THE Hartpury International Festival of Dressage truly lived up to its billing as it was dominated by Anders Dahl from Denmark who picked up an incredible four victories.
The Dane who is based at Horsham in West Sussex, took top spot in the FEI CDI Prix St Georges, the CDI3* Dressage Deluxe FEI CDI Intermediate I and the Andrew Bowens FEI CDI Intermediate I Freestyle on Selten HW as well as riding Wie-Atlantico de Ymas into first place on the Gala Evening in the Superflex FEI CDI3* Grand Prix freestyle.
Unsurprisingly, Dahl described Selten HW as ‘the most talented horse I have ever ridden’.
His best score of the week was 78.00 for his Sunday victory in the Andrew Bowens Freestyle.
Dahl and Selten HW had similarly swept the board in Barcelona earlier this year winning all four classes.
Record entries saw the hugely successful Hartpury event attract 300 riders from 19 nations for five days of outstanding dressage and para-dressage classes.
And there was plenty for home fans to cheer.
Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin, from Newent, lit up the opening day’s proceedings. She rode a stunning test on Barolo to take top spot with 74.30 per cent in the Corse Lawn Hotel FEI Prix St Georges 1a.
The para-dressage took centre stage on the second day with a full line-up of Great Britain’s paralympians taking the team crown ahead of Canada and Brazil.
In the FEI Para Individual Championship Grade 1a, Sophie Christiansen and Janeiro 6 put in a stunning test to take first place on 77.870 and Sophie Wells took the top two spots in the Grade IV.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and Hartpury’s own equine academy coach Carl Hester opened his winning account on the second day riding Fine Time 13 in the Le Mieux Grand Prix. He also rode Nip Tuck to victory in the Grand Prix event and the pairing put in another impeccable performance to take the honours in the Cushionbed FEI CDI Grand Prix Special on the final day.
It was a fabulous festival for Gloucestershire’s dressage stars. While Hester and Dujardin stole some of the headlines, talented riders Daniel Greenwood and Lauren Wollen finished in the top two in the Shearwater PIDH Five-year-old competition, Callum Whitworth won the Four-year-old section and Lucy Cartwright won the Lovington Ice Advanced 100 in the Premier League.
Greenwood also won the Shearwater Young Horse Five-year-old Championships and Whitworth, won the Four-year-old Championships. South Gloucestershire’s Hayley Watson Greaves took on the Baileys Horse Feeds FEI Premier League Grand Prix Freestyle with former Hartpury student Stef Eardley in third place.
Another county rider Charlie Hutton, also had an excellent Festival – finishing second behind the outstanding Dahl in the Andrew Bowens and in the Dressage Deluxe.
Newly-married Charlie is now based at Carl Hester’s yard in Newent but he commutes on a daily basis back to his mother Pammy’s Talland School of Equitation on the outskirts of Cirencester to train.
There was also an excellent victory for former Tetbury rider Spencer Wilton aboard Alfons in the Monach Equestrian FEI Intermediate I. His score of 71.80 claimed the major scalp of runner-up Charlotte Dujardin riding Barolo, who scored 70.35.