SICAB 2016 Roundup


Success for Brits at Spanish Dressage World Finals

Two British riders returned from Seville, Spain, last week after competing in the dressage finals at SICAB; the Spanish horse world championships (15 – 20 November 2016).

Charlotte Crocker-Westlake, with her own PRE stallion Gaspar de Valle, and Alice Hurley, with Karen Bourdon’s Deseado CCV (pictured), travelled to the south of Spain to take part in the PSG and Inter I final against some of the top dressage riders in the country. The two riders had represented GB at the Masters du Cheval Iberique European final in Italy just weeks earlier.

Charlotte and Gasper de Valle were the first of the two British combinations to compete in the Prix St Georges on Thursday 17 November where they produced a score of 61.5%. “Gaspar was amazing”, said Charlotte. “He was so grown up about the atmosphere in such a massive arena”. Alice followed suit aboard Karen Bourdon’s talented showing and dressage winner Deseado CCV. Having ridden the black stallion since a three-year-old, Alice and ‘Des’ achieved a positive score of 66.4% in their first attempt at the world finals. “Our first test went fairly smoothly”, said Alice. “It was a solid test with no major hiccups – just slightly underpowered”.

Saturday 19 November saw the combinations return for the Inter I test; a class which was also being contested by seasoned international and Spanish team riders. Charlotte and Gaspar de Valle improved on their first score with a follow up of 61.8% which gave the pair a final placing of 12th. “A few costly mistakes let us down”, said Charlotte, “but the experience has left us excited about the future. Roll on SICAB 2017”.

Alice and Deseado CCV – a combination who achieved the title of Dressage Ireland reserve Inter I champion earlier this year – produced a score of 62.6% for a satisfying 8th place overall. “We did our first Inter I in Spring this year. It’s both the first time I have ridden at this level and the first time I have trained a horse to this level. This was our first time on the international stage at this level with five international judges”, said Alice. “Warm up for the Inter I was phenomenal but sadly we just boiled over in the intense atmosphere after the first halt. Some moments of excellence were spoiled by fresh mistakes. However we only lost one place overall finishing on a fabulous 8th place at the PRE small tour World Championships!”

The future certainly holds excitement for the two British combinations with SICAB 2017 being a major aim as well as further national and international dressage competitions on the horizon.

Report by Yasmin Jaouane

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Introducing our Ambassador, Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

We are delighted to announce that The Countess of Carnarvon has accepted our invitation to stand as our Ambassador.

A long-time horse and PRE enthusiast, Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle (perhaps better known as the fictional Downton Abbey) couldn’t be better suited for the role, with her own PRE mare named Lara, and Frankie, an Hispano-Arab gelding.

Lara and Frankie are comfortably housed alongside a number of other horses in a range of beautiful Victorian stabling that lies adjacent to the distinctive castle, that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has watched the popular ITV series.

Lady Carnarvon first started riding as a child, and her passion for horses has remained a constant throughout her life and a relaxing escape from her hectic work schedule. With hundreds of acres of wood and parkland on the doorstep, there’s little excuse needed to tack up and take off for a few hours.

Highclere Castle Estate itself, also has an enduring association with horses, Highclere Stud was  founded over a century ago, now run by Lord Carnarvon’s sister but Lord Carnarvon  also enjoys riding and breeding with broodmares grazing in the Park near Lady Carnarvon’s Andalusians.

Highclere Castle sits in the centre of 1,000 acres of Capability Brown Parkland around which the farm and woodlands extend for a further 4000 or 5000 acres. It is all farmed in hand with a clear focus on sustainability and excellent farming practices. Lord and Lady  Carnarvon have further  developed a high-quality Horsefeeds Business (Highclere Castle Horsefeeds) supplying oats and haylage specifically for the equestrian market.

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