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