Sophie Wells wins second gold

Competing in the Grade V Freestyle , Britain’s Sophie Wells and her ride, C Fatal Attraction, owned by Charlotte Hogg, delivered a magnificent test to score 80.75 per cent and win her fourth Individual world gold – her second in Tryon.

Speaking after her dressage test, a delighted Sophie said; “He was a little bit tense today and on edge but he’s come out this week and given me everything.

“I was a little bit stressed last night as I thought it may be too difficult and we have only done it once at Hartpury but he’s come out today made me very proud.

Sophie Wells on her way to her second gold medal
Photo: © BEF / Jon Stroud Media

“When you miss out on an Individual Gold (WEG 2014) after training everyday it’s hard, but to achieve this after a big gap like I’ve had is amazing; that’s why Rio (Olympic Games 2016) was so special because I missed out on the gold in London (Olympic Games 2012) too.”

Commenting on Great Britain’s success, she added; “The British team is amazing and it’s so hard to get on the team and selection is a massive hurdle that you have to overcome.

“We have a lot of good riders with a lot of horse power and we’re seeing that more across the world – yesterday (the team competition) proved that. The standard of the riders, the training and the horses is amazing for the sport and it makes proud to be a part of it – but that means you have to fight.”

Grade V Freestyle final standings: Gold, Sophie Wells MBE and C Fatal Attraction | Silver, Frank Hosmar and Alphaville N.O.P | Bronze, Tomoko Nakamura and Djazz F.

Full results from Tryon can be found online at:

Silver for GB para-dressage team

Great Britain’s para-dressage team has won Team Silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, USA, and with it, qualified a team place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Separated by just 0.64%, the British team were just edged to Gold by The Netherlands who finished on a final collective score of 223.597%, becoming the first nation other than Great Britain to win the team title.

Yesterday Sophie Wells MBE (Nottinghamshire) scored a Personal Best of 77.233 in the Grade V Team Test to finish top of her Grade, and Sir Lee Pearson (Staffordshire) followed with a strong score of 71.606% to put the team in fifth place overall overnight before the final set of team tests were contested today – with Great Britain’s Natasha Baker MBE (Middlesex) and Erin Orford (Buckinghamshire) taking to the arena for the Grade III class.

Sophie Wells in action
Photo: British Para Dressage

First in was Natasha with Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, owned by the Mount St John Stud. Competing in just their third team test as a combination, they produced a fabulous fluid performance to be rewarded with a Personal Best score of 74.118%.

A delighted and an emotional Natasha said; “I don’t even know what to say, I’m still shaking; she was absolutely amazing.”

“I’m just so, so, proud of her. Everything was just so much better, she went in there with so much more confidence today. I was much more confident today; it hit me a little bit [the pressure], but she just felt so good that it didn’t matter. I just felt so much more prepared going in there today; we got the halts, and just so, so happy. If that’s what we can do after seven months then in another year’s time, she’s just going to grow even more in confidence. I absolutely adore that horse.”

Competing at their first World Equestrian Games, the final rider for the British team was Erin Orford and Dior, owned by Annabel Whittet. Improving on their individual test of Wednesday, the duo put in a lovely performance to receive a confirmed score of 69.029%, bettering their mark from last year’s European Championships.

Speaking after her test, Erin said; “I was so proud of her. I had hoped we’d done enough but unfortunately the scores weren’t on our side. She had a bit of stage-fright on Wednesday, but today I was really pleased, I couldn’t have asked any more of her, we went in there and gave it everything.”

Following the completion of the final class of the day, the Grade I’s this afternoon, the confirmed final team score for Great Britain of 222.957% saw them clinch the Team Silver medal, and seal their place at Tokyo in two years’ time.

Commenting on the team’s performance, Para-Dressage Performance Manager, Sarah Armstrong said; “Our target was to return with a team medal, we’ve done that; and to qualify for Tokyo, and we’ve done that. All of the athletes have delivered great tests over the last two days, and I’m delighted for them.

“We’re happy with how we delivered in the arena, they delivered their best. They have worked so hard, the athletes and the whole support team behind them; we knew it was going to be tough, but I’m thrilled with what they’ve delivered and that the margin was so small.”

