Heike Holstein Wins A Record Eight National Title at 2003 Irish Dressage Championships

Wed, 09/10/2003 - 00:00
2003 Irish Dressage Championships

At a well attended national dressage championships in Cavan Equestrian Centre Heike Holstein riding the imposing hannovarian gelding Welt Adel won a record eight national title last weekend.

Heike was just eighteen years old when she won the first ever Prix St Georges class in Ireland at Powerscourt in 1990 with Bernstein to clinch her first national title. Her record is all the more remarkable for the fact that she has not always been available to compete at every national championships since then due to the demands of international duty. The Carbury resident is having a good season and she and "Tiny" as the gelding is affectionately known at home put in a great performance at the recent European dressage championships in Hickstead to secure an individual qualification place for Ireland at the Olympic Games in Athens next year. Reigning national champion Niall Quirk's top horse Alucolor Atlanta was sidelined before the championships even began and the popular trainer experienced the frustration of being unable to defend his title. Three lined out for the Horseware Grand Prix in the main arena on Sunday afternoon including european championship team member Yvette Truesdale and former national champion Katy Price. Heike was first in to perform the 2003 B Grand Prix test and scored 66.53% with Welt Adel clearly impressing the visiting international judges with some eye catching passage. Indeed the three officials, Dutch judge Louky van Olphen, Hans-Joachim Eitel from Germany and British judge Sally Merrison were remarkably consistent in their marking of all three competitors in this class. Katy Price and Cabalo were next in. This partnership had only competed in their first Grand Prix at the Necarne Festival in May and the son of Lavallo showed his inexperience at this level with the piaffe movement posing a particular difficulty for him at this stage of his career. Yvette Truesdale and Accolade have had a disrupted season with the gelding out of competition for a period during the summer. However they put in a solid display to score 62.22% to slot into second place behind Holstein.

Lief Thornblad from Denmark judged the K K Interiors Potential Dressage Horse Final in the main arena on Saturday morning. Six horses qualified from around the country for the final and these were divided into two groups, four year olds and five year olds for the judge to inspect. The finalists were asked to walk, trot and canter and show some lenghtening on the long side of the arena. The emphasis was on their trainability and potential. The clear winner was the Northern region qualifier Mrs Helen Troughton's 4 year old KWPN (Netherlands) bay mare Pastiche ridden by her daughter Kelly. This daughter of Cocktail Time out of Massada impressed Lief Thornblad at every level. Young rider Christiana Manoras received the Lady Cliodhna trophy for the best horse of Irish breeding in the final when she placed second with the 5 year old chestnut gelding Tonka Wakkan.

Kelly Troughton's early morning success with Pastiche was to prove no flash in the pan and she headed home to Ballintaggart Stud after the prizegiving ceremony on the Sunday evening having won the M & J Dennigan Young Horse Championship and the Blarney Riding Centre Preliminary Championship as well. Both mother and daughter vowed afterwards that this was a horse they were going to keep and there is no doubt that this mare is a worthy recipient of the title of national potential dressage horse of the year.

Yvette Truesdale made a tactical switch with the stallion Jaywalker when foregoing the opportunity to compete in the Kevin O'Sullivan Intermediare II Championship and running in the Sven Kapp sponsored Prix St Georges championship on the Saturday afternoon instead. It proved a shrewd move by the Newcastle resident as she was awarded top marks by British judge Jenny Ward and the Dane Lief Thornblad to beat young rider Christiana Manoras and Kanjo into second with the Gain sponsored Anne Marie Dunphy and Mercury in third. However Truesdale sill had a runner in the form of the long serving gelding Accolade in the Intermediare II championship and she won that as well from sole challenger Katy Price and Caballo.

The remainder of the afternoon session on Saturday was given over to the freestyle classes. Reigning northern region champion Carolyn Smith continued her recent good run of form both at home and abroad when winning the medium freestyle championship sponsored appropriately as it turned out by the northern region. Lucy Adams who is also the regional chairman pressed Carolyn hard for the title and only missed out by less than 0.2% to place second with Corkonian Angela Lyons taking third prize with the skewbald gelding Latino J. Seven competitors lined out for the Baileys Prix St Georges Freestyle Championship and this was dominated by two of the members of the Irish Young Riders team that competed at the European championships last July. The class was won with a stylish display from the Donie McNamara trained Christiana Manoras with her Dutch warmblood gelding Kanjo. This pair were clear winners with a score of 69.83% from fellow team member Kate Dwyer riding her mothers Montana Bay. Kate is trained by her mother Maureen. However both the trainers and their pupils are themselves trained by Conrad Schumacher the inspirational German dressage master. There was no doubting that his influence was all pervasive over the three days at Cavan Equestrian Centre, the venue for his highly successful seminar last November, as reflected in the outstanding results achieved by these riders and others availing of his training over the last few years.

