HE4 5379

Young horse talent on display as para dressage riders make final bid for Paris

HE4 5379

The third day of competition at the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage started early with the CPEDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Grade III. Great Britain’s Natasha Baker and Keystone Dawn Chorus continued their fantastic winning streak taking a third win with 79.694%. Also enjoying a good week of competition, Erin Orford and the bay gelding Dragons Fire scored 73.274% to take second. Ireland’s Kate Kerr-Horan and Lykkebo’s Don Akino took third with 68.447%%.

In the second class of the day, the CPEDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Grade II, Georgia Wilson and Sakura caught the eye of all the judges and scored a fabulous 76.600%. A new name on the podium this week, Natasha Adkinson and Yvonne Bennett’s black mare Sweet Caledonia second with 72.620%. Taking third was Canada’s Roberta Sheffield and Fairuza on 71.720%.

Gabriella Blake and her 15hh Connemara x Irish Sports horse Strong Beau continued their success of the week taking the win in the CPEDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Grade I with a very impressive 76.953%. Mari Durward-Akhurst, a regular visitor to Hartpury rode a lovely test on Diane Redfern’s Athene Lindebjerg to take second on 76.294%. Ireland’s London-based environmental advisor Michael Murphy and Cleverboy took third on 71.854%, following up his individual victory on Wednesday. 

In the CPEDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Grade IV, Izzy Palmer and her bay mare Last Gift continued their impressive results of the week and took the win with 73.300%. Improving on her results from Tuesday and Wednesday Great Britain’s Sara Bates and Tango VII finished in second place with 68.825%. Australia’s Sharon Davis and Furst Crusador were third on 65.500%.

The final para dressage class of the event started at lunchtime with the CPEDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Grade V riding their tests in glorious sunshine. Great Britain’s riders dominated this class with the very much on-form Sophie Wells and Don Cara M taking the win. With a score of 80.185% all the judges agreed and with a score sheet full of 7’s, 8’s and even the odd 9 it would have been difficult for them to be beaten. Charlotte Cundall and F J Veyron took a very respectable second (73.770%) and coming third Hope Hayward and Cadeau K on 69.055.

Hartpury wishes all the riders that compete at the Paralympics in Paris all the best and hope that they bring some medals home.

The final British Dressage Premier League of the season continued on Thursday, with the LeMieux Grand Prix boasting a large field. Laura Tomlinson made her mark very early in the competition. As the second rider to go, on Soegaards Bon Royal, she set a score of 68.848% which was never to be beaten. Emile Faurie’s head rider, Tom Goode, and the nine-year-old black Furstenrausch PS came second on 67.957% with Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Bella Ruby in third (67.522%).

24 combinations came forward in the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I, overseen by judges from 3 different countries - Great Britain, Australia and Germany. The scores were very tight with Laura Tomlinson and Full Moon 11 taking the win with 72.304%. Spencer Wilton on Samantha and Jarrod Britton’s Woodcroft Django Mon Ami came third on 71.373%. Laura Tomlinson came into the arena as the penultimate competitor on her second horse, Forest Hill and took third place (70.490%).

The afternoon session saw the start of the hugely prestigious Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St-Georges Championship - a competition that has a glorious roll of honour including the likes of Mount St John Freestyle and Imhotep. Today was the qualifying round that will see the top eight combinations going forward to the final here at Hartpury on Saturday night, during the gala evening. Tickets for the gala evening are still available here

Michael Eilberg riding Nikki Hannam’s nine-year-old gelding MSJ Encore (by Escolar) took an easy win with 73.725%. Sarah Millis will have a busy night on Saturday having taken second and third spot. The nine-year-old Kallista’s Furstenlooks UVA took second with 69.167%, Sarah’s second horse, Le Zorro, an eight-year-old by Hero, took third on 68.578%.

The horse inspection for the CDI1* and CDI3* competitions took place this evening. Horses and riders presented in front of Stephen Clarke, President of the Ground Jury joined by fellow Ground Jury Member Susan Hoevenaars and FEI Veterinary Delegate Liam Kearnes. 53 combinations were all passed fit to compete on Friday.

The Hazelwoods CDI1* Prix St-Georges starts at 8.30am with the Tom Hobday CDI3* Grand Prix following at 2pm.