Winter Regional Championships: Prestige Equestrian
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The penultimate Winter Regional Championships of 2022 took place last week at Prestige Equestrian in Gloucestershire, an event boasting three days of first-rate competition (03 – 05 March 2022) as we count down the weeks to the NAF Five Star Winter Championships in April.
Local girl Charlotte Dujardin made her intent for the 2022 NAF Five Star Winter Championships clear with four winning performances aboard her up-and-coming rides, with Times Kismet, Odette and Times Mon Amour all confidently securing their appearances at Hartpury.
Charlotte claimed the HorseLight Medium Gold and the Equitex Advanced Medium Gold on Thursday, both with Peter Belshaw’s stunning seven-year-old mare, Times Kismet (by Ampere) - pictured above - with scores of 69.50% and 72.28% respectively, despite some challenging weather conditions. She also added the Magic Prix St Georges Gold regional title to her tally, winning on 74.90% with the eight-year-old mare Odette (Grey Flannell x Samba Hit I), owned by Ernst Bachinger of the Spanish Riding School.
It was a close jostle for PSG second and third with the runner-up position going to the Dujardin-owned Alive and Kicking (All at Once x Fürst Piccolo), beautifully presented by Charlotte McDowall for 71.37%, whilst Lisa Hopkins and Liss La Belle (Lissaro x Laurentianer) impressed for third on 71.32% for owner Christian Landolt.
Charlotte Dujardin returned on Saturday with the five-year old Martinez son, Times Mon Amour, who she co-owns with Peter Belshaw. Known as Monet to his friends, Times Mon Amour was expertly ridden by Charlotte to win the hotly contested Prestige Italia Novice Gold on an outstanding score of 76.23%, ahead of Holly Bates with Hillgrounds Feinline and Darren Hicks with Laurentia II following in second and third.
Found as a three-year-old by Charlotte, German-born Times Mon Amour won the Shearwater four year old title last year and has all the hallmarks of a future top horse.
Charlotte took to social media to say, “It was a busy week of Regionals last week and a challenging one at that. On the first day, our lovely Times Kismet faced rain, wind and outside arena comings and goings to gain 69.50% in the Medium class to take the win. She also won the Advanced Medium with 72.281%. Beautiful Odette won the PSG with 74.902% and Times Mon Amour ‘Mr Perfect’ won the Novice Gold with 76.235%.
“So proud of the horses for delivering and trying their best despite a challenging first day of competition. And thank you as always to the team for your unwavering support, [and] to you my supporters for coming on these new journeys with us.”
The HorseLight Medium Silver regional title was claimed by 17-year-old Sasha Bird from Wiltshire. With her black gelding, Gladstone B (Amazing Star x Gribaldi) she posted a winning score just shy of 69% to secure a coveted place at Hartpury. The pair has competed in the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships for the past two years so 2022 heralds their third consecutive year competing at the winter season finale.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was quite surprised but very happy with the result,” said Sasha about her win with the KWPN 11-year-old who is known at home as Hugo. “I was really pleased with him. He can be spooky, but he was foot perfect. He could have been a little more forward and had a little more cadence but overall I was very happy.”
As is the case with many riders, Sasha’s love of dressage started in the Pony Club during which time she also competed in eventing and show jumping. Gladstone B was sourced in Germany four years ago. “We spent a weekend viewing horses in Germany and that was when we came across him. We just knew he was the right horse.”
Hampshire rider Jezz Palmer enjoyed a double victory in the freestyle classes with two of his exciting future prospects. Partnered by Richard Burge’s seven-year-old stallion King IV (Governor x Johnson) he claimed the Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold with 75.05% and with Emily Ivins’ Ketcher B (pictured above), a seven-year-old stallion by Negro, he topped the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold with 73.83%.
“I was delighted with both horses,” said Jezz. “King was very good - I was very pleased with him. He was a bit ahead of his music so we had to improvise a little, but he was still great.
