Photo Report: Spencer Wilton Returns with Fit and Steady Super Nova at 2020 CDI Lier

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 23:13
2020 CDI Lier
Spencer Wilton and Super Nova at the 2020 CDI Lier :: Photo © Astrid Appels

British Olympic pair Spencer Wilton and Super Nova made their long-awaited return to the international arena at the 2020 CDI Lier, where they swept the board in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special with promising team potential scores. 

Wilton and Jen Goodman's 17-year old British Hanoverian bred Super Nova (by De Niro x Weltmeyer x Golfstrom II) were 17 months absent from international competition.

Double Recovery

Their last start was at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, where they only did the Grand Prix and had to withdraw for the Special. In 2018 Super Nova only did one other show after recovering from injury. The tall gelding re-injured himself last year, but also rider Spencer was sidelined with severe back pain for which he was operated on.

The pair, recovered, has now made its come back in a final attempt to gain British Team selection for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. His biggest rivals for one of three team spots could be Carl Hester (Hawtins Delicato) and definitely Gareth Hughes (Briolinca). 

Come Back in Lier

After one national start in the UK, Wilton trailered Super Nova to Belgium for the busy indoor CDI at equestrian centre Azelhof on 28 February 2020. In a field of 44 international  riders; the duo won the Grand Prix with 75.761%.

Spencer Wilton and Super Nova
The class was judged by Clive Halsall (GBR), Janine van Twist (NED), Susanne Baarup (DEN), Jacques van Daele (BEL) and Alban Tissot (FRA). They wereall over the place with Wilton's score, awarding him a high score of 78.043% and a low score of 70.109%.

The bay gelding, who is known to be very sensitive and electric, appeared more seasoned and at easy in the arena. The trot extensions were ground covering, but the back could have been more elastic. The half pass right was too hovering, the one to the left flowed more. In the first piaffe there was some back stepping with the right hind and the horse became deep, but the passage had lovely suspension and the extended walk showed good relaxation. There was a double beat in the canter strike off and not enough lengthening shown in the extended canter. Also the zig zag was very safely ridden when it comes to ground cover, especially to the left, but it all looked neat and tidy. There was some loss of balance in the left pirouette, the right one was better. 

"I was delighted with him," Spencer told Eurodressage. "He felt fitter, stronger and more confident than ever so that’s all I could ask for. I think we were both quite nervous having not been in front of international judges since WEG in 2018, but it felt like a solid start to the selection process."

Murray-Brown Joins the Race

Sonnar Murray-Brown on Erlentanz
Fresh from recovering from a broken leg, Sonnar Murray-Brown has taken back his 13-year old Trakehner gelding Erlentanz (by Latimer x Benz) from coach Charlotte Dujardin, who developed Erlentanz to top level while his rider was healing. Sonnar has posted promising results on national level and has now thrown himself into the mix of British team hopefuls. 

At his second CDI of 2020, he placed second in the Grand Prix with 74.174%. Two weeks ago he posted 73.652% in Le Mans. 

Erlentanz is such a lovely, pleasing horse but in trot he was shown over tempo and hurried. The half passes were very nice, the first passage a bit uneven with more right hind leg activity. The first piaffe was on the forehand and travelled too much forward, the second was more on the spot but rushed. The gelding has much overstep in the extended walk, although there could be more of a V-moment in the rhythm. Erlentanz got lateral in the collected walk. The second passage was very expressive, the extended canter uphill and the zig zag well ridden. The tempi changes were uphill and ground covering, but the ones were also rushed. Overall it was a very nice, promising test. 

Aqiedo Returns

Adelinde Cornelissen and Aqiedo
More come back kids presented themselves in Lier, amongst them Adelinde Cornelissen on her 15-year old Dutch warmblood stallion Aqiedo (by Undigo x Metall). 

One year and one week after their last international (2019 CDI-W Neumunster), the duo resurfaced in the international ring in Lier and landed third place with 73.000%. Cornelissen's marks ranged between 70.870% and 77.391% ! 

The black stallion has a wonderful piaffe-passage, even though the right hind can trail behind on occasion, but the extended trots were three times barely shown and the regularity in the trot half passes was questionable. The transitions in the second piaffe-passage were flawless. The collected walk was mediocre in rhythm and the extended canter was barely shown with no lengthening of the frame. The tempi changes had fantastic straightness.

Complete scores with break down

Text and Photos by Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED

If you are interested in photos for your social media or in prints, just send us an email. We photographed all riders on Thursday and Friday in Lier

Related Links
Scores: 2020 CDI Lier
Murray-Brown and Tomlinson prevail at 2020 CDI Le Mans
Spencer Wilton Pulls Super Nova from 2019 European Championship British Team Contention
Photo Report: Wagner Rises to the Top of the Board at the 2019 CDI Lier