness into second place. This was an improvement on her Hickstead Premier League performance where she placed third. “She’s on great form at the moment,” Matt commented. “She felt really good on the second day and it was the most consistent test she’s done at [Inter I] level. Dropping her down from Inter II helped as she was more in her comfort zone.”

Helga is owned by Matt and Nicola Keenan and the hot Chagall D & R mare is having a great season.

Becky Moody’s Myercough Winter Regional Advanced Medium Champion Jagerbomb aced Saturday’s PSG with almost 74%. He also won the young horse Advanced Medium class, coming first almost 4% ahead of the second-placed competitors, Ruth Edge and Jolene. This homebred by Dante Weltino out of a Jazz mare has obviously got bucket loads of talent and will be one to watch at the Winter Championships.

“It was only his second PSG so it was a bonus to win,” Becky commented after her test. “He is really special. He was nice and sharp and goey and we only had a few little mistakes.”

Becky was also pleased with her Grand Prix Special ride on Famke PF who was only doing her fifth GP test and was second to Carl. “She’s new to the level so still struggling with her balance,” said Becky. “There’s so much more to come – there’s definitely a 75% test in there!”

Gareth Hughes and Happiness pipped wife Rebecca and Classic Goldstrike to the win by a small margin in Sunday’s Inter I. “Happy was bought for his owner Georgina Wilkinson to have fun on,” said Gareth who won a PSG on him at Myerscough Premier League in May. “He’s the sweetest, nicest horse and does everything with his ears pricked. He was a little bit nervous in the working–in but he gets better and better at each show. He’s a nice balance of being quite sensitive but sensible in his head.”

Eilidh Grant and Mount St John Doornroos II won the Inter I on Friday. Eilidh bought the 13-year-old Gribaldi x Rheingau mare from Emma Blundell three years ago. She acknowledges that ‘Ella’ had found the changes a bit too exciting. “She was a bit wild and struggled to get her brain and legs engaged,” recalled Eilidh. “Nicola Buchanan was able to come [to Scotland] to train us and it made a world of difference. We can do calm changes now! And she got 7.5s for her two-tempis from all the judges.”

Michael Eilberg is very enthusiastic about his Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98 winner, Dante VX who also placed second in Saturday and Sunday’s PSG classes. It was only Dante’s second attempt at PSG level so a score of 72.37% is impressive. “He’s a super horse with a lot of talent,” commented Michael. “He will be pretty awesome when I can let the handbrake off!”

Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof

Friday’s PSG was won by the in-form pairing of Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof (pictured above) who won on 72.86%. Caitlin aced all the Young Rider tests at the recent Wellington CDI and they had a good win in the Young Rider Team Test at Somerford. “He has a busy life at the moment,” explained Caitlin. “He only schools two to three times a week as there is so much happening on the show front.”

In the Young Rider Individual Test, Caitlin was pipped by Charlotte McDowall and her 16-year-old Dutch mare Alivia. Charlotte was part of the British Junior team at the European Championships in 2019. “It’s been a bigger jump [to Young Rider tests] than I thought. There’s a lot more to think about. Alivia was trained to Grand Prix by Julie Hugo-Ross and it’s great to have such a talented schoolmistress to learn on. At Somerford we felt secure in the work and I could really go for it.”

Despite having a nine-hour journey to get to Somerford, Mette Dahl’s stunning grey pony, George Clooney, was on fire to win all three Pony tests which were a selection trial for the Pony European Championships.

Highest scorers in the young horse classes were Greg Sims and British-bred Waverley Fellini who won the BD International six-year-old class on 80.40%. Fellini was bred by Sara Longworth and in 2020 won the Shearwater Young Horse 5yo Championship at Keysoe. They were also Novice Gold champions at the Winter Championships in the same year.

With only five shows on loaned horses under her belt, Tegan Jones jumped into the Premier League deep end with four-year-old mare Maritima and came away with a win in the Shearwater four-year-old class. The Hennessey mare is owned by Tegan’s mum, Gill Fowkes, and is the first horse Tegan has backed. Tegan is based with Alex Harrison at Collective Equestrian where she works as a groom.

“She was very easy to back and took everything like a duck to water,” commented Tegan. “She’s a cool character who loves everybody. She was amazing – her first show and first outing and there was not a foot out of place. I didn’t expect to do well – as long as she was good I would’ve been happy.”