“Ketcher B is new to advanced medium, but he made it feel easy. When we came out of the arena, I said to Emily [Ivins] that I didn’t care what the mark was as he felt the best he’s ever felt. To win was an added bonus.”
Jezz runs JLP Dressage alongside his wife Lucy Palmer (née Pye) and trains with Matt Frost, with help from Charlotte Dujardin in between. Describing King IV and Ketcher B, he says, “They both have incredible temperaments and are very focused at shows.”
The Prestige Italia Novice Silver regional championship was incredibly close-fought. The top two combinations, Molly-Rowan Sharples with Sheepcote Jackson and Alicia Roberts with Godin Linda, finished on the same score of 70.67%; however, the victory went to Molly-Rowan who edged ahead on collectives. On their tails in third stood Amanda Leaker and Fanon Lilybet (70.06%).
Molly-Rowan and Sheepcote Jackson also took the Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver title, which they won with 75.27% riding to an upbeat orchestral compilation, ahead of the second placed duo of Meg Morgan and Pencwarre Butty Bach (73.88%).
Molly-Rowan (20) has only been competing affiliated since last April, and this was her first regional championship. “I couldn’t quite believe it, it was quite cool really!” she said, talking about her fabulous double win. “He [Sheepcote Jackson] did everything I asked, I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s a lovely horse, the music really suits him and he has a trot to die for.”
Nine-year-old Sheepcote Jackson was bred by Serena and David Pincus, out of one their mares and by the KWPN stallion Johnson. He has been partnered by Molly-Rowan since she became a working pupil at the renowned equestrian centre and stud 12 months ago. “I’m so glad I came here [Sheepcote Equestrian]. I’m learning so much and the Pincuses have given me so many opportunities.”
Stacey Read, from Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire, shone to win the KBIS Preliminary Silver with her five-year-old mare, Marijn II (Ferdeaux x Florencio) - pictured above. Stacey and the Dutch-bred youngster, who train with Sonnar Murray-Brown, posted the winning score of 70.69%. Completing the podium were runners-up Catherine Rose and Abermenai Gilbern Invader (70.57%) and third-placed Sophie Wallace (15) with her five-year-old Lusitano stallion, Nadal FC (by Rubi AR).
“It’s a bit of a shock, I didn’t expect it at all,” said Stacey, talking about her win with Marijn who’d only been to a few local BD shows until her regional championships appearance. “I am very lucky. She was a little tense but she is a very willing, trainable mare. I am so proud of her."
Marijn was bought by Stacey as a just-backed rising four-year-old. “She belonged to Rob Barker but she didn’t grow big enough, which worked out well for me,” she said. “Sonner Murray-Brown, who I train with, had started her under saddle and although I keep her at a local yard she goes back there to stay for the occasional week’s training. It’s invaluable.”
Stacey resumed her dressage career after time spent away from the saddle whilst setting up her pet services business covering the Worcestershire area. “I had a pony growing up and competed up to Elementary but then had a break when I started my own business. Once the business was established, I started to look for a horse and although I initially wanted something older, I found Marijn. She is an old head on young shoulders though. You can hack her out one day, compete and get 70% the next.”
Katie Bailey was delighted with her win in the Superflex Intermediate I Gold partnered by her 11-year-old gelding, Hillgrounds Wolkenhall (by Wolkenderry), aka Harry. “Harry won the Inter I with 73.48%! I still get as giddy as when I won my first regional title!” said Katie on social media. I had put a lot of pressure on myself as he’s my own and didn’t want to underperform.
“Thankfully we did a good test with bits still to polish up on. What I love about him is he has his ears pricked the whole way through the tests, loves a challenge and brings his character to the stage!”
Thanks go to the team at Prestige Equestrian, the Winter Championship class sponsors and all involved with the Regional Championships. Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.
