Winter Regional Championships: Easton College

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 10:32 GMT

Storm Eunice didn’t stop play at Easton College’s Winter Regional Championships (15 – 19 February 2022), though some rescheduling took place to provide safety for all, with Friday’s classes moved to Saturday to avoid the worst of the gales. Competitors were treated to four days of fantastic competition with Sarah Turner, Ruth Hole and Nikki Barker each taking home a double win.

Ruth Hole and Woodlander Summertime Blues

Ruth Hole enjoyed a memorable show winning both the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold and the HorseLight Medium Gold with Woodlander Summertime Blues (Spoercken x Margue H) - pictured - for owner Juli Stevens. “He’s absolutely lovely, super-stunning,” said Ruth about the 10-year-old stallion who she’s been riding for just six months. “He’s a sensitive soul, really sweet, and this was the first show where he completely relaxed.

“Blue is one of those horses that once he trusts the rider, he will do anything for you,” continued Ruth (22), who trains with Jill Day and has done since she was seven years old. “He’s training advanced medium at home, towards PSG, and has all the talent for the higher levels.

“He has a few offspring, and I have one of his daughters in training with me,” she added. “She is very similar to him and it’s lovely that I get to ride both Blue and his daughter.”

Sarah Turner & Abbottsvale Rhumour

Abbottsvale Rhumour (pictured above) justified Sarah Turner’s faith in her by winning both the KBIS Preliminary Gold and the Prestige Italia Novice Gold for owner-breeders David and Geraldine Harding. The low mileage, eight-year-old Rhondeo x Rivallino mare was skilfully ridden by Sarah to post two 73%-plus scores.

“We’ve always thought she was a horse for the higher levels but she’s done hardly anything until now as she’s so sharp and sensitive,” said Sarah. “It took us about three years to back her, so to be at the stage where she can go to her first regionals and first big show was an amazing achievement. I was delighted with her.”

Sarah has ridden for David and Geraldine Harding for six or seven years and has known Abbottsvale Rhumour since she was a foal. “Although she’s sharp, she’s the sweetest horse in the stable and not a typical mare at all.”

Easton was a good show all-round for Sarah as she also bred the winner of the KBIS Preliminary Silver, Riverdanse, who was ridden to a 70.86% victory by Emma James. By Roulette, the same sire as Sarah’s former international small tour ride, Fiddlesticks, and out of a mare with De Niro lines, she was later sold to Emma who Sarah also teaches.

A mother of two young children, Sarah combines horses with parenthood thanks to the support of husband, Toby Ingham. “It’s a huge team effort.”

Nikki Barker & Dan Icarus

Nikki Barker enjoyed a super successful week. She claimed both the Equitex Advanced Medium Gold and the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold with her own nine-year-old gelding Dan Icarus (pictured above), who is by Nikki’s grand prix stallion Durable and out of a Negro mare.

“He was a good boy,” said a delighted Nikki. “There were a couple of mistakes in the advanced medium, but everything was super-easy for him. He is Mr Consistent, never lets me down, and I can always rely on his ticket to nationals.”

For their freestyle, Nikki and Dan Icarus, known at home as Reuben, rode to a compilation of music from the animated film Kung Fu Panda. “The programme, produced by Ros Kay, was originally commissioned for Durable when he was at advanced medium,” explained Nikki. “But Ros is going to work on a new one for Hartpury.”

Dan Icarus is one of Durable’s eldest children and has inherited his lovely temperament, as Nikki explains, “Danny (Durable) has a fantastic brain and his kids are exactly the same. We’ve got a three-year-old colt at home, by him and out of Pasoa (Nikki’s retired grand prix mare), who I’m really looking forward to starting this year.”

Shareholder II (Sir Donnerhall x Rubinstein), ridden by Nikki and owned by her husband Will Barker, also showed his class to take second place in the Equitex Advanced Medium Gold. “He’s a super horse,” said Nikki. “Will bought him just before lockdown so he’s not done a lot but he's ever so classy. He’ll hopefully step up to PSG later this year.”

Referring to the rather challenging weather conditions throughout the show, Nikki added, “It was definitely worth getting soaked for! I was delighted with both horses.”

Alex Greatorex & Carrick Toomes Ambassador

Alex Greatorex, an equine chiropractor who works mostly in Newmarket with racehorses, took the Prestige Italia Novice Silver with her eight-year-old Irish gelding, Carrick Toomes Ambassador (by Carrick Diamond Lad) - pictured above, on a strong score of 71.48%.

Bred to jump and with a promising start to his eventing career, Carrick Toomes Ambassador, or Sam as he’s known at home, had shown much promise in eventing until a field injury curtailed his career.

“He competed at the British Eventing young horse championships at Osberton as a four-year-old and was competing BE100, ready to go Novice, when he managed to break down in the field at the age of six,” said Alex. “The prognosis wasn’t good, with little chance of him coming back, so we decided to turn him away to let nature try and fix him.”

