A quick look at some of the action from the last couple of days from Jess Roberts
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It’s been a fabulous four days of HOY so far, with riders and horses alike appreciating the balmy weather – a far cry from the conditions this time last year!
Kellie Hamlett (Astek Geronimo) took out not only the L1 championship but also the Prestige Futures series, which saw her awarded a brand new Prestige saddle for her efforts. Matthews Hanoverians rider Hannah Burden was runner-up for the L1 title on Fanfare MH.
The strong L2 field was topped by Penny Castle, who clinched the championship with a 76.406 score in her winning musical aboard Lord Alexis. Kieryn Walton and Wisdom WDS delivered a string of consistent performances – including a win in the 2C title class – to take runner-up.
Rebecca Rowlands (Solo) and Gaylene Lennard (Jax Johnson) were L4 Champion and Reserve respectively. Both were also in the money last year (Rowlands being L3 reserve champion and Lennard L1 Champion) and look to have bounced up to L4 with ease, with their Freestyle scores in the 70s.
The L5 crown went to Vanessa Way and NSC Pronto after a clean sweep – their winning scores improving with each test to finish on 71.333 in the Freestyle. The stunning Australian-bred stallion HP Fresco and Holly Leach were snapping at their heels all the way though, taking reserve spot by a narrow margin.
Just two combinations started in the National Grand Prix, Waikato’s Scott McKenna and Regent Diamond edging ahead of Susan Tomlin and Dancealong. The CDI3*lineup welcomed three new combinations, this being their first season of Grand Prix together: Sheena Ross and Parkridge Disco SW, Debbie Barke and Lucrative SW and Paula Stewart with Aztec Lad. These riders have produced their own horses and put up great scores to build on as they tackle the demands of dressage at its highest level.
Julie Brougham and Vom Feinsten won the class on 69.5, followed by John Thompson and JHT Antonello. Wendi Williamson started her fluid-moving Don Amour MH but withdrew her WEG-qualified mount Dejavu MH. Williamson said the black gelding wasn’t quite himself after their arrival at the showgrounds, and as he has already had time out after his colic episode earlier in the year, decided to err on the side of caution and let him rest up. Also leaving a gap in the start list were current HOY champions AbbieDeken and KH Ambrose who won’t be defending their title this year.