Day one of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College produced seven worthy winners over nearly 12 hours of dressage action.
Dressage rider and trainer Laura Wollen, who is based at Fairfields Stables near Dymock, posted 74.74% to win the PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Open riding Helen Farley-Higgs’ ‘Woodlander Buddy Holly’.
“It was a nice easy, flowing test. I was really pleased with the walk as he’s got such a massive walk.” Laura adapted her floorplan, designed by herself and complimenting bold, brave music created by Julie Geraghty at Equivisions, from the regionals especially to show off this pace after one judge was unsure of whether his walk should be marked as a 7 or a 9. Today a ‘shark-tooth’ shaped walk across the arena confirmed it as the latter.
“A typical dressage diva,” Laura confirms Buddy can be a little tricky, “we brought him out last night for the arena walk and he was so spooky but today he managed to go in there and just concentrate. He definitely knows when to put his working hat on!”
Returning for the Albion Medium Open on Sunday, Laura and the nine year old, by Burlington, who train with Peter Storr, will have tomorrow off. “I’ll just need to refresh and remind him to give even more in such a hot class! I’d love to be placed in the top half and, if I’m really greedy, I’d love a top five place as it’ll be great preparation for the summer where he’s already nearly qualified for the Medium.” Laura also hopes the pair will be able to give qualification for Advanced Medium level a go soon – “It’s just about getting the changes right – they’re huge!” For full report from day one click here
Day two at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College, saw dressage newbies, Jamie Broom and Furst Impression claim the Albion Medium Restricted Championship. For full report from day 2 click here
Day 3 at Hartpury saw new champions for the Blue Chip Novice Restricted Championship, Blue Chip Novice Open and the PDS Saddles Elementary Restricted Freestyle as well as the Petplan Equine Area Festival Novice Open Championship. Petplan Equine Medium Restricted Area Festival Championship. Young dressage rider Hannah Bown (23) from Steventon, Hampshire stormed to victory to win the Blue Chip Novice Restricted Championship with a super score of 71.09%. Hannah rode her own Sandro’s Storm (pictured right), an elegant seven-year-old son of Sandro’s Dancer. For full report from day 3 click here
Day 4: In a hotly contested class with less than two percent separating the top five, it was Shropshire-based Theresa Smyth who topped the leader board in the Petplan Equine Medium Open Area Festival Championship on day 4 of the championships. For full report on day 4 click here
Day 5: The British Dressage Winter Championships have come to an end after 5 days of competition at Hartpury. As reported by BD, five worthy champions were crowned on the final day of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships to bring the curtain down on five amazing days of top sporting action with over 750 tests being completed. For full report on day 5 click here