The large numbers competing at Cavan this year meant an early start in the main arena on Sunday morning and Jennifer Somerville and Mr Bingley were first in to compete in the Vinesgrove Stud and Racing Medium championship. The school principal has had a busy year including a stint as chef d'equipe with the Young Riders in Saumur. Another rider trained by Conrad Schumacher she posted the early standard of 63.51%. With the class running for a further three and a half hours with over twenty competing just two combinations managed to beat her score. Heike Holstein with the former potential dressage horse winner World Fire scored 67.43% to win with Rolf Seidel and the eight year old hannovarian chestnut gelding Lorenzo K taking secnd spot with a score of 65.68%. Meanwhile in the oudoor sand arena Heather Burchers 6 year old Oldenburg mare Hot Lips won a hotly contested Tony Goodwin and Sons Saddlers Novice Championship when seeing off the challenge of northern young rider Eimear McCaroll and Kashmir. Back in the main arena the final freestyle of this years national championships the leinster region sponsored Advanced Medium drew a small field of four starters and Carolyn Smith picked up her second win of the championships with Has to be Fun owned by Jim Burgess. This combination have gone from strength to stength as the season has progressed and the six year old son of Welt Hit is one to note for the future.

Riders in the under 21 championships were permitted to ride tests from preliminary up to medium level and the class was divided into three sections Pony, Junior and Young Riders. The Equestrian World under 21 pony championship was won by Louise Ireson from County Wicklow with the very experienced Texan. The Maynooth based firm also sponsored the under 21 junior championship which was won by northern based rider Alison Shaw riding Abbey National which is owned by her aunt Jennifer Somerville. The Berney Brothers under 21 young riders championship saw success once again for the northern region with victory going to Eimear McCarroll and Kashmir. But there was even more good news for the northern region who by this stage were having one of their best championships ever when it was confirmed that their team of Eimear McCarroll, Eaine Morrow, Lucy Adams and Sylvia Henry had won the Spruce Lodge shield and with it the Horseware regional team championship for 2003.

The finalists in the eastern region elementary final experienced the worst of the downpour that reached Cavan on Sunday afternoon but it did not deter Dollanstown resident Rolf Seidel from turning the tables on Heike Holstein after she beat him in the Medium championship earlier in the day. This time Lorenzo K found favour with visiting British judges Jenny Ward and Donald Kear scoring 68% for the win. Heike placed second with Wild Fire with another Dollanstown inmate Caroline Bjoerk taking the yellow rosette with the 10 year old Swedish warmblood gelding Balans.

Back in the indoor arena the nortern region sucess story continued when Yvette Truesdale held off the challenge of another of the young rider team Laragh Hamilton to win the Ballintaggart Stud Advanced Medium Championship. An earlier visit to the indoor with the Weltmeyer mare Wishfull Thinking had proved a difficult experience but on this occasion normal service was resumed to secure the win. Laragh Hamilton rode an impressive test with the home produced 8 year old chestnut gelding Commanding Officer to place second ahead of Lucy Adams and Ben Hymn.

The young riders had more to cheer about when Kate Dwyer won the Thoroughbred Insurance Services Intermediare 1 Championship with 15 year old son of Edmund Burke Montana Bay. She was level with senior rider Anne Marie Dunphy on the stallion Mercury on a score of 63.88% but the collectives swung it in Kates favour. Zara Barton from Lancashire is currently based in Ireland and training with Niall Quirk. She was just fractions of a percentage behind Kate and Anne Marie when scoring 63.75% to place third with Pretty Woman. Kate Dwyer won the under 21 national title for her outstanding performance. The Irish Draught Society perpetual Cup for the best horse with Irish Draught breeding was awarded to the 10 year old grey mare Beezies Sue ridden by Simone Hession.

Related Links
2003 Irish Young Riders Team Announced 
Heike Holstein to Coach Irish Young Riders at European Championships