Winning is always something to celebrate, but for Jo Graham of DHI Performance Horses, the sudden loss earlier this year of her husband Andrew, a co-founder of Dressage Horse International (DHI), has made recent high profile successes especially emotional.
When DHI Topper W and Piggy French won the Greenwich Test event, it was a performance that heralded more to come and that promise was realised when the combination won the Blenheim International Horse Trials CCI***.
Also at Blenheim, Jon Paul Sheffield rode DHI Hindle to success in the Eventers High Jump Competition, the combination clearing 1.90m. DHI Hindle also jumped round the Hickstead Derby this season with Joe Whitaker.
However it was at the recent British Dressage National Championships that Jo experienced the most poignant of bitter sweet moments, when she presented the new Andrew Graham DHI Perpetual Memorial Trophy – a lovely bronze of a horse – to the winners of the DHI Intermediate 1 Supreme Champion.
Stepping forward to accept the trophy were Michael Eilberg and Torino , a horse that Andrew had found eight years ago as three-year-old and which brought back lots of memories for Jo. She said afterwards, “It was a very emotional occasion and I am still devastated that Andrew isn’t here to see how much success DHI horses have achieved this season.
“Lots of riders recognise the DHI prefix as representative of top class performance horses, which is what Andrew always worked to achieve and his efforts are now making dreams come true for many of them. The business will continue and I am sure there will be a lot more successes in the future.”
The British Dressage National Championships also brought success for DHI Bart Jan and Antonia Brown, who finished in third place behind current World 5-year-old Champion Woodlander Farouche in the Potential International Dressage Horse 5-year-old Championship.