Sunday, 27 April 2014

British Dressage Winter Nationals 2014

The British Dressage Winter Nationals is held at Hartpury Collage in Gloucester. It was an extremely busy and successful show for me and the team. I was competing three horses, Bing, Daya and Louis and there were seven of us looking after the horses and making sure we were on time for all exercise, arena walks, tests and prize givings.   

Cleopatra II Spillers Medium Restricted Music Freestyle Winner
Cleopatra II, Judy Firmston-Williams’ seven-year-old KWPN mare,  posted 75.50% for pole position in the Spillers Medium Restricted Music Freestyle Championship.
Dayas freestyle test was performed to dramatic film music, we devised the freestyle to play to her strengths. Her medium canter is very good and there is one dramatic part in the music phasing that goes perfectly with her bold medium canter towards the judge, which then moves fluidly into half pass and ten meter circles as the music tapers down.
Daya is really starting to develop physically as well as becoming hotter. Her way of going is very soft, supple and harmonious and because she has such a good temperament, she doesn't create too much tension in her body.
Daya had three tests to perform at the Nationals and in the  Elementary Open Freestyle we had one blip in the canter simple change but Daya still produced a brilliant test to come 2nd!
That was the last time we performed to our elementary music but perhaps it will make a comeback higher up the levels as it is so brilliant!!
Day two of the Nationals Daya performed in the Elementary Open class. She felt amazing in the warm up but unfortunately didn't produce a great test as was so excited about going into the main arena again following her two prize givings the day before. In hind-site we should have done an arena walk in the morning! But you can't be disappointed because she is usually so brilliant in the ring, and it shows how much hotter and stronger she is getting physically!

Albion Medium Restricted
Melise Witkin's eight year old British bred Bing took the Albion Medium Restricted Championship. Bing really rose to the occasion, he felt fluent and expressive in his trot and produced some bold canter work. His medium trot and half pass felt lovely. Extended canter is always amazing on Bing and I can’t help but when smile riding it. Its really encouraging as he has come on so much since the summers last year. We are now riding him in a double, he accepted it really well and it suits him! He has progressed mentally as well as physically, he was calm in the arena even though there was an atmosphere from the crowds and trade stands. He really enjoyed his first prize giving!

Felicity Norris's Urbanus IV (Urbanus II when eventing!) produced a brilliant test, I was utterly thrilled with him! He stayed focused on the test even though I could feel his excitement (which was very apparent in the 6.30 am arena walk that morning!). He lost some marks in his walk pirouettes but the rest of the test went really well. 

Thank you so much to my sponsors Bluechip Feed who have been supporting us this year. The Bluechip Pro has made a good improvement on all the competition horses and if you look on the back of this months British Dressage Magazine I am in their 
Thank you to Equilibrium Products for supplying us with new stretch and flex boots and bandages and also giving all the horses Vitamunch, a delicious treat! 

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