Northern Engagement consisted of Prelim level Charlotte Hinchcliff (from Sheffield) riding Treliver Diorissimo, Novice level Laura Steel (from York) riding Moonlighter, Elementary level Cara Shardlow (from Scarborough )riding Detonator and Tracey Kibler (from Northumberland) riding Diamond Pantera.
The team was over night leaders on Saturday with both Cara and Laura gaining just over 70% in their 1st tests and both leading in the individual championships however the Eastern Beijing team was hot on their heels and it was a close competition on Sunday.
Tracey was the 1st rider to go in the Elementary and pulled out a foot perfect performance on Diamond Pantera and set the stall for the other competitors. Laura Steel felt the pressure after her amazing win on Saturday and Moonlighter was as always calm & cool in the arena however they could not top the 70% and gained 66.45%. It was then the turn of Charlotte Hinchcliff and her chestnut mare know as Dinky, the combination had a challenging 1st day but when it really mattered their performance started to put the pressure on Eastern Beijing. With each team having 1 more rider to go in the Elementary class it was getting very close and no one could predict the winner at this stage.
It was now down to Cara Shardlow and the current Home International Novice Champion Detonator. The tension was high and Cara rode for a win, then the results came out 68.53% and in the lead. This meant that the Eastern rider had to beat Cara however the pressure was too much and the Northern Engagement team had done it!
Cara was also crowned Elementary Champion and Laura was 4th overall in the Novice Championship, both riders were delighted with their results.
The region also had Northern Hampton in the top 10 team with a very respectable 7th place. The team consisted of novice rider Lindsay Hancock (West Yorkshire) & Libby Norton (Leicestershire), elementary Tracey Liddle (York) and medium Jessica McDougall (York).
Libby who has only joined British Dressage in the past year having previously participated in eventing and pony club teams pulled out perfect performances on both days with 2 tests over 70% and was crowned Novice Individual Champion. Lindsey Hancock had a challenging 1st day however her stunning horse Barachiel pulled out a 70% test on the 2nd day which put Lindsey as 9th overall in the Novice Championship.
One rider who has persisted over the past 5 years at this competition Natalie Widdowson and Gorgeous George finally got what they have worked so hard for as they were overnight leaders in the Medium Individual Championship. Natalie from Whitby has persisted with George who has been somewhat of a challenge in the past with his larger than life personality. Sunday George was yet again very well behaved however a little bit of tension was reflected in the marks and Natalie was delighted to be awarded 3rd place in the Individual Championships.
Jessica McDougall and Galliano were placed 10th overall in the Medium Individual Championships. Yvonne Bishop (Nottingham) and Maximum Madness who was renamed Mr. Cool at the competition gave 2 very consistent tests and came 10th overall in the Prelim Championships.
The region sent a full quota of 6 teams with riders ranging from Prelim through to Medium and each and every rider gave it their all. All riders were given a goody bag from the region along with a saddle cloth provided by Sue Carson Saddles, regional sponsors and were also supported by Freedom Dressage.
A great weekend was had by all including parents, family, friends and supporters of the riders.
The competition is open to all members of British Dressage and is aimed at grassroots riders who want to become involved in team and social events. Each year there is a very friendly selection process and if you would like to find out more visit: http://www.britishdressage.co.uk/your_regions/northern_region
Congratulations to all involved!