Kate Dwyer and Heike Holstein became the big FEI level winners at the 2017 Irish Winter Indoor Dressage Championships held at the Cavan equestrian centre in Cavan on 1 - 2 April 2017. Dwyer took the title in the Grand Prix division, while Holstein won the small tour championship.
Heike Holstein and her home bred mare Sambuca won both the Prix St-Georges and Intermédiare I finals. They scored 73.289% to win the Prix St-Georges final on Saturday with northern rider Courtney Stuart (Fanfarron 8) in second place on 68.16%. It was much closer in the Intermédiare I final the following day with Heike winning on a 67.895% total just ahead of Belinda Brereton's 67.632% with and her 10-year-old Negro gelding Captain Negro C.
"I'm delighted" said Heike "Sambuca is just eight. I am aiming to move her up to big tour level in the future and we may consider including a trip to England."
Just two lined out in the big tour at Cavan with international rider Kate Dwyer and Snowdon Faberge winning both the Grand Prix (69.15%) and the Intermédiare II (67.56%). Kate arrived at the finals after a good showing with her 11-year-old gelding at Keysoe CDI 3* in Great Britain last month. They plan to compete at a number of international shows this season as they seek to achieve qualification for the European dressage championships in Sweden in August.
Reigning national champion Anne Marie Dunphy, from Co. Kilkenny, scored 65.294% to win the Advanced final with Her Highness Willow. Dubliner Kevin Acres is one of the rising stars of Irish dressage. Kevin won the Advanced Medium final with Saint Emillion on a score of 68.868% and the Medium category 3 final with Biala Perla on 70.223%.
International pony rider Tara Hayes and the very consistent Bantiss Holy Joe won yet another national final at Cavan Equestrian Centre scoring 68.904% to take the honours in the Medium category 2 final. Another member of the Irish international pony squad, Victoria Campbell and Be My Snowflake [68.126%] won the Pony final.
A new innovation at the 2017 finals was the introduction of the senior and junior trailblazers classes at preliminary and novice level. This was in keeping with the policy of Dressage Ireland chairman Joe Reynolds of making dressage more accessible to a greater number of new competitors at regional and national level. Faye McGrath (Cahernablaughy Girl) won the junior preliminary final on a 74.286% total with Leah Treacy and Rylane Dysert scoring 71.048% for the a win in the junior novice final. The senior preliminary final went to Ellen Sheridan (Blackbamalam) [70.625%] with Aimee Maxwell (Romeo)[66.532%] winning the senior preliminary final.
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