Final Team Standings: Gold, The Netherlands = 223.597 | Silver, Great Britain = 222.957 | Bronze, Germany = 219.001

The para-dressage competition draws to a close tomorrow with the final event, the Freestyle, contested. Sophie Wells MBE, Grade V, and Natasha Baker MBE, Grade III, will both take to the arena as they compete for the second Individual titles of the Games.

Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two.

Britain wins team bronze in dressage

    The British equestrian team is going well at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA,

    Charlotte Dujardin, based in Gloucestershire, and Mount St John Freestyle have won their first Individual medal as a combination on their debut at a major championship. They had an outstanding performance, scoring 81.489% to take bronze in the Helgstrand Dressage Grand Prix Speciala Rose.

    Charlotte Du Jardin Photo: British Dressage

    Charlotte claiming her third individual gold in the Grand Prix Special at a World Equestrian Games, ahead of home favourite Laura Graves who took silver with Verdades.

    All four of the British combinations qualified for today’s competition after their performances in the Grand Prix yesterday which saw Great Britain win team bronze and secure Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020.

    Emile Faurie, from Oxfordshire, was the first to go with Dono di Maggio, owned by Hof Kasselmann and the pair produced a score of 70.38% after a some good highlights during their test.

    Team GBR Dressage
    Photo: John Stroud Media


    Afterwards Emile said; “It wasn’t his best performance today.  He’s a massive horse and the last few days have taken a lot out of him but he really tried.  I gave him a very short warm up but he’s inexperienced.

    “He’s a brilliant horse and he’ll be even better next year.  That’s just the way it goes sometimes.  The trip has been a great experience for him and for me, it’s been a great honour to be part of this amazing team.  Other nations are envious of the great team spirit we have.”

    Spencer Wilton, based in Reading, was next to go with Super Nova II however, after yesterday’s medal ceremony Neville [Super Nova II] was not feeling 100% and after consultation with the equine sport science and medicine team and his owner, Jen Goodman, the decision was made to withdraw from the competition.

    Gloucestershire’s Carl Hester and  Hawtins Delicato, owned by Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and himself, were the first to go in the final session. In just their second Grand Prix Special as a pair, the duo showed no sign of nerves in the U.S Trust Arena as they followed up from their fantastic performance yesterday to produce another superb test, scoring 77.204% to finish ninth.

    “I have to be happy with 77% plus in only his second Special and his first Championship, after all, he’s only a young horse,” Carl said. “I had a costly mistake in the one-time changes and in the heat and humidity the final centreline really took all his energy.  It’s only when you come to shows like this you learn about your horse and he’s also learned a lot here. I was happy with the team result as that’s what we came here to do but I’m equally happy today.”

    Charlotte and Mount St John Freestyle were the penultimate pairing to go and they entered the arena brimming with confidence following yesterday’s performance. Neither were unfazed by the occasion and they duly stunned the crowd with an outstanding display, scoring a personal best of 81.489% to go into second.

    Isabel Werth and Bella Rose were the final combination for the day and took to the arena, showing their class to top the standings with 86.246% and take the gold for Germany, consequently pushing Charlotte down to third.

    An elated Charlotte said: “I’m absolutely delighted! She’s only nine and that was just her third [Grand Prix] Special.  I knew going in I had nothing to lose and rode her every inch of the way. That feeling I had in the arena today was amazing and for me, it didn’t matter if the test won me a medal as I knew she’d given me everything.”

    Both Carl and Charlotte will compete again on Sunday in the Grand Prix Freestyle.


    Great Britain’s eventing team will go into tomorrow’s cross-country phase in second place after superb performances across two days of dressage.

    Ros Canter, from Lincolnshire, and Allstar B finished the day as the leading combination for the British team, ending the day with 24.6 penalties and sitting third overall.

    First into the Tryon arena on the second day for GBR was Tom McEwen, from Gloucestershire, who produced a fantastic test with Jane Inns, Alison McEwen and his own, Toledo de Kerser, scoring 28.4 penalties.

    “I was delighted with him, it was a great positive test,” said Tom. “It could have been more, I just had a mess with a change at the end but he was fantastic. It was very in there and there was a decent atmosphere this morning and he’s given us a strong team score.”

    Commenting on the cross-country; “It’s possibly not the biggest course (cross-country) we’ve jumped but it’s technical and you’ve got to keep your wits about you out there but I am looking forward to getting out and riding it.”

    Last to go for the British team was Ros Canter and Allstar B, owned by Caroline Moore and herself. The pair grew as the test wore on and produced a stunning performance to end with a total of 24.6 to soar into third place.

    A beaming Ros said: “I’m absolutely over the moon with Allstar B. He’s been such a trooper and he’s so consistent in the dressage. I gave him a day off yesterday because he worked so well the day before. Everytime he comes out he just gives me everything; I’m delighted.

    “He loves going cross-country. As long as I can stay with him and keep him pointed in the right direction; we’ll definitely be able to give it our best shot.”

    Speaking on the team; “I’m having such a good time here with everybody and the team atmosphere is absolutely brilliant. Everyone is really supportive and we’re going into tomorrow confident.”

    Adding to Gemma and Piggy’s performances yesterday, the scores delivered by Ros and Tom today see Great Britain lying in second place in the team event behind Germany. Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH lead in the individual standings and head into tomorrow’s cross-country on a score 19.9 penalties.

    British Dressage Convention November 24-25

    British Dressage will celebrate its 20th anniversary at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire  on November 24 – 25, supported by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

    This year, the event will be looking dressage with ‘20:20 vision’, from the viewpoint of a panel of leading experts, including elite riders and trainers Emile Faurie, Gareth Hughes, Sophie Wells plus FEI 4* Judge Peter Storr and Dr Rachel Murray, Senior Orthopaedic Advisor at the Animal Health Trust.

    British Dressage Convention

    The term 20:20 vision is used to indicate perfect sight, which is what dressage riders, coaches and judges spend their careers striving for, in their attempt to achieve total harmony between horse and rider. The perfect ten, achieved through excellence, clarity, flawlessness… That’s always the focus but a number of different factors are involved in making it happen:

    Rider: our own skill, our ability to train and realise potential and our aptitude to constantly evolve and learn in any given situation.

    Coach: the talent for imparting knowledge with great clarity, reading a situation and capability of bringing the best out of both horse and rider.

    Judge: seeing the complete picture, the knack of providing feedback in the right tone to encourage and providing riders with a fair measure of their training progress.

    Support: veterinary, physiotherapy, nutrition, medical, psychology all have a key part to play.

    Getting the best from horse and rider in modern times is all about taking a holistic approach for an all-round ‘team’ effort. It’s not just a rider in an arena; it’s a series of processes, a systematic methodology and a great deal of time.

    Emile Faurie
    Photo: British Dressage

    It will take a journey through the career path of both horse and rider as they start at Novice before moving up the levels towards the ultimate aim, Grand Prix. With the year 2020 on the horizon, there is the chance to hear the inside track from three top riders on their plans for producing their top horses to peak for Tokyo and the associated challenges, alongside tips, advice and knowledge for anyone involved in dressage.

    To celebrate 20 years, there is a new early-bird ticket rate on weekend and daily tickets available now until Sunday 23 September.  All tickets are just £72 for a weekend pass or £45 to enjoy one of the days.

    After this, prices rise with rates for BD members, BHS members and non-members.  Also, we’re offering tickets at this rate for anyone under 25 throughout the booking process. You can book online via the BD online shop at or over the phone by calling 02476 698833/831. Please note that under 25 tickets must be booked by phone to verify age.

    BD Training Director Paul Hayler commented; “We had to mark our 20th anniversary in some fashion and I’m proud to be able to bring five of Britain’s leading minds to one great weekend to give an all-round analysis of dressage.

    “All of our presenters will bring their own style and beliefs to the sessions and these five will certainly get everyone thinking, whatever their role in dressage.  Our new early bird offer gives you the chance to save 10 per cent on ticket prices which is excellent news – but act quickly, as you only have until the Sunday of the Nationals to take advantage. We look forward to welcoming you to Hartpury for what promises to be a fantastic weekend.”


    British team for under 25 European dressage

    The Senior Selection Panel of David Trott, Linda Whetstone and Judy Harvey have announced their selected quartet to contest the FEI u25 European Championships in Exloo, the Netherlands, from August 13 – 17. 

    In alphabetical order the four riders are as follows;

    Rebecca Edwards (21) from Reading, Berkshire with Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Delegate (chestnut, gelding, 16.2hh, 15yrs, Dimaggio x Akut)

    Rebecca Edwards  and Headmore Delegate  competing in a Young Rider Individual Test – FEI European Dressage Championships  last year. Photo: British Dressage

    Charlotte Fry (22) from Scarborough, North Yorkshire (based in Den Hout, the Netherlands) with her own and Anne Van Olst’s Dark Legend V (bay, gelding, 17hh, 10yrs, Zucchero x Tango)

    Claire Gallimore (24) from St Albans, Hertfordshire (based in Hoorn, the Netherlands) with Jane Gallimore’s Annette Ballerina (bay, mare, 13yrs, 16.1hh, Scandic x Jazz)

    Ryan Todd (25) from Halifax, West Yorkshire with Julie Todd’s Charlex Eskebjerg(bay, gelding, 16.2hh, 17yrs, Carano x Midt West Ibi Light)

    First reserve
    Ellie McCarthy (21) from New Milton, Hampshire with Bridget McCarthy’s Sir Lancelot M (grey, stallion, 13yrs, 16.3hh, Lordanos x Ginsberg 4)

    Second reserve
    Lucy Pincus (21) from Hereford, Herefordshire with David Pincus’s Sheepcote Doncalisto (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 16.3hh, Don Shufro x Lucky Boy)

    Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive for British Dressage, commented: “It’s been an exciting season for these riders so far with some excellent scores posted here and abroad which puts us in a great position to send a strong team to Exloo.  We wish Rebecca, Charlotte, Claire and Ryan all the best as they prepare for the Championships next month and we will be following their progress with great interest.”

    Dressage at Hickstead set for another season

    The Dressage Masters championships held at Hickstead every year, with qualifiers all over the country, were the brain child of Sussex international dressage rider and trainer Dane Rawlins.

    Dane felt that there was a need for a competitive league for riders of all levels.To fill this gap, he set up the Dressage Masters League.

    Dressage Masters has grown from four regions nationwide to ten. Riders can compete from Preliminary up to Grand Prix, with the finals being held at the prestigious Dressage at Hickstead Premier League show each year.

    Director of Dressage at Hickstead, Dane Rawlins riding Lady Pauline Harris’s former Grand Prix Horse, Sydney

    The razzmatazz of this big show gives the finals of the Dressage Masters a real championship feel with excitement and anticipation for each of the sections.

    Riders get to compete in the arenas with the nations’ flags flying, spectators and mounted prize givings.

    This championship league has already seen emerging rider-horse partnerships make their mark with an eye on future selection for national and international representation, challenging established pairings.

    “This has to be good for the development of new talent in our sport,” said Dane. “We will be testing our riders and their horses at the highest levels, expecting them to set new standards of excellence.”

    For more information see

    Carl Hester to star at HOYS

    Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is set to bring another unforgettable five days of entertainment to Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena this year (October 3-7 ) for the show’s 70th year anniversary.

    With show stopping displays, exhilarating show jumping and outstanding showing championships, this year’s event is setting supreme standards by adding Olympic Gold Medallist and master of dressage, Carl Hester MBE to the line-up.

    A renowned Olympic Dressage rider who needs no introduction, Carl is the trainer of the famous duo Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, who stole the heart of the dressage nation following their consecutive individual gold medal wins at the London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    Carl Hester to star at HOYS

    Having delivered the Dressage Masterclass at HOYS in 2016, HOYS fans can rest assured that they are in for a real treat! With Carl’s extensive knowledge of competing at such a high level he is the perfect rider and trainer to host the HOYS Dressage Masterclass for the 70th Anniversary Show.

    You can watch Carl’s Masterclass on Thursday October  4, where it will be held in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. Carl will also make an appearance on the HOYS Live Zone for rider signings on the same day giving the opportunity to meet the man himself. The Masterclass aims to inform and inspire our audience whilst showcasing Carl’s much admired training methods and mindful coaching skills. Expect to see energy and precision riding from Carl’s team of riders and horses.

    Prices start from £34.00 for a full day of entertainment. Thursday tickets include access to: Carl’s Dressage Masterclass, the HOYS Live Zone for the rider signings, the Dressage Future Elite Championship, entry to the TopSpec Arena and a huge 12hrs worth of shopping in the Retail Village.

    To find out more and to book your tickets, visit or call the Box Office on 0844 581 8282.

