Winter Regional Dressage Championship Success for Victoria and Lucinda

 

Team TopSpec riders have been in fantastic form in the dressage arena with wins and qualification for the Winter Championships in April.

Victoria Maw and her chestnut gelding, Bon Rouge took the Prix St George Gold Freestyle at the Bishop Burton Winter Regional Championships after a superb effort.

Said Victoria: “I am in shock and feeling very emotional! To be Winter Regional Champions in the PSG Gold Freestyle at Bishop Burton was amazing.

 

“I was over the moon Ben gave me an amazing ride and hit the music!  It’s been the most amazing six years of hard work! I have so many people to thank for supporting me along the way.

“It feels like I have given up everything in my life to do this and feels like all the hard work and sacrifices I have taken over the years have paid off.

“I have always wanted to do the gala performance at the Nationals and now we have our ticket. I have always wanted a sash and what a time to win one!  But my biggest thanks has to go to my horse of a life time Ben.

“He truly means the whole world to me, I would not be where I am without learning alongside such a great horse!”

Continuing the success story was Mount St John rider, 21-year-old Lucinda Elliott who captured the Elementary Regional Championship at Bishop Burton on Mount St John Diva Dannebrog with 71.8%.

Diva had two foals herself before she was restarted under saddle aged six and after a full year back in training she was on winning form.

Further wins for the Mount St John team continued at Myerscough for the North West Regional Championships.

Riding Mount St John Top Secret, Lucinda secured another Elementary qualification with the highest score of the day, 72.5% to beat 40 other combinations.

It was then the turn of Mount St John Daytona, to add to the tally when heading the Novice Regional Championship on 74.17%.

Daytona was lightly competed in 2016 and this year she will contest five-year-old and Novice classes.

 

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Scurrying to Success with Suited and Booted

From an early age horse lover Karen Morris was determined to become a successful show jumper.

However, serious injury prevented her dreams from coming true but thanks to her dedication and courage to succeed this led her to take up the sport of scurry driving instead.

Having had a few successes before 2015, Karen wanted to do her utmost to improve their results and have the ponies in the very best shape, and with that in mind she decided to put five of her scurry ponies on TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer.

Karen quickly saw a difference in their stamina and soon after, a pair of her ponies, ‘Suited and Booted’ won the British National Scurry Driving Championships and the Scurry Driving Association Grand Points league. At 16 and 18-year-old, this was the first year they had won the double and Karen believed it was down to their new feed regime.

Said Karen: “Since using TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer the ponies have been amazing.

“They’ve had a lot more stamina and their times in the competitions have really improved. They were the most consistent scurry ponies of the year, clocking up seven wins, three second places and four Championships, including The Great Yorkshire Show and three Reserve Championships.”

Karen went on to explain how the other ponies she fed the feed balancer to also had a fantastic response to the food, and had more places than ever before.

Seeing the fantastic results in 2015 made Karen determined to continue with TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer for the following season and once again, she reaped the rewards.

‘Suited and Booted’ became National Champions and Points Champions for the second consecutive year. This was a huge achievement considering their ages.

The success was even greater for Karen when she got Reserve Champion with ‘Chalk and Cheese’.

Karen was so pleased with the feed regime that she continues with it and now also uses TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes alongside Comprehensive Feed Balancer.

Said Karen: “I always use TopSpec now following the fantastic results I have seen. I am so grateful for the enhanced performance this has given my ponies and the enormous health boosts they have benefited from using it.”

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One in a Million

 

We all know of iconic horse and rider relationships that hit the headlines like Nick Skelton and Big Star or Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam.  But then on a different scale there is Bethany Puzio and her amazing dun Connemara, Gunner who are a very formidable combination, read on to find out more…

Taking a break from University visits, interviews and mock exams while Gunner is currently on his winter break, here Bethany tells us about her little superstar.

 

1) What makes Gunner so special?

Simple! Gunner is multi-talented, competitive, tough, honest and ultra-consistent – as well as being devilishly handsome….and a real diva! He has a huge heart & personality, in a relatively small body. He is my winner!


2) What are your major wins?

There have been many highlights in each of the five seasons we’ve been together – so here are just a few:

2012 (when I was 12yrs) – Winner of both the PC Junior Area Individual Dressage and Eventing titles, 1st in our first RIHS WHP qualifier, and finally Winner of National  NSEA Dressage Championships at Addington.

2013 (13yo) – Winner of both the PC Novice Challenge Area Dressage & Eventing titles, and Winner of PC National Novice Eventing Championships in Cheshire.

2014 (14yo) – BCPS National Performance Pony Champion, at our first attempt – over 400 points ahead of our nearest challenger!

2015 (15yo) – P(UK) Colne WHP Supreme Champion; winner of our first BE 90 horse trial (Bricky BE) in our first season of BE.

2016 (16yo) – Winner of the ‘Winner of Winners WHP Championship’ at the BSPS Summer Championships, jumping one of only two clear rounds.

In addition to these, he’s won the BSPS Area 11 WHP points championship every year, plus he’s been Area 11 Supreme Points Champion twice, plus he’s won the BCPS WHP points Championship for the last three years. Awesome!