After a lengthy spell in the field with a Shetland pony and a donkey for company, Sam was brought back into work at the beginning of last year and has not looked back since, explained Alex. “He has gone from strength to strength! He’s bred to jump so has had to learn to have cadence and pizzazz for dressage, but he has such a trainable attitude. I’m very lucky.”

Alex and Sam started competing BD only last July and were placed top-five at the 2021 Ideal Saddles Combined Training Championships. Recent achievements include taking the Petplan Equine Elementary Bronze title at the Keysoe Winter Area Festival, meaning they’ll have two appearances at Hartpury.

The highest score in silver freestyle classes here at Easton came courtesy of 21-year-old Bethan Young who piloted her 11-year-old blanket spot appaloosa gelding, Jackpots Forsetti (Flammengold x Shirkan v Nordstern), to a decisive victory in the Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver, scoring 75.46%.

Katie Roberts and her Showmaker-sired gelding, Nemo VI I, also scored well to take the win in the Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver on 75.33%. This pair has a great track record at Hartpury with second place in the PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver last year so will certainly be ones to watch.

Thanks go the team at Easton College, the Winter Championships class sponsors and all involved with another exciting Regional Championships. Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.

Results: top three
KBIS Preliminary Silver
1. Emma James and Riverdanse, 70.86%
2. Ella Fraser and Haybells Cinderella, 70.34%
3. Abbie Richards and Brandy Boy, 69.19%

KBIS Preliminary Gold
1. Sarah Turner and Abbottsvale Rhumour, 73.56%
2. Caroline Anne Ratcliffe and Jelt Sakari, 71.26%
3. Emma Owen and Raviro WWS, 70.28%

Prestige Italia Novice Silver
1. Alex Greatorex and Carrick Toomes Ambassador, 71.48%
2. Tina Wingar and Seiont Melfed, 70.86%
3. Sophie Chatwin and Katharina-Trix US, 70.24%

Prestige Italia Novice Gold
1. Sarah Turner and Abbottsvale Rhumour, 73.33%
2. Elly Darling and Lestingdale, 72.09%
3. Jane Howard and Echo IV, 70.61%

Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
1. Lyndsay Gammon and Inka III, 70.62%
2. Georgina Day and Waverley Night Music, 69.11%
3. Sandie Gibbs and Gomez Gold, 68.38%

Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
1. Ruth Hole and Woodlander Summertime Blues, 69.42%
2. Jane Howard and Echo IV, 69.16%
3. Elly Darling and Lestingdale, 68.80%

HorseLight Medium Silver
1. Judy Hancock and Just Dance BH, 72.16%
2. Katie Roberts and Nemo VII, 70.76%
3. Georgina Day and Waverley Night Music, 68.19%

HorseLight Medium Gold
1. Ruth Hole and Woodlander Summertime Blues, 67.47%
2. Harriette Williams and Winwood, 65.99%
3. Ruth Hole and Dark Magic, 62.92%

Equitex Advanced Medium Silver
1. Judy Hancock and Just Dance BH, 71.62%
2. Christine Cockerton and Florance Christi, 67.01%
3. Sofia Jankiewicz and Boularouz, 65.96%

Equitex Advanced Medium Gold
1. Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 70.52%
2. Nikki Barker and Shareholder II, 70.04%
3. Natalie Allen and Diamond Cut II, 69.86%

Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Mark Mills and Washington DC, 66.56%
2. Mark Mills and Tailormade Revention, 66.47%
3. Rachel Murray and Chuchaqui LAT, 64.70%

Superflex Intermediate I Gold
1. Cornelia O’Mahony and Gravitas II, 71.52%
2. Ruth Hole and Baptista-RA, 68.62%
3. Rachel Murray and Chuchaqui LAT, 62.94%

Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver
1. Bethan Young and Jackpots Forsetti, 75.46%
2. Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 72.03%
3. Caroline Vine and Diamond Buffet, 66.66%

Baileys Novice Freestyle Gold
1. Ben Martin and Fantasia XX, 74.07%
2. Okke Krol and Happy Dream TC, 72.59%
3. Louise Robson and Burlesque M, 70.64%

PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver
1. Marianne Fletcher and Hollandia, 73.20%
2. Sandie Gibbs and Gomez Gold, 72.94%
3. Andrea Stanley and God is a DJ, 72.81%

PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold
1. Elly Darling and Lestingdale, 73.39%
2. Louise Robson and Saint Gregoire, 68.78%

Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Katie Roberts and Nemo VI I, 75.33%
2. Georgina Day and Princess Florina, 72.55%
3. Louise Robson and Remi II, 68.94%

Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Harriette Williams and Winwood, 71.33%

Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Sofia Jankiewicz and Boularouz, 73.22%
2. Fiona Heath and Feuertanz, 71.61%
3. Claire Knowles and Corona S, 70.50%

Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 72.94%
2. Ben Martin and Jacko B, 68.38%


Photo © Fae Loudoun Photography