It was an action-packed last day at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage with the best of British-bred ponies taking the top spoils and another win for Olympian Spencer Wilton.
The last to go in the final class of the day was Spencer Wilton, who kept his cool to clinch the top spot in the Baileys Horse Feeds FEI CDI Grand Prix Special with Super Nova II on 77.020%. Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad were less than one percent behind on 76.196% to take second whilst Gillian Davison and Alfranco completed the top three on 71.745%.
Lara Butler was the talk of the day as she usurped Charlotte Dujardin to first place in the Andrews Bowen FEI CDI Intermediate I Freestyle, steering Kristjan to 78.625%. Charlotte was in hot pursuit with 78.050% on Hawtins Delicato for second, whilst Sonia Baines and Sirius Black took home third on 72.600%.
Lara said: “I am over the moon with Kristian, he tried so hard. This is his first International and he has just got better and better – I am so proud of him.”
Hartpury degree student and equine elite academy scholar member Lucy Pincus had a festival to remember after placings throughout the week and riding on Saturday’s Gala Evening, topping it off with second and third place in the Monarch Equestrian FEI Intermediate II.
As the first in the class to go Lucy was leading from the off but just pipped to the post by Maria Eilberg who took first on Royal Concert with 71.89%. Lucy rode Sheepcote Fiesta into second on 69.52% and Sheepcote Doncaliste to third on 69.21%, beating her mother Serena in the process.
Lucy had an action-packed festival as, alongside competing, she was also data collecting for her third-year dissertation, comparing national and international grand prix pirouettes.
The last class in the indoor Hartpury Arena of the festival saw a final win for Charlotte Dujardin and En Vogue with 74.96%. Local rider Olivia Towers and Mercian Calisso took second on 68.46% with Lucy Norris completing the top three on 68.28%.
Outside, the morning kicked off with action from the Hickstead age classes, with Ashley Jenkins and His Highness taking top spot in the National 5 Year Old class on 7.82, whilst Nick Lawson and Fandango V won the International 5 Year Old class.
The National 6 Year Old class was an extremely close-run contest with all of the top six within just one mark. First went to Rebecca Hughes and Classic Goldstrike on 7.84, with Belinda Brereton hot on her heels to take second with 7.44 riding Galaxy Moore. Sophie Wells continued her fine form during the festival to win the International 6 Year Old with Gladstone on 7.1.
The age classes continued inside with the British Dressage Young Pony Finals. With special placings for ponies registered with the Sport Pony Studbook Society (SPSS) and those that are British bred, it was a showcase of the pony breeding that Britain has to offer.
Top spot in the 4 Year Olds went to Jennifer Manning and Chartsurmer WE on 7.72 to also take the SPSS award. Second placed Abigail Edwards and Penbeee Savannah took home highest-placed British bred with 7.00.
In a class full of British-bred ponies, Charlotte Drakeley and Woodlander Sir Gorgeous stormed the 5 Year Old class to win as well as to claim SPSS award with 8.40. Sophie Taylor and George Clooney B.S followed suit in the 6 Year Olds.
In the Dawson Memorial Junior, Young Rider and Pony Team Test Charlotte Mcdowall received 68.42% from the judges to take first place on BKS Grand Design. Olivia Wrennall rode Donna Schuflo to 67.97% for second and Bonnie Bourne took third on 66.84 with Fin C WE
University Centre Vice Principal Rosie Scott-Ward said: “We have had such a fantastic festival with lots of lovely positive feedback. We are so grateful to all of our sponsors, volunteers, competitors, supporters, staff and students who make the festival possible.”