Dressage At Hickstead can look back on an outstanding summer season in 2017 when British riders enjoyed success in CDIO3*/CDI2*/CDIYJP/CDIU25 at the Sussex venue from July 27-30, with a number of them proving unbeatable at their respective levels.
The crowd was thrilled to see dressage star Charlotte Dujardin in action and, consistent with their good form, she and Hawtins Delicato were the ones to beat in the small tour divisions. The nine-year-old son of Diamond Hit, who has been earmarked by owner Carl Hester as his future Grand Prix horse, won by a margin of four percent before going on to victory in Friday’s Inter I.
“I’m so so proud of ‘Del’ who continues his super form to win the Inter I today. He’s such an exciting horse,” said Charlotte at the time.
Heading into Saturday’s Inter I Freestyle full of confidence, the pair rode an expressive test to a Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack. Their performance was not without mistake, as they had some glitches in the changes, but the quality of their work raked in the marks.
The pair earned a final of score of 77.85 per cent to take the class ahead of the emerging partnership of Maria Eilberg and Farah Al Khojai’s Sir Donnerhall gelding, Sarotti 57. Maria and Sarotti posted their best score to date of 75.62 per cent..
2009 European team silver medallist, Maria, also impressed aboard Royal Concert with victory in the Intermediate A and Intermediate B with cracking marks of 73.11 per cent and 68.61 per cent. The 14-year-old ‘Rico’ who is owned by Maria, BD Chairman Penny Pollard and Hermione Black, ‘kept his cool’ to show what he’s capable of and give a taste of what’s to come.
In the Grand Prix, British riders were kept at bay by their European and American counterparts, the class going to Frenchman Pierre Volla with the mare Baninda Altena. The French fielded a strong team, using Hickstead as a final opportunity to pick their quartet for the European Championships later this month. The highest placed Brit was Emma Hindle and her 11-year-old mare Romy Del Sol, scoring 70.70 per cent to place sixth.
Saturday’s Grand Prix Special also belonged to Volla, however the young British partnership of Becky Moody and Carinsio made an impression with an exciting second place.
Richard Davison and Bubblingh continued their run of form to win the Grand Prix Freestyle. Richard and ‘Bubbles’, Gwendolyn Sontheim’s 11-year-old son of Ballaseyr Royale, scored 74.18 per cent ahead of the Netherlands’ Jean-Rene Luijmes and Ashwin in second (73.04 per cent) and popular British lady rider Louise Bell with former working hunter champion, Into the Blue, in third (71.36 per cent).