Winter Regional Championships: Bishop Burton College

  • Written By: British Dressage | Joanna Bowns
  • Published: Wed, 08 Mar 2023 15:44 GMT

The 2023 Winter Regional Championships reached their midway point with the fourth fixture of the eight-part series taking place at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire (14 – 18 February 2023). Five days of top competition saw many take a step closer to their NAF Five Star Winter Championship goals.

Charlotte Wood & Alfred De Niro

No fewer than four combinations achieved two wins apiece, with Charlotte Wood and Alfred de Niro, Jodie Reay with Jupiler, Charlotte Cundall and LJT Simply Red, and Sophie Wells OBE with Don Cara M all sealing double Winter Regional titles.

Charlotte Wood and her talented seven-year-old, Alfred de Niro (pictured above), travelled home to Lincolnshire with the Prestige Italia Novice Silver and Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver wins to their name. In the straight class, the winning pair finished in front of Christine Daniels aboard Darbey Ramblin and Gemma Wood with Woodstock X – the podium, remarkably, remaining exactly the same for the freestyle.

“I used to event, and I never expected to do so well in pure dressage,” enthused Charlotte, who bought Alfred de Niro, bred by Paul Schockemöhle in Germany, as a rising four-year-old after he was imported to the UK.

Charlotte describes the De Niro x Belissimo M gelding as having been good to train, though he can be a little nervous in the warmup at a competition. “A horse bolted at him in the warmup once, having unseated its rider, so he can be a bit nervous. He’s not very easy in the warmup, but once he’s in the competition arena, on his own, he is happy and full of confidence.

“I’ve evented most of my horse life, though dressage is my main focus now,” continued Charlotte, who trains with Victoria Maw and is currently fitting her riding in around a house renovation project. “I do like to give ‘Freddie’ a varied life. He’s been cross country schooling and he jumped just the other day, but he’s not very careful so I don’t think he’ll be going eventing any time soon!”

About her winning Novice Freestyle Silver music arrangement, Charlotte says; “Victoria (Maw) put it together for us. This year is the first time I’ve ever done freestyle, so I left it to her. I suggested Disney or musicals, and she compiled a collection of three songs from Hairspray, which I really enjoy riding to.”

Charlotte Cundall and LJT Simply Red

British para stars, Charlotte Cundall and Sophie Wells OBE each carved a double path to the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. Charlotte delivered two winning performances with LJT Simply Red (pictured above) to win the Equitex Advanced Medium Silver and the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver on scores of 68.03% and 70.56% respectively.

“It was our first outing of the season, and I couldn’t have asked for any more,” commented Charlotte. “I was absolutely delighted. Red had a mixed year last year, as he had to have a tooth out, so for him to come back feeling so good… to have ‘Red’ back, is great. He’s such a talented horse. I adore him.”

Charlotte and Red’s winning freestyle programme, produced by Julie Geraghty of Equivisions, consists of a collection of powerful film music. “In the car I’m always listening to my music so that I get to know it. That way, I can then quickly adapt a little if necessary.”

LJT Simply Red (by Sixten Langholt), a 14-year-old Danish gelding owned by the Lady Joseph Trust, has been partnered by Charlotte since 2018. They were on the list of nominated entries for Tokyo 2020, and this year’s international campaign for the duo gets started next week at Addington CPEDI. “Hopefully 2023 will be a busy, exciting year with paras, so the Winter Regionals came at a good time - it was a good preparation.”

The Lady Joseph Trust, created in 2009 by Henrietta Cheetham to buy horses for top para riders, has made an invaluable contribution to the achievements of British para athletes, as Charlotte attests. “Red’s owner, the Lady Joseph Trust is such a fantastic supporter of para dressage in the UK, and I am so thankful for the opportunities it has given me.”

Sophie Wells and Don Cara M

Sophie Wells and her FEI World Para Championships partner, Rowland and Maria Kinch’s Don Cara M (by Don Jovi) - pictured above, who won individual silver in Herning, claimed the competitive HorseLight Medium Gold on 73.99%, and the Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold on 74.89%.

Sophie took to social media to say; “Don’s first competition since October and I was so proud of how relaxed he was. Two wins, two sashes in the Medium Gold to qualify for the Winter Championships.”

Sophie also competed her up and coming ride, the Lady Joseph Trust’s LJT Egebjerggards Samoa in the Medium Gold. “Diana (LJT Egebjerggards Samoa) also came along for experience,” continued Sophie. “Loads of positives that doesn’t come across on paper so much, but that’s OK as it came with too many mistakes… she certainly doesn’t lack activity or expression! When we can add relaxation into that she’s going to be phenomenal. I believe in her 100% and until then I will just keep holding her hand and encouraging her as she figures it all out.”

Jodie Reay Jupiler

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold and Equi-Trek Elementary Silver winners, Jodie Reay and Jupiler (Blue Hors Zack x Don Schufro) stormed to victory in both classes by a sizeable margin. Jodie and nine-year-old KWPN gelding ‘Jack’ (pictured above) have formed a super partnership together, their promising track record including a double win at last year’s Port Royal Summer Regional Championships.