    Carl Hester unveils his Tokyo prospect

    Nine of Britain’s best dressage Small Tour combinations competed in this week’s inaugural Inter I Freestyle Invitational, supported by Equitop Myoplast, at the Liverpool International Horse Show. It proved to be a fitting finale to the Festive Season when the eagerly awaited debut of Carl Hester and his Tokyo prospect Hawtins Delicato proved to be a winning one.

    Drawn last to go under the late night lights of the Echo Arena, Carl and the British bred ‘Del’, by Diamond Hit, wowed the crowds with a performance bursting with promise. It’s the first time they’ve shown together as the nine year old has been lightly competed so far by Charlotte Dujardin. Judges Peter Storr (C) and Stephen Clarke (E) were suitably impressed and awarded the duo 80.5% with both judges awarding eight for difficulty – quite a score for a young horse.

    Carl Hester and Hawkins Delicato Photo: British Dressage

    Reflecting on Hawtins Delicato’s performance, Carl commented: “It was the first time I had ridden him in a competition. I have been part of his life for four years, and for next year we are trying to qualify him for the World Games.

    “My horse is very talented at the Grand Prix movements – that’s where his future lies – and these sort of shows are about preparing them mentally and getting used to the atmosphere.”


    Third spot went to ‘local rider’ and UKCC Level 3 coach Sarah Higgins from Cheshire and the 13 year old Waldessarini, owned by Sarah Rao, on 73.75%, who was clearly thrilled to be sharing a podium with two Olympians.

    Carl was clearly impressed with the latest top class venue and show to host dressage saying:”It is an absolutely superb show. I had never even been to Liverpool, let alone the show. It’s such a spectacular place – the arena is incredible.

    “I didn’t think that Olympia (London International Horse Show) would ever be matched for an atmosphere, but I think we can honestly say that this event was also an awesome occasion. It was great to see so many children in the audience, especially.

    “This is a huge atmosphere for dressage horses at Liverpool. Jumping horses can go in these sort of atmospheres all the time, but it’s so difficult to get exposure for these young up and coming horses for their future, so it has been an amazing experience to have both my horse and Charlotte’s horse at Liverpool.”

    Dressage at Hickstead 2017

    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.

    Charlotte Dujardin in action Photo: British Dressage

    “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).

    HOYS dressage championships

    This year’s Horse of the Year Show features the fifth running of the annual Dressage Future Elite Championship. Taking place during the evening performance on Thursday October 5, this prestigious competition provides a platform for the UK’s rising Grand Prix horses to gain invaluable experience under the spotlight at a world famous international event.

    In conjunction with British Dressage, the popular Championship is designed for horses between eight and ten years old. The class will feature a total of eight horse and rider combinations that will each showcase an Intermediate I Freestyle.

    Last year’s Future Elite was won by none other than Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin riding Hawtins Delicato who scored an incredible 78.62 per cent. Charlotte is back competing in the Championship again this year to defend her title, aboard her new ride Mount St John Freestyle.

    Charlotte Dujardin in action Photo: British Dressage


    The eight horse and rider combinations this year include:

    • Owen Cooper riding Don Dante
    • Rebecca Cowderoy riding Celicia
    • Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John Freestyle
    • Maria Eilberg riding Sarotti 57
    • Dan Greenwood riding  Chevalier O
    • Sadie Smith riding Keystone Dynamite
    • Vicky Thompson Winfield riding Artist
    • Sophie Wells riding C Fatal Attraction

    Thursday is all about dressage at HOYS and at 2pm you can stop by the HOYS Live Zone in the Retail Village where Charlotte Dujardin will be doing a Q&A and rider signing. At 4:05pm Charlotte will be hosting this year’s Dressage Masterclass in the Andrews Bowen International Arena, and then the Dressage Future Elite Championship will commence at approximately 7:15pm.

    Tickets are still available for pre-purchase or on the day purchase subject to availability, starting from just £33.00. Whilst Wednesday, Thursday and Friday tickets are valid for the full day, Saturday and Sunday are split into daytime and evening performances, with both options allowing full day access to the HOYS Retail Village. With more than 250 tradestands and a fun-filled five days of competition, it’s just the ticket to celebrate equestrian sport and enjoy a great family day out.

    To book your tickets, please visit or call the Box Office on 0844 581 8282.