A training break for British rider Fiona Bigwood paid off when she took the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the Saumur CDIO in France 18-20 September 2009.
Bigwood and the 10 year old Weltmeyer gelding Wie Atlantico, first reserves for the European Championship team 2009, proved their mettle to lift the trophy in both big tour classes scoring 69.78% and 68.58% respectively.
“We work so hard but days like this make it all worthwhile” commented a delighted Bigwood. “It’s been a busy summer of shows so we took some time out after Hickstead to concentrate on our training and it’s really paid off. Atlantico felt really good in the test but you just never know how the points will stack up - I was so pleased to get the win. I’ve had him for a year now and in that time he’s got much stronger and our relationship has really gelled.”
The mum of two from Horsham in Sussex also partnered the nine year old stallion Don Lorean, improving on their ninth place in the Grand Prix (64.63%) to finish third in the Freestyle on 70.10% . The show became a real family affair as Bigwood’s partner, Danish rider Anders Dahl, also took third and second in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special.
“Don Lorean is a lovely horse” Bigwood explained. “I’ve had him since he was two and trained him through the levels myself. What he lacks in experience he makes up for with his amazing temperament; he was a little angel! This was his first international and we hadn’t even practiced our music but he was fantastic - even the double canter pirouettes didn’t faze him.”
Following their success both horses will be aimed at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next year.