Paul Hayler enjoyed a successful show by winning the Prestige Italia Novice Gold and Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold with home-bred mares Delta Force TH (by Diagio) and Suhara Jubilee (Showmaker x Almaz) respectively. Six-year-old Delta Force TH was piloted by Paul to win the Novice Gold on 72.35%. Not to be outdone, stablemate and half-sister, Suhara Jubilee put her best foot forward to claim her regional title with a winning 71.50%.

At the FEI levels, Victoria Maw was on top form to win the Magic Prix St Georges Gold aboard her own and Jane Maw’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Benito Dorato (by Benicio), as well as the Superflex Intermediate I Gold with the 18-year-old Bon Rouge CH (by Belissimo M).

Congratulations to all the winning riders and owners, and to everyone who took part. Thanks go to the entire team at Bishop Burton College for hosting a successful Winter Regional Championships.

Results - top three
HorseHage Preliminary Silver
1. Michelle Hulme and Leonardo Belizaro, 68.97%
2. Elle-Mae Robinson and Longacres Sergio, 68.62%
3. Helen White and PS I’m Jack, 68.51%

HorseHage Preliminary Gold
1. Joanne Lane and Jellyon, 69.77%
2. Lucy Robinson and Feuertanz 11, 68.45%
3. Samantha Bloor and Godietas Secret, 67.87%

Prestige Italia Novice Silver
1. Charlotte Wood and Alfred de Niro, 70.06%
2. Christine Daniels and Darbey Ramblin, 69.44%
3. Gemma Wood and Woodstock X, 68.83%

Prestige Italia Novice Gold
1. Paul Hayler and Delta Force TH, 72.35%
2. Anne-Marie Cowan and Lady Diamond, 70.93%
3. Jane Howard and Fior di Grano, 69.88%

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver
1. Charlotte Wood and Alfred de Niro, 73.70%
2. Christine Daniels and Darbey Ramblin, 72.87%
3. Gemma Wood and Woodstock X, 71.48%

Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold
1. Jodie Reay and Jupiler, 72.04%
2. Anne-Marie Cowan and Lady Diamond, 70.28%
3. Joyce Fearn and Flayne Dandini, 68.98%

Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
1. Jodie Reay and Jupiler, 72.08%
2. Alexzandra Houldcroft and Cavallina Herself, 67.08%
3. Rebecca Townsend and Feedmark’s Fandango, 67.03%

Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
1. Natasha Leak and Kapoeria, 73.85%
2. Katie Owens and For Alondra, 68.44%
3. Georgina Roden and Larencia, 67.40%

PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver
1. Eliza Yeardley and Dysart Dun, 70.45%
2. Hilary Janion and Active Zeitgeist, 70.26%
3. Cat Dalton and Derrentigue Bruce, 68.53%

PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold
1. Joyce Fearn and Flayne Dandini, 69.10%
2. Ellie Roberts and Lyon HK, 68.65%

HorseLight Medium Silver
1. Samantha Smith and Sylvester, 68.72%
2. Jessica Parr and Gabber D, 67.36%
3. Lucy Robinson and Private Dancer V, 67.23%

HorseLight Medium Gold
1. Sophie Wells and Don Cara M, 73.99%
2. Amy Woodhead and MSJ Gold Standard, 71.15%
3. Anne-Marie Cowan and Lumière L, 68.92%

Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Lucy Robinson and Private Dancer V, 69.78%
2. Emma Littlewood and Camancho, 69.22%
3. Jessica Sanderson and Kylebeck Senator, 68.44%

Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Sophie Wells and Don Cara M, 74.89%
2. Heidi Hutchinson and Florida of Westoak, 70.50%

Equitex Advanced Medium Silver
1. Charlotte Cundall and LJT Simply Red, 68.03%
2. Beau Williams and King Liberty, 67.50%
3. Alison Timmins and Johnny Fletch, 66.01%

Equitex Advanced Medium Gold
1. Holly Woodhead and Mount St John Jazz Dance, 70.92%
2. Anne-Marie Cowan and Kracka GH, 69.74%
3. Melissa Chapman and TCE Jinte, 68.11%

Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Charlotte Cundall and LJT Simply Red, 70.56%
2. Samantha Smith and Sylvester, 68.89%
3. Zoe Rymer and JSR Joie de Vivre, 68.33%

Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Paul Hayler and Suhara Jubilee, 71.50%
2. Anne-Marie Cowan and Kracka GH, 69.94%
3. Joyce Fearn and Weltklasse, 67.11%

Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Victoria Maw and Benito Dorato, 69.71%
2. Jennifer Martell and Integro, 69.07%
3. Natasha Leak and Belissimo, 68.92%

Superflex Inter I Silver
1. Tracy Rabone and Garfield, 55.10%

Superflex Intermediate I Gold
1. Victoria Maw and Bon Rouge CH, 67.89%
2. Lucy Swinden and Odwigs Echo, 67.35%
3. Sally Walker and Wilton, 66.57%


Photos © Kevin Sparrow