Top-three results

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Eilidh Grant and Mount St John Doornroos II, 68.82%
2. Kaja Olsen and Lord Falcor, 68.07%
3. John Chubb and Wringler, 67.24%

Haygain Intermediate II
1. Ellie McCarthy and GB Londero Von Worrenberg, 72.46%
2. Diamond Hill and Alexander Harrison, 70.31%
3. Anna Ross and Newton Domino, 69.91%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 96
1. Michael Eilberg and Dante VX, 71.84%
2. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Distinction, 70.92%
3. Mia Mordecai-Smith and Innocent, 70.22%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 72.06%
2. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 69.87%
3. Amy Woodhead and Fürstin Fugger 69.39%

TopSpec Medium 73
1. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 73.38%
2. Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 71.76%
3. Lauren Williamson and Vancouver LG, 70.44%

Shearwater Young Horse 4yo
1. Tegan Jones and Maritima, 7.86
2. Melissa Chapman and Ajesteir TCE, 7.74
3. Darryl Thiciett and Burgharde Fontainebleau, 7.58

Shearwater Young Horse 5yo
1. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John Diamonds Are Forever, 8.42
2. Beth Bainbridge and Tiger, 7.96
3. Michael Eilberg and De La Hoyde, 7.92

Shearwater Young Horse 6yo
1. Olivia Commins and Scuerarri, 7.52
2. Elizabeth Allen and Vivaldi’s Myla, 7.42
3. Emma Haigh and Kandrea, 7.20

BD Young Horse 7yo
1. Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, 73.42%
2. Ruth Edge and Jolene, 69.34%
3. Lisa Marriott and Juno’s Whispering Angel, 66.97%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Matt Frost and Helga, 72.54%
2. Gareth Hughes and Happiness, 71.27%
3. Emma Blundell and Mount St John VIP, 70.88%

LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 79.8%
2. Anna Ross and Newton Domino, 70.78%
3. Becky Moody and Famke PF 69.78%

Grand Prix U25
1. Alicia Lee and Bonita 466, 70.26%
2. Lucy Amy and Rudy, 68.91%
3. Robyn Smith and Francesco 77, 68.86%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Becky Moody and Jagerbomb, 73.99%
2. Michael Eilberg and Dante VX, 71.27%
3. Eilidh Grant and Mount St John Dornroos II, 70.96%

FEI Children Team Test
1. Demi Howard-Cartwright and DHI Cleverboy, 72.25%

FEI Pony Team Test
1. Mette Dahl and George Clooney, 74.23%
2. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C We, 69.4%
3. Rose Foley and Cordici K, 69.27%

FEI Young Rider Team Test
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 73.86%
2. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blues,70.66%
3. Charlotte McDowall and Alivia, 70.31%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Gareth Hughes and Happiness, 72.76%
2. Rebecca Hughes and Classic Goldstrike, 71.05%
3. Nikolas Kroencke and Flanell, 70.61%

Grand Prix Special
1. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 82.84%
2. Becky Moody and Famke PF, 73.16%
3. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John Kom Fairytale, 72.71%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98
1. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Distinction, 73.77%
2. Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, 73.38%
3. Becky Moody and Jagerbomb, 72.28%

FEI Junior Individual Test
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan Des Paluds FRH, 74.87%
2. Isobel Lickley and Gracia LH, 69.17%
3. Holly Kerslake and Extasia, 68.9%

FEI Children Test
1. Demi Howard-Cartwright and DHI Cleverboy, 66.98%

FEI Young Rider Individual Test
1. Charlotte McDowall and Alivia, 71.75%
2. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 71.71%
3. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blue,s 69.39%

FEI Pony Individual Test
1. Mette Dahl and George Clooney, 72.44%
2. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C We, 68.17%
3. Lauren Geraghty and WSJackson, 67.72%

FEI Pony Team Test
1. Evie Daniel and Brouwershaven’s Viceroy, 65.71%
2. Megan Bullas and Koningshoek Jackpot, 64.04%
3. Beth McGuinness and Gwallwy Elfed Sion, 63.4%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Carl Hester and Nutbush, 73.64%
2. Michael Eilberg and Dante VX, 72.37%
3. Lisa Marriott and Rockstar I, 69.74%

BD International Young Horse 5yo
1. Anna Ross and Tiger, 79.40%
2. Tom Goode and Die Diva, 75.00%
3. Michael Eilberg and De La Hoyde, 74.40%

BD International Young Horse 6yo
1. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini, 80.40%

BD International Young Horse 7yo
1. Lisa Marriott and Juno’s Whispering Angel, 67.92%

Full results

Photo © LL-FOTO-DE: Carl Hester and En Vogue, Łukasz Kowalski: Alicia Lee and Bonita, Kevin Sparrow: Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof