Oxfordshire rider Ashley Jenkins added a fourth National Championship title to his CV today in the first of the Dodson & Horrell Novice Championships, the Gold section.
Riding Jamie Reynolds and Cherry Elvin’s British-bred His Highness, he scored a two percent victory over his nearest rival with a score of 73.73%. A very happy Ashley commented; “He was really settled and in really good balance today. I could really ride him and he felt full of confidence. He’s a big character and I have really high hopes for him.”
At just five, British-bred ‘Hugo’ looks set to be a star for the future. As a foal he claimed the 2012 KWPN Foal of the Year before Jamie purchased the Wynton-sired gelding as a three year old when Ashley, stable jockey for Dan Greenwood, duly broke him in. “We took him to a number of venues to get his confidence up and get him used to new places,” he explained.
Hugo’s 2017 Nationals adventure isn’t quite over as he’s in action in Saturday’s first round of the Shearwater Insurance Five-Year-Old Young Horse Championship. They won their semi-final at Port Royal so must rank among the favorites for the title. Having been in the atmosphere of the LeMieux arena once and performed positively, he must have an edge over some others. “There’s always a chance he could be tired but I think it takes the pressure off,” Ashley said.
Moving on to the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Championships Rob Barker proved untouchable not only winning the class but also taking the second and fourth place accolades as well.
It was set to be a close competition for Rob’s rides as all three came to Stoneleigh Park following a win in their respective Novice Silver Regional Championship classes; in the end it was Andrew Fletcher’s outstanding day bay gelding Hamlet to emerge victorious despite having trotted down the centre line first in the 24-strong class. The five-year-old star scored 73.40% to win on collectives narrowly beating Chloe Walton’s Fidertanz son Fidelius by one mark with Alison Haste’s divine mare Woodlander Romance scoring 70.37% to just miss out on a top three takeover.
Judge at C Andrea Smith was impressed with Hamlet’s performance, speaking about his test she said, “The highlight for me was how soft the horse looked; he had lovely rhythm and harmony. They were a real partnership and so easy to find marks for.”
About his winning ride Rob said, “He’s a quality horse with three really good paces, he’s been lovely to train and it’s like having half the job already done with the brain and paces he’s got. He did really well today with the atmosphere considering he’s only five and lacking a little bit of experience.”
This is a first appearance at the LeMieux National Championships for former international event rider Rob who’s also in only his first year of dressage having stopped jumping to switch disciplines last year. ‘I’ve always done a bit of dressage and loved it more. I had to wind the jumping down when I had a change of horse power and started focusing mainly on the dressage so it all fell into place,’ explained Rob who suffered a rotational fall a few years ago during his career over fences which he refers to partially as a reason for his change. A future in dressage is certain now for the Upleadon-based rider as he hopes to train his fantastic string of horses to Grand Prix.
‘I’d really hoped to do well this week, it’s been an amazing first National Championships – I’m over the moon,’ he concluded.
Commenting on the success of the two classes Dodson & Horrell CEO Sam Horrell said, “It has been a great day here at the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver and Gold Championships. Watching the tests by all horses and rider combinations. The winners of our Championships are duly deserved and I am grateful that Dodson & Horrell has played a role here. Congratulations to all the competitors taking part and we have two very worthy winners.”
Article Source: British Dressage News
Image courtesy Kevin Sparrow Photography
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