TOPPING THE DRESSAGE TABLES
FORMER private driving horse Striker has been making a mark in his new career in driving trials.
The 16-year-old Gelderlander, driven by Alfie Budd, won the award for the best dressage of the competition when he scored 46.93 penalties — the only sub-50 mark.
It was his first time qualifying for the nationals, where he finished fifth overall in the novice single horse.
Owned by Marion Woolley, the memorably hot chestnut went to Wilf Bowman-Ripley after a very successful showing career driven by Gary Docking, where his titles included the Osborne Refrigerators national championship in 2011.
He briefly filled in a spot on Wilf’s team at the World Championship test event three years ago but didn’t take to the job.
“Alfie is Wilf’s backstepper and he suggested he take him and train him. We’ve had him for two seasons now,” said Alfie’s wife and backstepper, Sue. “He’s a bit precious in the marathon still but it’s such an achievement for him to come out and beat all those horses. We’re especially thrilled with him today as we managed to take him in the prize-giving too.”
Sue is also planning to take him out under saddle to compete in dressage this winter.
“He could be a bit difficult at first but now I know
I can trust him and I’d ride him anywhere,” she said. “I only wish we’d had him earlier as he’d make an amazing dressage horse.”