Upcoming and coming riders have been laying the gauntlet at the 2013 British Dressage Championships that kicked off on Thursday 19 September 2013. The Stoneleigh Park based event witnessed first and second spots of two classes being snatched by the same riders; Daisy Coakley and Spencer Wilton.
Spencer Wilton secured both first and second place in the Fairfax Prix St Georges Championship with Goodmans Supernova and Doogie respectively. The class saw thirteen of the thirty-five riders finish on scores over 70% exemplifying the high level of skill and talent on display at this year’s Championship
“When we first entered the arena Supernova felt nervous but he knows the minute he passes the white boards he has to behave and listen. I am so delighted with the score which is a personal best for both of us. I focus a lot on the horses balance in training, the improvement has paid dividends and is why he has had such a big jump up in his results” commented Spencer.
Supernova, who won the hot class with a score of 77.11% in a lead of 2.72%, has been in training with Spencer since 2010. A recent move of yards has meant a change in training tactics that the forty year old rider contributes to his success “I moved to Headley Stud a month ago; I thought the change of environment might unsettle him as he likes his routine but he has been brilliant. The most amazing thing about the move is the access to hacking that has meant we are able to do lots of hill work, hacking and fittening which is great conditioning and has without a doubt helped us to get the fantastic result today”.
Spencer expressed his gratitude to both his owners and his groom “Jen Goodman has been like fairy godmother to me and undoubtedly wouldn’t be where I am today without her. As with all horses competing to a high level there have been some minor injuries and scrapes over the last year to which Emma (Bayliss) my groom has put in a huge amount of work in rehabilitation and has considered ever minor detail to ensure the team are fighting fit”.
Wilton Takes Two and Aces Intermediaire I Class
Man of the moment, Spencer Wilton, held his command at small tour also on day two of the National Dressage Championships. He took the intermediaire I title on Doogie, the horse relegated to bridesmaid by superstar stable mate Supernova in yesterday’s epic prix st georges. Spencer rode a masterly test on the 10-year-old KWPN Democraat-sired gelding to score 74.21% and earn the attractive grey his deserved moment in the limelight.
“It sounds awful, but I was gutted for Doogie yesterday so I’m glad he’s had his moment to shine,” said Spencer. “This has been the best ever show. It means a lot to me. Everyone puts in so much work, effort and money so it’s great to get a result like this. I’m so glad for his owners, Mary Baker and Carol Large.”
“Doogie’s always been a good horse but until this year, he didn’t have an awful lot of fire. This year, he’s come into his own and is now really high quality,” said Spencer. “Personality-wise he’s very different to Supernova. Doogie’s fairly independent and unflappable whereas Supernova’s quite needy - the complete opposite.”
Spencer and Doogie go forward to tomorrow afternoon’s Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Freestyle which, if the inter I is anything to go by, promises to be a stonker! And it determines the winner of the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Supreme Champion.
Maria Eilberg Wins Intermediaire II Title
Former grand prix national champion Maria Eilberg added to her impressive tally of championship successes to take the Intermediaire II on her long-term partner and international grand prix hope, Woodlander Rockstar. Maria piloted ‘Rocco’, Lynne Crowden’s 11-year-old son of Rotspon, to head the class with 70.18%. Maria and the attractive breeding stallion rode a high-class test affirming their development into an exciting partnership for the future.
“He was good today and showed some quality stuff,” said a delighted Maria. “He stumbled before the ones [one-time changes] but we made the best of the recovery and he did some good work, particularly his extensions and lateral work which were strong. He hasn’t competed since Hartpury CDI in July but he’s so good at competitions that I don’t have to over-compete him.”
“For me, it’s still as exciting to win a title here,” said Maria. “If anything, you relish these moments more as you get older. When you’re younger, you can take it a bit for granted but it’s even more special to me now.”
Maria is no stranger to dressage at the highest level, having been crowned national champion in 2008, the same year she was travelling reserve for the Beijing Olympics, and a year later a European Championship team silver-medallist. The 29-year-old is putting this wealth of experience to good use in moulding the talented Rocco. Talking about her future plans for him, Maria said “We did the grand prix at Hartpury but he’s not yet ready to compete abroad at that level. We’re bringing him on to hopefully compete international grand prix next year.”
Scores: 2013 British Dressage Championships