CSI5* LGCT Miami, USA:
Some of the world’s best riders made their way down to Miami Beach last weekend as the Longines Global Champions Tour got underway. John Whitaker was the highest placed British athlete, taking eighth place in Sunday’s Grand Prix which was eventually won by Australian rider, Edwina Tops-Alexander.
Miami also saw the launch of the Global Champions League, with a number of British representatives taking part in the inaugural event of the new series. John Whitaker and Ireland’s Bertram Allen were the winning duo (part of Valkenswaard United team) in the 1.50 – 1.55m competition. John and his horse Lord of Arabia put in a fantastic performance jumping clear in 60.43 seconds in the second round which contributed to a combined time of 113.15 seconds.
Elsewhere, Ben Maher built on his impressive Grand Prix win in Wellington the week before to finish top of in Thursday’s CSI5* 1.45m class with Aristo Z, owned by Jane Forbes Clark. The pair were the only combination to complete the course in under 26 seconds from a field of over 50 riders; Laura Renwick placed fifth aboard MHS Washington.
CSI3* Lummen, Belgium:
Matthew Sampson posted a fifth place finish in the Grand Prix in Belgium on Sunday with Cecilia, owned by Deakin Felicity. He was one of 12 riders to progress into the jump-off and posted a time of 39.58 seconds -, but was unlucky to miss out on a fourth place finish after knocking a pole, to finish with four penalties. Joe Clayton also came out on top in Sunday’s 1.40m against the clock class on board Millioninmind, owned by Steven Barnes. Joe was also on the podium in Saturday’s 1.45m class, just ahead of Jake Saywell who finished fourth and Douglas Duffin who placed seventh. Elsewhere Guy Williams topped Friday’s 1.45m class with his horse Titus after posting a time of 37.68 seconds in the jump-off.
CSI3* San Giovanni, Italy:
It was a successful weekend for Keith Shore as he posted a number of high placings which included a win in Saturday’s 1.40m against the clock class with Zegreanne Z, owned by Spring Equestrian, after a faultless round saw them stop the clock at 57.80 seconds; Keith also registered a fourth place finish in the same class with Coriander Van’t Vennehof.
CSI3* Lanaken, Belgium
In the second week of CSI3* competition, Geoff Luckett opened Sunday’s proceedings with a first place finish in the 1.40m class with Sharon Baldwin’s Cash Point; the pair produced a double clear round, recording a quick time of 29.12 seconds. In the Under 25’s Table A 1.45m class, Abbe Burchmore-Eames was one of four riders to post a double clear and earned a fourth place finish with Wilandri E.
On Saturday, Helen Tredwell put in a great performance to take first place in the 1.45m class, improving on her fifth place finish the week before. On board Sebastian VII, owned by Collin Garratt, the pair finished two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
James Billington just missed out on taking the top spot in the 1.50m class with VDL Cartello after finishing just behind Belgium’s, Sam Polleunis.
CDI3* Nieuw en Sint Joosland, The Netherlands:
Fiona Bigwood and Spencer Wilton enjoyed a good show out in The Netherlands, as they kicked-off their 2016 campaigns. Fiona, aboard Atterupgaards Orthilia [Tillie] got her weekend off to a great start posting 77.7% in the Grand Prix, to take the win on Thursday. The duo went on to dominate in the Grand Prix Special, scoring 77.4%, in a GB top-two finish, as Spencer Wilton aboard Super Nova II posted a competitive 72%.
NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, Great Britain
The NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships came to a close over the weekend, ending five days of competition with 750 tests being completed over the course of the week. Stephanie Sweet came top in the Shadow Horse Elementary Restricted Championship aboard Sarah Banwell’s Dole Jung, scoring a final percentage of 73.80%.
In the other classes on the final day, Hannah Biggs topped the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Open Freestyle, Lindsay Hancock won the Petplan Equine Area Festival Advanced Medium Restricted Championship and in the Preliminary Championship, newcomer, Charlotte Bateman won on her debut with a final score of 73.03%. Finally in the Albion Medium Open Championship, Newmarket rider, Nikki Crisp finished 2.5% ahead of the field, receiving the highest scores from all three judges.
CPEDI3* Deauville, France:
In the team Nations Cup, Great Britain were crowned champions for this year’s para-dressage competition in Deauville, France. Sophie Christiansen (Athene Lindebjerg), Sophie Wells (Valerius), Anne Dunham (LJTt Lucas Normark) and Deborah Criddle (LJT Akilles) were part of the British contingent which topped the standings with a final percentage score of 73.597%.
In Friday’s team tests, Sophie Wells took first and second place in the grade IV tests with Valerius and her 2015 European ride Fatal Attraction C, whilst Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham finished first and third respectively in the grade Ia class.
Sophie Christiansen and Anne posted impressive results in the Individual and Freestyle tests, with a clean sweep for Sophie, finishing the Freestyle on 76.2%.
Sophie Wells produced a lovely test aboard Valerius to post 77.6%, and take the win, in Sunday’s grade IV Freestyle test; whilst Deb Criddle enjoyed a third placed finish in the grade III class.
CCI* Weston Park, Great Britain:
Eventer Gemma Tattersall finished top of her advanced class with Arctic Soul after coming in as a late entry. The pair received a final score of 39.30, finishing just ahead of Oliver Townend and Armada; Townend also enjoyed a second placed finish in a further advanced class with MHS King Joules.
William Fox-Pitt, Zara Tindall and Izzy Taylor also took to the course over the weekend, as they all continued their preparations for Badminton Horse Trials next month.