3) Why do you think you have such a good relationship with him?

I just know him so well, including all his little quirks – such as his little squeal in anticipation of his gallop in his show, and his sulkiness if he’s not in front during a lap of honour (which isn’t often). He’s part of the family and my best friend. We have similar personalities – we’re both divas with attitude, but also very driven to try to the best of our abilities. We are a team – and we trust each other implicitly.

4) What are your plans for 2017 with him?

Unfortunately the first half of our season will be hampered by A level exams, grrr! But we will continue to aim for RIHS and HOYS qualification in our workers, and for Badminton Mitsubishi Motors qualification in our eventing. I expect Mummy will also ‘borrow’ him to take to shows when I’m tied up with revision – they were Reserve Champions at the SW Connemara Breed Show at Bicton last year!

5) What do you feed him on?

TopSpec of course! Always – nothing else. He has the Senior Balancer, with a mixture of TopChop Alfalfa and TopChop Sport, plus some Cool Condition Cubes if he’s really working hard. Nothing else – no additives, no supplements – no need!
No-one can believe he’s rising 19-years-old! We would do veteran classes with him, except we know he’d sulk because you’re not allowed to gallop.

6) If he were a human who would he be?

Ryan Reynolds – extremely handsome, and with a great sense of humour.
(‘Mummy’ here – I’m not sure who Ryan Reynolds is even! I’d say George Clooney – as he simply gets better with age).

 

 

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Change of Pace for Stressed Out Dougie

Despite his 29-years of age, former top event horse Dougie was still stressing as if he was heading to Badminton Horse Trials.

A previous ride of Bill Levett when known as In The Black II, Dougie was the first horse the Australian event rider took round the prestigious Gloucestershire event where he finished a credible fifteenth.

Now owned by Heather James, Dougie would often weave at meal times and was generally a ‘stressy’ horse that she found difficult to keep weight on.

Said Heather: “I have fed TopSpec Senior Feed Balancer and TopSpec FibrePlus Cubes for some years but it really is the addition of the TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes over the last year that have transformed Dougie’s outlook on life and wellbeing.

“As well as his weight and condition it is also his general demeanour on life and he is just so much calmer, less stressed and not as reactive to a change in situation or environment.

“Since feeding TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes they have definitely helped to improve and maintain Dougie’s condition.

“He used to weave at meal times but since feeding him the cubes over the last 12 months that has gone completely.

“As he is 29 he gets his feed like a porridge which he really enjoys and he has now filled out and rounded off a lot more and is so much more settled.

“Even at his age I school and ride him five times a week and he is just amazing.  As a typical New Zealand Thoroughbred he never carried a lot of weight but he now looks great.”

 

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Run of Form for Louise Saywell

Louise Saywell’s run of winter form continued at Bury Farm Premier Show when heading the Grand  Prix.

Riding the James Hughes owned, Peiter VI this was a second Grand Prix win for the pair, having won just a few weeks ago at Addington Manor.

The pair needed to be on top form over the David Cole built course whichj saw six go through to the jump-off.

TopSpec-sponsored Louise and Pieter VI breezed round the track to take the honours much to the delight of all connections.

Said Louise: “The horses are all on great form and another Grand Prix win is brilliant.”

 

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Clothie Night Idiot Proves a Star

Shetland Clothie Night Idiot rounded off a fantastic 2016 with not only taking part in the Shetland Pony Grand National at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show but also claimed a top award in the world of driving.  Owned by Elinor Bosanquet, the TopSpec-fed grey Shetland took the Overall Champion award for the Shetland Driven Performance Award Scheme 2016!

Said Elinor: “Idiot is bred to be a performance pony; his bloodlines are quick and his dam and siblings also race.  He’s a natural leader and loves his job.  He adores the attention; the more the crowd claps the quicker he goes.”

 

 

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Isabella and Paddy Continue Winning Ways

2016 was a great year for Isabella Worthington and her young pony Inverin Paddy.

During the summer months they secured the prestigious, £1,000 to the winner, TopSpec Supreme Pretty Polly Championship at the North of England Summer Pony Show at Arena UK.

And their success continued at the Countryside Live event when they were the highest placed junior and only placed home-produced team when finishing fifth in the Olympia qualifier.

But there best results came in the 15hh plaited WHP section when they headed the class to much excitement.

Said Isabella: “Everyone was thrilled with the results at Countryside Live and it was a great way to end the season.  We are now planning our 2017 campaign which is very exciting.” 

 

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Dazzling Olympia Success

It was celebrations all round for Kerrilee Wilson and Maddigen, as they were crowned Olympia Supreme Senior Champions 2016.

Maddigen is a pure bred Irish draft, bred by Kerrilee and her family, so what better reward could they have wished for?

Kerrilee is quick to say she has many friends and family who have helped and supported her along the way to Olympia success, but extra special thanks go to her mum.

Said Kerrilee: “My mum Vicky helps me and supports me day in day out and comes to every single show with me.”

Kerrilee and Maddigen had been competing for a few years with moderate success before she took the decision to change Maddigen’s feed regime.

