The online magazine about dressage and riders competing in the South

GP tests talent, training and partnership

GP tests talent, training and partnership

CURRENT international grand prix rider and List 1 judge Kirsty Mepham talks grand prix newcomers through the test to highlight how they can maximise their marks as they gain experience of performing at this top level. If grand prix is above your expectations as a...

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An NLP path approach to improved performance

Horses respond to their own map of reality, their senses are on a different scale to ours and they have different priorities. It’s our job to understand them as horses not as less intelligent human beings. Wendy Jago, a List 3 Dressage Judge, NLP Master Practitioner...

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It’s going to be Great at Parwood!

Hard on the heels of the sad end to affiliated dressage at Priory comes very good news indeed: Parwood has been given the go-ahead to run affiliated shows at its top-class facilities located in the beautiful Surrey countryside just off the A31 and the Hog’s Back, west...

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Farewell to affiliated dressage at Frensham Priory

Farewell to affiliated dressage at Frensham Priory

OPTIMUM EVENT MANAGEMENT held its last show at Priory Equestrian, Frensham, Surrey, on a drizzly grey early November day. But neither the dank weather nor the muddy lorry/car park dimmed the smiles or diminished the enjoyment of the competitors and their...

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Dressage judging is a moral issue

DRESSAGE JUDGING is a highly moral activity, writes judge Wendy Jago, “This is not simply because we do our best as judges to discriminate wisely and accurately about the differing qualities of specific movements, or horses' overall way of going, but, more...

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Love me, love my horse (or my friend’s horse)!

I was standing by the results board at a show last week hearing the sad tale of a judge who had 'got it all wrong' about a friend's horse and whose marks had been 'discouraging' (even if they were right, they were therefore wrong). I then put on my own rose-tinted...

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Please don’t shoot the ‘half-brained’ judge!

COMPETING would be so much easier if we didn’t have a dressage judge eyeballing our every move making us feel nervous and putting us under additional pressure, when we already have enough to think about! Danielle Olding, who leads coaching company “From the Neck Up”...

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Horses step up and step under and riders step on!

Horses step up and step under and riders step on!

Step Aside (Belmoredean), West Sussex, 2 November
Featuring riders Kay Maxted, Pip Blain, Lovisa Olen, Daniel Timson, Cheryl Hammerson, Joanna Henbrey, Sally McLean, Stella Gibbs, Tina Pardew, Jackie Selway, Thomas O’Brien, Zoe Sopp and Alice Knight

NAUGHTY Feiner Fritz seems to be taking his competition responsibilities more seriously since he became one of Kay Maxted’s top competition prospects with the retirement of her grand prix veteran Privaldi. Fritz extracted a 65.79% Inter I from Kay’s fellow international rider, the List 1 judge Dane Rawlins, who commented to Kay from the box ‘Really nice horse’!

Kay Maxted and her husband Geoff have always taken a horse on holidays abroad with them, rather than a bucket and spade. She recorded her first international GP with Trapani in 2003.
Commenting on Privaldi, above, Kay said: “In the six years Valdi’s been at top level he’s won three international GPs and three Specials on the Continent. He’s put me on a British team and he took me to the Lyons World Cup Qualifier — I owe everything to that horse.
“He did his first international GP with me in 2011 and, aged 20, we’ve won a few grand prix together in 2017.
“I wanted to retire him still sound so that he can enjoy himself and although he didn’t like being out in the field as a baby, he’s loving it now”

Kay agreed: “Fritz is a super horse, but at the moment marks can range from a four to an eight.” Kay retired him from one of the last Hickstead shows of the season when his naughty side was definitely to the fore. Kay explained: “He got upset because he’d had to walk through a puddle, so since then I’ve been going around finding puddles for him. He can do most of the grand prix work a bit at home and if he settles he will be a very good grand prix horse, but he has to get used to going out.

