BRITISH DRESSAGE 31ST JANUARY – 1ST FEBRUARY
It proved a hive of activity here at Aintree as 24 sections of British Dressage, running over two days took us into February.
One of our earliest winners, Sarah Kingwells gained a memorable double on the opening day, as after heading the Novice 37A with Floriana (Florrie), they also topped the Freestyle to Music novice section.
Sarah bought her five-year-old mare by Floriscount out of a Sandro Hit mare as a foal at foot in Germany from her breeder friend Anja Wilting.
Florrie did the four-year-old age qualifiers last year and Sarah is delighted with her progress.
“I think she is very talented and easy to work with and she has wonderful up-hill paces,” said Sarah.
For the freestyle to music class, Sarah utilised the atmospheric score previously used for her grand prix St George ride and Florrie’s half-sister The Contact People Destiny D.
“I actually thought this music suited Florrie better as she really expressed herself,” concluded Sarah.
Another freestyle to music winner was Alex Calder who used a catchy Henry Mancini score to allow Bilbao Fluswiss to strut her stuff.
Alex bought her Belissimo M eight-year-old four years ago and they are Hartpury bound for the Area Festival at medium level.
The pair had a good 2017 season qualifying for and finishing tenth in the elementary championship.
“He is a very trainable horse who loves to work and he just gets on with any job.
He thrives on variety, so he enjoys working on the treadmill and the gallops,” said Alex, who is based in Ellesmere, Shropshire.
Just to show you can’t keep a good pony down, the ultra-versatile Moelwyn Gerallt (Jerry) was the overall preliminary 19 winner for Candy Hughes-Jones.
Jerry has been with the family for 12-years and was first show-jumped by Joe Hughes-Jones before younger brother Tom then took Jerry (BE) eventing.
Joe then reclaimed the reins and qualified Jerry for the Badminton grass roots final twice.
Jerry then developed a bowel irritation and spent two years on the side-lines.
“He was bored and I was bored, so mother decided to get on and we have taken to dressage like a duck to water.
This is a big, bright arena and I was nervous, but he has a fantastic rhythm to his paces and a fabulous attitude to any work,” said Candy, who has recorded an amazing six wins from six dressage starts with Jerry.
Hannah Finucane won the Sevilla test (medium) for Iberian horses with Estoque (Stocki).
Owner Kevin Groos imported the pure bred Lusitano nine-year-old stallion from Portugal two years ago primarily for working equitation classes.
However, as they are few and far between, Stocki was switched to dressage last year and he was a finalist at the Area Dressage Festival.
“Iberian horses can be tense so we have concentrated on getting Stocki to relax and stretch a bit more.
He has felt much more established on our last two outings and against strong opposition today, he felt really good,” said Hannah.
Aintree’s next British Dressage date is Wednesday 7th March.