Top three results
KBIS Preliminary Silver
1. Stacey Read and Marijn II, 70.69%
2. Catherine Rose and Abermenai Gilbern Invader, 70.57%
3. Sophie Wallace and Nadal FC, 69.88%
KBIS Preliminary Gold
1. Mark Forrest and Larkshill Angelic, 73.62%
2. Jessica Wade and MacLaren II, 72.41%
3. Amanda Leaker and Fanon Lilybet, 72.18%
Prestige Italia Novice Silver
1. Molly-Rowan Sharples and Sheepcote Jackson, 70.67% (171)
2. Alicia Roberts and Godin Linda, 70.67% (170)
3. Amanda Leaker and Fanon Lilybet, 70.06%
Prestige Italia Novice Gold
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Times Mon Amour, 76.23%
2. Holly Bates and Hillgrounds Feinline, 71.85%
3. Darren Hicks and Laurentia II, 70.86%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
1. Emily Dove and Jaguar DHI. 70.93%
2. Tamsin Hembrough and Sancerre, 69.53%
3. Jenny Lo-vel and Lanuvio, 68.07%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
1. Bryony Goodwin and Hawtins Firenze, 71.35%
2. Maria Griffin and Satin 6, 71.25%
3. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Faside Simply Amour, 71.09%
HorseLight Medium Silver
1. Sasha Bird and Gladstone B, 68.96%
2. Danielle Balsdon and Lord Lennox, 68.55%
3. Brendan Tegg and Foxcourt Solar, 68.42%
HorseLight Medium Gold
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Times Kismet, 69.50%
2. Serena Pincus and Sheepcote Floyd, 69.00%
3. Sam Rahmatalla and Hawtins Bellino, 68.87%
Equitex Advanced Medium Silver
1. Jessie Kirby and Windy de la Roche CMF, 69.29%
2. Sara Squires and Laetitius C, 67.58%
3. Josephine Clewlow and Bon Jovi AKW, 66.84%
Equitex Advanced Medium Gold
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Times Kismet, 72.28%
2. Charlotte McDowall and M Obarma, 69.78%
3. Jane Morris and Silverstar Z, 69.07%
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Odette, 74.90%
2. Charlotte McDowall and Alive and Kicking, 71.37%
3. Lisa Hopkins and Liss La Belle, 71.32%
Superflex Intermediate I Gold
1. Katie Bailey and Hillgrounds Wolkenhall, 73.48%
2. Lucinda Elliott and Hawtins Bellegra, 72.79%
3. Elizabeth Allen and Heraldik, 71.02%
Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver
1. Molly-Rowan Sharples and Sheepcote Jackson, 75.27%
2. Meg Morgan and Pencwarre Butty Bach, 73.88%
3. Victoria Sollitt and Bravo Zulu, 72.13%
Baileys Novice Freestyle Gold
1. Lucy Baker and Last Dancer, 73.33%
2. Alex Baker and BKS Felicia, 71.01%
3. Helena Charlesworth and River Run, 69.90%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver
1. Louisa Brend and Cynheidrefawr Gerwyn, 74.10%
2. Anna Johannson and Utah IV, 72.88%
3. Gemma Ash and Soloman S, 72.43%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold
1. Sara Gallop and Kupido-Tetti, 76.41%
2. Georgia Stokes and SOS Johnny Cash VDL, 72.50%
3. Maria Griffin and Satin 6, 71.53%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Beatrice Butterworth and Carlsson, 70.22%
2. Sue Lanz and Wellshead Foxtrot, 68.27%
3. Megan Field and Bright Time FST, 68.00%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Jezz Palmer and King IV, 75.05%
2. Serena Pincus and Sheepcote Floyd, 72.50%
3. Georgia Stokes and SOS Johnny Cash VDL, 71.00%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Abbie Newbury and Seagry Firstamour, 74.05%
2. Elice Willett and Gerento, 69.72%
3. Emma Castle and Vital, 68.50%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Jezz Palmer and Ketcher B, 73.83%
2. Alice Peternell and Cynheidrefawr Crème de la Crème, 73.66%
3. Georgina Howard and Howards Power, 68.83%
Photo © Jasmine Punter Photography