Wessels and Eilberg Win Small Tour Classes at 2012 British Winter Dressage Championships

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:00
2012 British Winter Dressage Championships

There was a wealth of horsepower on show at the British Winter Dressage Championships in Hartpury, Great Britain, in the first feature class of the show, the Prix St Georges Freestyle. Isobel Wessels, and exciting young talent who she jointly owns with Bridget Powell, Chagall, scored 75.54% to top the leader board and capture the seventh national title of their career so far.

In front of a sell-out Hartpury crowd, Isobel and the nine-year-old Contendro-sired gelding performed a light, powerful routine set to an emotive soundtrack. Although Chagall showed some greenness, there were breathtaking moments, especially in the trot and canter extensions which showed amazing ground cover.

“Thrilled, just thrilled!” exclaimed Isobel. “He warmed up so easy but I didn’t really know what to expect when I got in the ring as he’s never done anything at night like this before. He just gets better and better. Sometimes he gets quite excited but not in a negative way – we just need to work to produce that but in a relaxed way.” When asked what I feel like to have seven titles she exclaimed; “He deserves every single one – he’s a special horse.”

Laura Fry and Remming, drawn last to go, pulled out all the stops and produced an amazing, crowd-pleaser of a performance. Their dramatic freestyle showed great reach in the half passes, and ground devouring canter extensions. The impressive pairing finished a hair’s breadth behind the victors with 75.21%.

No one was more shocked by their score than Laura. Wide eyed she mouthed seventy five over and over in a bid to believe it. “I’m delighted to be so close to Isobel. He was simply fabulous tonight and all went to plan,” said Laura.

Third spot was filled by Alex Hardwick and Calvin G. Riding to an Austin Powers and Jungle Book compilation, their assured performance was balanced and light with silk-smooth transitions. “Loved it, loved it, loved it!” exclaimed Alex, who also finished eigth with her other ride, Rotspon’s Rockin. “It’s such a different experience to ride in that arena – there’s nowhere else like it. You know if your horse can cope in there, you’ve got a good one. And learning to cope with it is what makes a good rider. I’m so proud of my boys – two in the top eight was better than I could have ever hoped for; I’m just thrilled!”

Michael Eilberg Wins Inter I Kur to Music

It was standing room only tonight for the Intermediate I KUr at the British Winter Dressage Championships. The capacity crowd witnessed Michael Eilberg defend his title with Woodlander Dornroeschen, Lynne Crowden’s 10-year-old daughter of Dimaggio. Michael and Dornroeschen, the penultimate combination of the class, rode a beautifully choreographed, expressive test to their bespoke Tom Hunt composition.

“I really love this music for this horse! She’s gorgeous and delicate so we chose something not so high impact and in your face – elegant and piano based. We used it out in France and it was well received and looks like the home crowd like it too! She really goes well to it so it’s a perfect fit. I couldn’t have asked more from her as she came into season yesterday so has other things on her mind. She’s such a trier and is so honest. Also, she’s matured so much. At last year’s nationals she struggled with the two classes but in France she coped with two weeks away and four classes – and won three of them. She has the strength to keep going now and it’s fantastic for the future.”

Grade IV para dressage gold-medallist Sophie Wells and Pinocchio were a close second, little more than half a percent behind Michael. Sophie, who has already made an impact at young rider level, is now proving she can hold her own against the seniors too.

“I only have one word…AMAZING! I couldn’t have wished for any more from him – this is just a real bonus after the week we’ve had. Wednesday’s Para classes were our main focus from a selection point of view and that was achieved. He just rose to the occasion and I was so pleased with his way of going. I really can’t believe it!”

Hayley Watson-Greaves was the third rider to break the 70% barrier. Riding WG Rubins Nite, an eight-year-old Rubin Royal gelding, she scored 71.04% for third.

“I’m truly delighted as we’ve never done anything like this before – it’s a completely new environment for him! He was with me all the time and gave me a great ride. I put my music together myself – just mess around until I find something which suits him but I must have got it right!”

Complete coverage of the British Winter Dressage Championships at British Dressage
Text & Photo courtesy: British Dressage

Results - 2012 British Winter Dressage Championships

Prix St Georges Kur to Music
Judges: Mepham, Myrhe, Halsall

  • 1. Isobel Wessels - Chagall - 75.54
  • 2. Laura Fry - Remming - 75.21
  • 3. Alex Hardwick - Calvin G - 72.42
  • 4. Zoe Sleigh - Rhodez - 72.00
  • 5. Paul Hayler - Loumic Antioni - 70.88
  • 6. Clare Harwood - Alley Kat - 70.33
  • 7. Andrew Gould - Habanero XLI - 69.96
  • 8. Alex Hardwick - Rotspon's Rockin - 68.62
  • 9. Tracy Tomlinson - Puccini V - 68.04
  • 10. Paul Hayler - Aldborough Rubenhall - 67.04
  • 11. Jennifer Johnston - Donnergott - 65.46
  • 12. Alice Krasno - Elite III - 64.63
  • 13. Louise Hutchinson - SOS Unforgettable Uland - 64.33
  • 14. Philippa Bishop - Gambada - 64.13
  • 15. Harry Payne - Sir Real - 62.04
  • 16. Tina Atkins - Holme Park Karachi - 58.50

Intermediaire I Kur to Music
Judges: Storr, Myrhe, Burton

  • 1. Michael Eilberg - Woodlander Dornroeschen - 73.58
  • 2. Sophie Wells - Pinocchio - 73.04
  • 3. Hayley Watson Greaves - Rubins Nite - 71.04
  • 4. Pammy Hutton - Belmondo III - 69.71
  • 5. Paul Hayler - Aldborough Rubenhall - 6.21
  • 6. Paul Hayler - Loumic Antioni - 68.79
  • 7. Ruth Edge - Shadowfax - 68.33
  • 8. Jennifer Johnston - Donnergott - 67.21
  • 9. Stef Eardley - Fiano - 67.08
  • 10. Sally Goodwin Davis - Dauphin des Sarts - 66.29
  • 11. Emily Harris - Washington - 65.00
  • 12. Jane Green - W Valentime - 64.88
  • 13. Gemma Appleton - Fine Time - 62.25
  • 14. Fiona Farrell - Compliment - 62.25
  • 15. Dominic Wolfendale - Lantinus - 58.21

Related Links
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Gardner and Wessels Promoted to O-Judge Status
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