Pachesham, Surrey, 8 April
Featuring riders Sara Malpass, Ellie Dempsey, Caroline Bradshaw, James Burtwell, Sara-Jane Lanning, Catherine Owen, Katie Wicks, Emily Baigent, Christiane Oakley, Jessica Keith and Chantelle Evans

SARA MALPASS and Pitingo II made a big step up to advanced medium and produced 65.14% and 63.33% 85 and 91 tests before List Ones Marion Terry and Debby Lush. The combination reached elementary Petplan Finals and Nationals at both novice and prelim, but ‘Tingo’ requires tactful riding and gets hot doing higher level work. Sara explained: “Although he’s not a typically Baroque type, he is a Spanish horse and they are very different from warmbloods to ride. I’m constantly focusing on keeping the neck out, which means I have to ride from my seat because the minute I touch the rein he comes back at me. I can find I’m sitting on an untouchable bundle of energy.

“I train with Ed Creamer and Mark Ruddock. Mark has some Spanish horses so he understands what I’m struggling with. Looking through past sheets, I can see a lot of ‘tight in the neck’ comments but I didn’t get a single one at Pachesham. Now I need to be able to keep that and ask for more bend in the half-passes without him curling up.

“The good thing about Tingo is that he can extend as well as collect. I’ve had him going on four years and rode him for his previous owner when he became naughty. She offered to sell him to me and I couldn’t refuse. We’re doing PSG work, so now I have to qualify to compete at that level myself.”

Ellie Dempsey and another tricky customer, Solos Carex-sired 14-year-old Wembley Z were narrowly overall winners of the advanced medium 85 on 65.29%. Ellie said: “He’s quite hot and can be temperamental but on a good day he’s fantastic and he gives you his all. With him you have to concentrate on relaxation before you do anything else but that’s paying dividends now and he’s learns so quickly.”

Ellie continued: "Our marks ranged from two to eight. I was pleased with our halts, which scored 7s, as he has been going behind the vertical when I’ve half-halted to prepare for them. His changes are now fluent — we’ve also worked hard on those — and I’m going to do my first PSG at Bury Farm later in the month.”

Ellie: “Marion Terry judged me in the same test 85 two years ago and I studied her sheet on the way to Pachesham and was pleased that I beat my previous score by around 3 per cent"

Debby Lush’s top scorer in the advanced medium 91 qualifier was Caroline Bradshaw riding Womble, a 12-year-old mare by Wolkentanz bred by her mother. Caroline says, typical of mares, she likes to be asked not told, adding: “She was a fresh and spooky in the 85 due to the Spring grass but she listened to me in the qualifier and it flowed. Getting to advanced medium has been a learning curve for both of us, as I’d never ridden affiliated above novice before. There was a time when I thought the changes were never going to happen.”

Caroline combines riding ‘and the all the rest’ with a full-time job and is now juggling her summer competition diary: She explained: “Womble prefers show jumping and we’re through to the Discovery second round and I hope to fit in some area festivals at advanced medium bronze as well.”

Sara-Jane Lanning, competing in gold was a comfortable winner of the medium classes, scoring 70.17% and 71.76%. The silver section also produced a double win for Catherine Owen and Derrycons Della Mor and they

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