Euro Update: Brits On Form at 2007 CDI Saumur

British riders were out in full force at 2007 CDI Saumur in France, 20-23 September 2007. Stephanie Croxford won the grand prix freestyle on her Gelderland gelding Mr President V with an impressive 74.7% after taking the runner-up slot in the grand prix. Newly-crowned British champions Spencer Wilton and Dolendo finished second in the grand prix special with 70.88%. The Grand Prix and Special were won by the French Julia Chevanne on Calimucho. She scored 70,167% and 71,600%. Wilton was also well placed in the small tour, winning the intermediaire I freestyle with Jane Clark's Collo 5 on 70.7%.

Crowford, who was on her first international trip abroad with her three-month-old daughter Annabelle, took 36 instead of 12 hours to get to the show after her lorry broke down 5km from the show.

“The competition was the easy bit. He was on fire – my little warrior was on a mission. I have never had such a bond with a horse; it’s like putting on a pair of comfy shoes. Since I’ve started competing him again after having my daughter, we lost the plot for a couple of shows, but we’re back – we become one,” said Steph, who ended up doling out a lot of wine bottles to thank all the fellow competitors who helped her get to the show.

Spencer was brought back “down to earth” after Dolendo was spooky in the grand prix, but it did not take him long to forgive the 13-year-old 17.1hh Donnerhall gelding.

“It was his first indoor show since this show last year. He gave me such a nice feeling at the nationals last weekend, I expected the same here and was not on the ball enough. In the special, I got my backside into gear and he was great,” said Spencer.

In the small tour, Spencer rode Jane Clark’s 14-year-old Collo 5, a Corofino offspring formerly campaigned in the U.S.A. by Katherine Bateson. Spencer’s trainer Carl Hester competed the 18.2hh grey at Hartpury CDI in July, finishing fourth in the prix st georges just two weeks after the horse came over from America to be sold.

“He hadn’t been competed for a while and we had a space on the lorry, so we took him. I made an expensive mistake in the PSG and not knowing him let me down in the inter I [they finished fourth in both tests],” said Spencer.

The combination won the inter I freestyle despite Spencer not having ridden through the test before. “Because of the nationals, I hadn’t had the time – I didn’t have a clue how the freestyle would work out. He is such a gentleman.”  (View CDI Saumur Scores)

Heike Holstein, 2007 Irish Dressage Champion

Heike Holstein won her eleventh national title at the Children’s Choice Publications national dressage championships of Ireland at Necarne Castle, Irvinestown, County Fermanagh Friday 21st September to Sunday 23rd September 2007.

The Children’s Choice Publications national dressage championships were taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time. Heike Holstein was drawn first to go in the Children’s Choice Publications Grand Prix championship in the walled garden on a sunny Sunday morning with the 11 year old chestnut gelding World Fire. In only their second outing at Grand Prix level they posted a score of 64.90%. Defending national champion Laragh Hamilton from Lisburn scored 62.29% with her 15 year old chestnut mare Claggan Roxy Music by the Irish Draught stallion Rakish Paddy to finish in joint second place along with Sue Smallman and Oakengrove Ideal.

Afterwards a delighted Heike described the former potential dressage horse winner and 2005 Advanced Medium and Prix St Georges champion World Fire as “the best horse I have ever had. He is pure class, and so eager to please”. Sue Smallman and Oakengrove Ideal followed up their good showing at the recent Marlton autumn dressage festival by winning the Kevin O’Sullivan Intermediaire II championship with Oakengrove Ideal on a score of 64.64% with Laragh Hamilton and Claggan Roxy Music in second place on 64.27%. (Read Complete Report)

Wolke Sieben Sold to Sanneke Rothenberger

The 8-year old Hanoverian mare Wolke Sieben has been sold to German junior rider Sanneke Rothenberger from Bad Homburg , Germany . Under Alexandra Bimschas, the chestnut mare by Wolkenstein II x Hitchock has been extremely successful in Germany at small tour level. Wolke Sieben already claimed more than 15 victories at S-level and qualified for the prestigious 2008 Nürnberger Burgpokal Finals in Frankfurt on a score of 72.60%.

“We are extremely happy that we were able to acquire Wolke Sieben for Sanneke,” Sven Rothenberger explained. “This horse is very solid at Prix St Georges level and is a proven winner. Together with Paso Doble, Sanneke will have two horses ready for competition in 2008, while she can take her time with Deveraux to establish a good partnership with him.”

One month ago, the Rothenbergers purchased the highly acclaimed 6-year old World Champion Deveraux (by De Niro x Rohdiamant), which won gold at the 2007 World Young Horse Championships in Verden , Germany . The elegant mare Wolke Sieben is the new addition to Rothenberger’s string of horses for international Junior Riders level competition.

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