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Harvey takes Hazlewoods Prix St-Georges on fabulous Friday

Rain did little to dampen the international feel at the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of dressage on the fourth day of this prestigious event. 

It was an early start in the International Arena where a large field contested the Hazlewoods CDI1* Prix St-Georges. David Harvey, who spent five years based and training with Pammy Hutton and has now set up on his own in Swindon, impressed the judges and won on Diamond Blue (70.823%). The first combination in the arena, Roisin Henry and Habil must have thought that they had a chance to win with a score of 69.471% but this was not to be. However, they held onto second place with 69.471%. Jezz Palmer, who had a fantastic NAF Five Star Winter Championships winning the Bailey’s Novice Freestyle Gold Championships and the NAF Magic Prix St-Georges Championships, rode Janet Oliver’s Honey D’Or to score 68.970% and take third place.

Olivia Oakeley, a former Hartpury College A-level student and alum of the institution’s Equine Academy, partnered Full House 11 in the Hazlewoods CDI1* Prix St-Georges (scoring 66.353%).

Reflecting on her test, she said: “I am very pleased with the test. We have changed a few things since our last outing at Wellingborough and it has not quite all come together, I was pushing for a few more marks causing some mistakes but some of the improvements did come off.’’

Olivia added: “The facilities are amazing. Every time you come to Hartpury something else has been improved, it is an incredible place and very horse-friendly.’’

As the sun began to break through the clouds and light up the International Arena the competitors for the Tom Hobday CDI3* Grand Prix came forward. Experienced British dressage rider Fiona Bigwood and her own Daytona Platinum took the win with 72.087%. Lewis Carrier, a former Hartpury College student had a very happy return to his old stomping ground, achieving 71.217% riding his own and Andrew and Helen Carrier’s Diego V. Italy’s Nathalie Wahlund with the liver chestnut gelding, Gorklintgards Scorpion took third on 69.370%.

Only one horse came forward in the Hartpury Arena to compete in the British Dressage International Young Horse Class for 5-Year-Old Horses. The sole representative, George Blackburn and Faust V impressed both judges - Richard Baldwin and Matt Hicks, to score 76.600%.

A larger field came forward to contest the British Dressage International Young Horse Class for 6-Year-Old Horses. Locally-based Olympian Charlotte Dujardin and Quinn G set the arena on fire scoring a fantastic 96.800% to take the win. The test is judged on walk, trot, canter and submission and all the scores were 9 or above with Quinn G being given a 10 for perspective. Taking second place with a very respectable score of 80.400% was West Sussex-based Nathalie Wahlund and Nova Zembla. Louise Bell, a former show rider, who only took dressage up after a Horse & Hound Switching Disciplines Challenge in 2011 when she had three lessons with Michael Eilberg before doing an elementary test, rode Peaky Blinder and took third with 71.600%.

Mette Assouline and Zastraia de Mallert, the only combination to present themselves for the British Dressage Preliminary Dressage Test for 7-Year-Olds, gained a score of 67.400%.

15 combinations came forward for the KBIS 7-Year-Old Young Horse Semi-Final with the top three places being decided by the time five horses had done their tests. Sheffield-based Becky Moody took the win on the 16.2hh chestnut mare Magic Dream (77.566%), just weeks away from her Olympic debut in Paris. Tom Goode, who started training with Emile Faurie in 2011 at Chipping Norton before becoming his head rider, took second with Frankie PS on 76.450%, and Kate Cowell on her own and Trish Andrews Samarkand were third on 73.367%.

The final class of the day in the Hartpury Arena, the Fairfax Saddles Prix St-Georges started after the lunch break with 22 competitors coming forward to compete in front of judges, Richard Baldwin (GBR), Kristi Wysocki (USA) and Debbie Wardle (GBR). Becky Moody continued her winning streak, taking her second win of the day on Magic Dream with 72.990%. Hereford-based Mark Forrest and the 16.1hh chestnut gelding took second place with 69.902%. Nicky Hodge’s Tomoko ridden by Sonnar Murray Brown was the final horse of the class, storming into third place with 69.265%.

Tomorrow sees another busy day of international dressage, concluding with the exciting gala evening performance. All eyes will be on the NAF Superflex CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle and Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges Championship to see who comes out on top.