British Dressage Senior Home International 2011 held at the David Broome Centre, Monmouthshire, Wales
This year’s prestigious Senior Home International team competition had to be the best to date for the BD Northern Region! With riders from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales contesting for the title of team champion and individual champions at Prelim through to PSG the competition was hot.
The team ‘Northern Fashion’ stood above all other teams with all 4 riders gaining places in the top 5 on both days and were crowned overall winners! The team consisted of mother and daughter Sue & Annie Staines, Heidi Hutchinson and Amy Miller.
Annie Staines rode the relatively inexperienced Royal Standard (Ralph) at Novice level and was delighted with his performance as he had a few cheeky tricks up his sleeve but he rose to the occasion and was on his best behaviour throughout. Overall, Annie came 4th in the Novice individual championship.
Sue Staines rode Comte D’Orsimo in the Medium class. Sue is a list 3a judge and rode a very polished test on both days. The combination was 2nd in the Medium individual championships.
Heidi Hutchinson rode Balero in the Elementary class. Heidi who is the region’s Senior Training representative had to take a back seat during the selection process and was unaware that RDO Sarah Huntridge and the other selectors had put their ‘Dream Team’ together including Heidi. Heidi’s determination to succeed shone through in both her tests but on Sunday she rode for a win. “I could not have asked for any more,” Heidi said of Balero and her determination paid off as she was crowned Elementary individual champion.
Amy Miller riding the stallion Valentino XIV and was called upon as a reserve rider due to a sad incident which left the team short of a Prelim combination. “I made the nervous phone call to Amy on the Sunday evening and we were due to leave on the Thursday” says RDO Sarah Huntridge. “Let me ring the owners and get back to you” replied Amy. “I had to wait for a couple of hours and thankfully Amy called back and said she was able to go, phew!” The combination was delighted to hear the announcement that they not only had won the team competition but they were also individual champions in the Prelim class.
Northern Fashion receiving their trophy from BD’s CEO Amanda Bond
(left to right) Heidi Hutchinson, Annie Staines, Sue Staines and Amy Miller.
The region also had other winners including Claire Pytches on the stunning grey gelding Wisley. Claire rode in the Novice class and having registered as an eventing BD member only last year decided to become a full member and put herself forward for selection “not knowing much about the competition”. Claire and her mother, who also events, were delighted at the prize giving when Claire was announced as 2nd placed. “We will definitely be carrying on with our dressage career now”.
Also in the Novice class, Cara Shardlow riding Detonator, won the class on the Saturday which was extra special as Cara’s father came to the competition as a surprise. On the Sunday, Detonator felt the atmosphere and was a little tense however the combination came a very respectable 9th in the individual championship.
Kate Johnson rode Casse-Cou in the Advanced Medium class with the combination winning on the Saturday. Kate rode for another win on Sunday however a few minor blips meant the combination were awarded 2nd place in the individual championship.
The region also had another team in the top ten, Northern Freedom consisting of Laura Headley Gray riding Rare Proposition, Claire Pytches riding Wisley, Verity Saul riding Debutant and Yvonne Scales riding DHI Malibu.
“This is my first year as RDO for the region and what a way to celebrate!” says Sarah Huntridge. “This competition along with the Senior Inter Regionals is now an integral part of the calendar. They bring together riders from Prelim through to PSG and foster the team spirit. I find it very gratifying to bring together riders, as the sport can often be a lonely competing by oneself. It is also great to see riders develop on the lead-up to the competitions and afterwards. Many riders feel that they are not ready for the competitions however with some gentle persuasion the rider’s confidence grows. I would recommend all riders to go to their region’s selection/viewing days and find out more about these competitions,” said Sarah Huntridge.