WALES & WEST Hartpury College, Glos
Another River Rise youngster hit the dressage headlines, winning both novices at Hartpury College with scores topping 80%.
This time it was River Rise Isabella, a four-year-old owned by Charlotte Dujardin and ridden by Rob Barker.
“She’s phenomenal,” said Rob of the chestnut mare, who is by Don Frederic and shares a dam, Nicky, with Charlotte’s star River Rise Nisa. “She doesn’t really have a weak pace; she just has lots of growing to do and she’s green.”
Rob then headed both elementary silver sections with Hamlet, Andrew Fletcher’s young Uthopia x Jazz gelding.
“He also lacks experience as he only started competing this year,” said Rob of the five-yearold he partnered to novice silver victory at the nationals last month. “His canter is his standout pace.”
Thea Millward and Walentino 77 headed the medium 75 qualifier silver section, before winning the advanced medium 98 qualifier outright. Thea was immediately impressed when she spotted the Weltmeyer gelding in Germany last summer.
“He had the cutest face and he seemed knowledgeable when I rode him,” she said. “He was always listening.”
A slight stifle injury, thought to have been sustained while travelling, meant that Thea couldn’t get cracking with her new purchase until Christmas.
“He came out at elementary in March and has made good progress,” she said, adding that she hopes “Tino” will become her young rider horse. “I’m pleased with how he went, but he can go a little better. I had to work quite hard to get a bit of extravagance out of him.”
Rob Barker tops 80% at novice with Charlotte Dujardin’s fouryear-old River Rise Isabella