Today marks the start of the first international dressage competition of the year on British soil as more than 70 competitors from nine countries head to Bedfordshire’s premier venue, Keysoe for three days of action over senior, young rider, junior and pony classes in the CDI3*, all supported by Childéric, Spillers, Equine Construction, TRM, Dodson & Horrell, Devoucoux and Keysoe Boutique.
Leading the British charge is Carl Hester who brings his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck, or Barney, who’s back in action after a break since the 2017 European Championships.
Also travelling from the yard is Charlotte Dujardin with catch ride Erlentanz, who she’s riding for owner and normal jockey Sonnar Murray-Brown while his broken leg mends. She also has Mount St John VIP in the small tour ranks; a great warm up ahead of the NAF Five Star Winter Championships where the Vivaldi-sired mare has qualified for both NAF classes, the PSG and Inter I.
Heath Farm in Oxfordshire also has two riders bound for Keysoe; Emile Faurie brings his newest star Café’s Caletta for a first CDI run on home turf while his stable jockey Tom Goode is making his big tour CDI debut with Samantha Geddes’ Vivaldi-sired Dior.
British team rider Gareth Hughes will be looking to resume his 2018 form with Anne Keen’s Don Carissimo when they won both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the May CDI3* in Aachen.
Also flying the Union Flag in the Big Tour will be Henriette Andersen (Flavio), Liz Diegutis (Saskia Hit), Maria Eilberg (Royal Concert), Sara Gallop (Bandreo), Alex Hardwick (Royal Chester), Emma Hindle (Romy del Sol), Georgina Stokes (Talented Mr Ripley) and Vicky Thompson Winfield (Artist).
Small Tour riders include: Katie Bailey (Boccelli 6), Nikki Barker (Durable), Henry Boswell (Folt), Katrina Cantrell (Woodlander Donna Summer), Kate Cowell (Dramatic Conquest), Louise Davison (De Galles), Jess Dunn (Alicante Valley), Paul Friday (Roman Noir Himself), Nathalie Kayal (Cleverboy), Kate Lister (World Exclusive), Sarah Turner (Eduardo) and Sarah Williams (Bohigas W).
They join riders from Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Portugal.
Our selected Young Riders are: Rebecca Bell (Nibley Union Hit), Isobel Berrington (Bing), Angus Corrie-Deane (Tiny Tempur), Charlotte Dicker (Sabatini & Salomon Z), Jade Ellery (Porsche’s Eloy), Alex Hellings (Uvender V), Megan Ingham (Wanadoo), Thea Millward (Walentino 77) and Rebecca Swain (Bon Jovi).
The Juniors include: Megan Assouline (Botero), Catlin Burgess (Chocotof), Charlie Grieve (Fedor van het Booienhoof), Clare Hole (Pro-Motion & Winnetou GEP), Jessie Kirby (Belle Amie), Juliette Lindsay (Prince May the First), Avery Maude (Double Agent), Charlotte McDowall (Alivia), Amelia Moncrieff (Billionaire), Chloe Naylor (Karisma), Charlotte Snape (Camelot III) and Olivia Wrennall (Disneyland).
Finally, our Pony contingent is: Bonneville Bourne (Fin C We), Lavinia Johnson (Dublin), Holly Kerslake (Valhallas Zorro), Annabella Pidgley (Cognac IX & Ine), Steffi Thomlinson (Vavassa), Hermione Tottman (Brasil), Olivia Whitelaw (Brouwershavens’s Viceroy) and Mollie Witham (DZL Royal Sunrise).