Jessica Mckenna GBR Davidoff 188 GP B III

Luck of the Irish for Hartpury student on home turf

After a rainy start to the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage on Tuesday, Wednesday saw much brighter conditions with a warm breeze and spells of sunshine.

It was an early start in the International Arena with the FEI CPEDI3* Grand Prix B IV sponsored by NAF providing another opportunity for Kate Shoemaker and Quiana of the USA to repeat their success of yesterday. They notched up another impressive win, scoring 76.676%. In second place with a score of 71.838% was Nicola Naylor (GBR) and Humberto. Third place went to Fiona Maynard (GBR) and Denver IX on a score of 70.892%.

Throughout the morning, spectators returned to the bank of the International Arena. This surely helped the competitors to perform wonderful tests in a fantastic atmosphere.

The second para class of the day, the FEI Para Grand Prix B V got underway just after 10am. Brilliant Brit Sophie Wells repeated her wins of yesterday taking first and second place again. She took the win with her Paralympic partner Don Cara M with 76.026% and 2nd place with the Lady Joseph Trust-owned LJT Egebjerggards Samoa with a score of 72.000%.

Hartpury alum Hope Hayward flew the flag for the Gloucestershire institution riding her own Cadeau K. She rode a lovely test coming a very respectable 4th with 66.105%.

FEI CPEDI3* Grand Prix B II started in warm sunshine but strong winds, although nothing could surely stop Fiona Howard repeating her win of yesterday, as she powered into the arena. Just one day after Independence Day, she recorded an outstanding 75.000% with Jagger.

Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson came second riding her 2022 World Championship horse Sukara with a score of 73.000%. Georgia also took third on her other horse Faside Got the Love with 72.300%.

The FEI CPEDI3* Grand Prix B1 saw Singapore’s Laurentia Tan and Hickstead score 76.667%.There was a hint of deja vu as the entire class repeated the placings from yesterday with the London-based Irish rider Michael Murphy taking second place with 75.958% and Mari Durward-Akhurst of Great Britain taking third 74.125%.

In the FEI CPEDI3* Grand Prix B III, Jessica McKenna (IRL) - a Hartpury University student studying a BA (Hons) Equine Business Management degree, took the ribbons with Davidoff 188 and a score of 69.500%. Jessica went one better than yesterday, seeing off Great Britain’s Erin Orford and Dragons Fire who had to settle for second place this time (68.900%). Taking third for the second consecutive day was Irish rider Katie Riley and Impulz W with 65.500%.

The Hartpury Arena had a more leisurely start with the NAF Advanced 105 starting Wednesday’s Premier League action. A small turnout didn’t detract from the high standard. Charlotte Drakeley and Florisco took the win with 67.500% leaving Chloe Dawes and Danibelle Delicious in second place with 63.611%. Taking third spot was Louise Hutchinson and Donnarella with 60.139%.

28 combinations contested the Stubben FEI Intermediate II Q, with Pammy Hutton showing all her experience to take an early lead with Armagnac on 67.010% (eventually settling for 8th place).  This all changed after the second break as Michael Eilberg and Figlio stormed into the lead with 70.686%. Davey Harvey and Hawtins Rossana did a superb test and won the class with 71.274%. Michael Eilberg settled for second place and Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat finished in third with 69.853%.

Davey Harvey was thrilled with his horse saying: “We tried to be a little riskier today. Hawtins Rossana has been growing in confidence and working to a higher level at home, so today was the day to ask a bit more at a competition and it worked.

When asked about the facilities at Hartpury, Harvey had a very positive response saying: “Hartpury is a brilliant venue with a great warm up arena, it’s great to be able to come and compete here.”

The final class of the day, the Fairfax Saddles FEI Prix St Georges Q went late into the evening. There was a large turnout with Charlotte McDowall and M Obarma leading from about half way with a score of 71.961%. Katie Bailey and Elinda finished a close second with 69.853%. Third place went to Mark Forrest and Fidel Von Singing with 68.382%.

The action continues tomorrow with the CPEDI3* Freestyle and Premier League.