Smooth-mover Hawtins Sa­lento proved a hit with both his judges.

Horse & Hound - - Dressage - By CELIA CADWALLADER

Bred by the Hawtins stud, six-year-old “Smar­tie” is by San­dro Hit x Belis­simo M and an ex­cit­ing prospect for am­bi­tious am­a­teur Bex Haryett. The duo won two gold el­e­men­taries at Par­wood on 70.34% and 71.42%.

“One judge com­mented on his lovely, ground-cov­er­ing can­ter,” said Bex. “Medi­ums are to­tally ef­fort­less for him. We’ve been work­ing a lot on gear changes within the pace. Damian Hal­lam gets me to bring him back al­most to a pirou­ette can­ter. It all hap­pens from the seat; Smar­tie never pulls and he’s al­ways lovely into the con­tact.”

Bex man­ages to com­bine a full-time job as a pro­fes­sional physio to the Sand­hurst cadets with com­pet­ing for her­self and an owner. She took her pre­vi­ous horse, Bjorn­sun, to the win­ter cham­pi­onships and re­turned to Hart­pury this year with Smar­tie for the young horse semi-fi­nals.

“He was very green but he be­haved im­pec­ca­bly,” said Bex. “His trot is not su­per-flashy, but the rhythm never de­vi­ates and he’s got the for­ward­ness and elas­tic­ity for higher lev­els.”

Small an­i­mal vet and for­mer even­ter Rowena Gilbert has switched sports and is com­bin­ing dres­sage with her other pas­sion, mu­sic. She started com­pet­ing Mex­i­can Ser­pent (Co­bra x Master Imp) in freestyles in Septem­ber, gain­ing novice qual­i­fi­ca­tion with a 73.33% per­for­mance to her own com­pi­la­tion.

She said: “I stud­ied vi­o­lin and piano, so I’m en­joy­ing do­ing all my own freestyle mu­sic. I’m a techno­phobe but I down­loaded a free dig­i­tal edit­ing pro­gramme and I play around un­til I get the re­sult I want.”

While “Padding­ton” dances to Ar­gen­tine tango, Rowena is plan­ning to use some syn­co­pated rhythms to show off her other horse’s lat­eral work.

Bex Haryett and Hawtins Sa­lento, by San­dro Hit, win at el­e­men­tary

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