Kay bought the 16.2hh Furst Heinrich x Donnerhall gelding 18 months ago from a dealer in Denmark. She continued: “He had been taught all the tricks but lacked basic education and hadn’t been anywhere or done anything. He was a very bad traveller to begin with and my husband Geoff had to change our lorry partitioning from herringbone to facing forward because he would fall down!”

Kay trains with Emile Faurie: “Tom Goode at Emile’s took him out for me the first few times and both of them have helped me a lot with him. Fritz will go back up there later this winter to work on his grand prix.”

Pip Blain and Donatella IV are already making progress at their new advanced level. At the end of October at Merrist their first Advanced 100 attempt scored 64.86%. This time in a pick you own class the tally was just under 68%. Pip commented: “The changes generally were better and the tempis looked better on the video than they felt: that’s part of my learning curve to assess when it’s good and when it’s not while I’m riding. Roo definitely felt more confident and she was a lot bolder. The next step up will be to do an A102 or 105!”

The silver section winning horse in the same class, Patricia, was a powerful presence in the indoor school, and scoring just under 64% for their advanced medium 85, there are surely heaps more marks to come. The substantial Crelido x Comeback II eight-year-old mare is just under 18hh, and an exciting prospect for her 24-year-old Swedish rider Lovisa Olen.

Lovisa found Patricia rising four at Hasse Hoffmann’s yard in Denmark. She is now based with trainer Sune Hansen at Spring Hill Dressage near Heathfield. She said: “Sune has been very patient with us and he’s very supportive. This is only Patricia’s third outing this year. She’s a lot of horse when she explodes, but she’s not a heavy horse to ride. She can do the work at home but at competitions she’s been very hot and tense. This time, despite moments of miscommunication, she allowed me to put my legs on and ride her.”

The advanced medium 92 qualifier was won on a best-yet 70.81% by Tucker Anderson’s Bellagio under Daniel Timson. The combination went to the Medium Winter Championships and they have made just three appearances since to compete at the higher level. Daniel said: “I’ve been working on getting the flying changes more established and the canter more collected so we can move on to advanced level and PSG . It’s a big step up when you move on to tempis and pirouettes.

“Bellagio’s taking to the work really well. The only challenge can be his active mind, but I see that as an advantage. He wants to do the job and he’s naturally active but he has to have the strength to balance everything.”

Daniel also headed a very competitive Medium 73 qualifier gold section riding his own Dresden Mann-sired Dirty Harry to win first place with 72.94%. Not far behind the pair, on 72.35% were Cheryl Hammerson and Dimaggio 12-year-old Dimondez.

Cheryl is always an interesting study because her rides are often less than perfect dressage models. She says of Dez: “He’s not strictly croup high, but what he does have is a high wither and his back is lower than his croup which places you in a ‘bucket’! He’s also pigeon-breasted and has the tendency to anchor his shoulder down.

“And you wouldn’t believe how lazy he is. The relationship between us has taken  read more…

Read previous reports:

Owners, riders and horses go the extra mile

Pachesham, Surrey, 17 September Featuring riders Sarah Ridd, Gary Hoult, David Rumsey, Laura Gordon, Georgia West, Krystyna Monks, Debbie Moore, Stephanie Jeffery, Debbie Deas, David Gunner and Briony Simpson. A ‘£50,000’ driving horse reject, a Jazz-sired ‘sprinter’,...

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Perfect dressage partners arrive at the perfect time

Hickstead, West Sussex, 2 September Featuring riders Sarah Millis, Tor Fenwick, Dane Rawlins, Edward Creamer, Joe Bright, Nicky Greenhill, Annie Rawlins, Kirsty Mepham, Kerry Mackin and Sissel Hansen  HAVING THE right horse at the right time is key to continuing...

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Area Festivities and celebrations at Speedgate Farm

Chester Hall Events (Speedgate), Kent, 12-14 August Featuring riders, Claire Allmett, Sarah Williams, Claire Lewis, Alison Turner, Zoe Golding, Hayley Bates, Avery Maude, Shirley Babb, Alycia Port, Philip Gover, Corrie Fautley, Georgie Kneller, Laura Greenwood, Megan...

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