Lucy heads to nationals with a double of tickets
Westcountry riders came under the spotlight at the South West winter regionals securing tickets to the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships which take place at Hartpury Arena, Gloucestershire next month (April 10-14).
Lucy Baker picked up a double of tickets securing her first in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Restricted, riding her own Westfalian gelding Ferdinand Fardoos, to win on a score of 68.86%.
A delighted Lucy, who combines her love of dressage with working part-time in a bank said: "Qualifying for the nationals is what keeps you going. As an amateur rider it is what you strive for and so I'm over the moon."
Lucy was first and last to go in this class with Llancloudy Phantom Menace and Ferdinand Fardoos. "It didn't give me much time to think about anything and although the pressure was on, both horses did me proud," said Lucy, of Newton Abbot, Devon who has lessons with international dressage rider and trainer Matt Frost.
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It was touch and go whether her winning mount would be ready for the regionals after he stood on a rusty screw last October. "He's been off for some time so to come out and win was well beyond my expectations," added Lucy who went on to secure her second qualifying ticket in the Elementary Open riding Val Nock's British bred Voolra. The pair scored 68.85% to finish second behind Louise Hutchinson riding Anthea Parkyn's Dimaggio-sired Dantino (69.06%).
Cullompton-based Louise who is also Hartpury-bound, was "very pleasantly surprised" with her win. "We made a couple of tense mistakes which I thought would lose us any chance of winning so it was a lovely surprise," said Louise who is a freelance riding instructor.
"Dantino is quite a spooky horse so the nationals could prove to be a bit more entertaining – he coped well mentally at the summer nationals but this time it will be indoors with the crowd above him."
Despite his spookiness the former eventer is proving that dressage is his preferred career. "He came to me 18 months ago and we seem to have just clicked," added Louise who noted her plans are now to go onwards and upwards with the chestnut gelding.
Sue Lanz made it a highly successful trip up from Minehead with her horses Friday Morning and Friday Feeling to score a one-two in the GFS Elementary restricted music freestyle.
She secured her qualifying ticket riding Friday Morning to a fantastic score of 75.51%, while Friday Feeling finished second on 74.55%.
"Both mares were on top form," said Sue of the full sisters who are out of the renowned eventing mare Friday Fox by the stallion Matinee. Both evented to advanced level with Devon's Lucy Wiegersma and after retiring from eventing, Sue has campaigned them in pure dressage.
Sue just missed out on a second qualifying ticket in the Open Novice where she finished third on a score of 75.83% with Friday Morning. "It was really good result as the two horses above us were serious dressage horses and riders," she quipped. Scoring another 70%+ score in this class to finish fourth was Devon's Paula Lee and her Hanoverian by Londonderry, OEC Typhoon.
Also claiming their national ticket was Annie Brooker of Kingsbridge, Devon and her German Warmblood Likoto's Luke. The pair finished second in the Blue chip novice restricted winter regional championship on a score of 68.51%.