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 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 

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