Maddigen is now fed on a TopSpec feed regime consisting of TopSpec Senior Lite Feed Balancer, TopChop Grass and TopSpec CoolCondition Cubes.

Kerrilee believes this change in feed successfully transformed Maddigen into an Olympia Champion.

“We qualified at the very first open qualifier at Hambleton in North Yorkshire in May 2016. This was such a big shock to qualify at the first show, I was totally and utterly over the moon!” she said.

Kerrilee acknowledges that once the days began to shorten in autumn, it was an increasing challenge to keep Maddigen fit for Olympia.

Not always having ready access to a school, Kerrilee was not deterred and would regularly strap all kinds of fluorescent and reflective clothing and head torches on, and ride on the roads in order to keep Maddigen fit.

All this dedication was rewarded by their fantastic success at Olympia. Said Kerrilee: “I still cannot believe that we won, it’s the thing that dreams are made of! It still hasn’t sunk in for me. After the competition, my mum put all the sashes on me and we walked around some of the shops at Olympia. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that wanted to have their photo taken with me and I even got asked for my autograph!”

Looking to the future, Kerrilee and Maddigen are going to concentrate on ladies’ side saddle classes from now on.

Kerrilee saves her biggest thanks to her most important and best friend Maddi, saying “She has taken me to places beyond my wildest dreams. There will never be another horse like her, she is my absolute horse of a lifetime and I thank the stars every day that she is mine.”

Picture Caption: Kerrilee and Maddigen at Olympia.

 

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Top Tips on Training the Show Horse with Michaela Wood

 

This year’s HOYS was one to remember for Michaela Wood when DP UK Nightdancer was crowned winner of the Small Hack of the Year and the 153cm Intermediate Show Riding Type while Login Lucky Lad, also owned by her father Martin Wood, headed the Coloured Ridden Native / Cob / Traditional Pony of the Year.

 

Here Michaela provides a few tips as we head into the winter show and training season:

– Try and work horses off the centre line and in squares rather than circles, this helps stop anticipation in the transitions and also ensures they don’t rely on the outside wall.

– Vary your training, I like to do some hill work which helps keeps them focused, fit and stops them getting bored too.

– Have someone video you….I always find something that I can improve on, and it’s a good thing to do on a regular basis so you can go back and see how you have improved.

- Practice canter work on the straight, this will help enormously as in a set show it is asked for increasingly.

– As a rider keeping yourself fit and healthy is also important, Pilates helps with tension issues in the shoulders and makes you use your core more, which also helps make the horses lighter in the hand.

– Ring craft is something to be worked on at home, keeping your horse in a controlled rhythm practising half halts will help with any rushing issues.  This comes into play a lot in the show ring when their maybe riders overtaking you.

– And when you do get in the ring remember to slow down, breathe and make your horse look elegant for the judge.

– As well as having your show horse well-trained they must also look the picture of health.  All my horses and ponies are feed on a TopSpec feed regime and we want to have them looking well covered and in good condition but not fat or over-topped.

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Cashel Bay JJ – A Star Performer

Lucy and her fabulous bay working hunter pony, Cashel Bay JJ, are on a high since taking both the Underwood 153cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year and then going Champion BSPS M&M Working Hunter Pony of the Year at the 2016 Horse of the Year Show. Here we find out more about the 12-year-old Connemara…

1 – Three years ago Lucy and her family nearly overlooked buying Cash as they weren’t really looking for a 15hh working hunter pony. Lucy still had a couple of years left in the 14hh classes but he was such a dream to ride they bought him.

2 – Cash, by Castleside JJ out of Ballybawn Cashel, is a four-time winner at the Horse of the Year Show.

3 – At home, he is referred to as the ‘Royal Bentley’ because he is so mannerly and such a smooth and easy ride. Lucy soon gelled with him to form the fantastic partnership that they have today.

4 – The same year Lucy bought Cash, they stood champion at Royal Windsor in the M&M WHP and won HOYS in the plaited 15hh class.  He has also claimed the championship at the Royal International Horse Show and won at Royal Dublin.

5 – Cash has also competed in British Eventing and was produced up to BE100 level. He excels in all three phases.

6 – Although the ‘Bentley’ of the yard, Cash is quite quirky and has his own set of rules. He doesn’t like having a tail bandage on and sometimes he refuses to have the reins and martingale put over his head, meaning Lucy must undo them and buckle them back up around his neck.

7 – Lucy’s mum, Polly helps to keep him fit whilst Lucy is away at boarding school. He enjoys autumn hunting and hacking and, like most horses, is better when he is not trained too much.

8 – Cash has a fantastic temperament and is very professional, Lucy can always rely on him to perform when it counts in the ring and not be silly.

9 – Lucy and Cash have a travelling fan club. Breeders Robbie and Barbara Fallon came over from Ireland to support them at HOYS. Jo Marsh Smith, who produced him to BE100 level, and prior owners the Leavesley family also visit shows to support them.

10 – Cash is fed on a TopSpec feed regime which consists of TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer, TopSpec CoolCondition Cubes and TopChop Grass.

 

 

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