Action got underway yesterday at Somerford Park for the annual Premier League Dressage Competition.
Set in the heart of Cheshire, Somerford Park boasts top-class facilities to host competitors and their horses, alongside welcoming visitors from far and wide. The venue holds three major competitions throughout the year, two being in May; British Eventing 80/90/100 followed by the Somerford Premier League Dressage. The calendar concludes with the International CIC2* event in August. Alongside these events, the venue is hired to organisations for championship shows, The Pony Club, kids camps, clinics and more.
The first of the four-day bank holiday Premier League Dressage competition hosted a selection of British Dressage Young Horse (BDYH) classes for horses aged 4, 5 and 6, alongside the Advanced and Advanced Medium tests which took place in the main arena.
Classes one and two got underway in perfect conditions, from 1pm. The Medium 73 and the Advanced Medium 96 welcomed a host of decorated equestrians and upcoming dressage stars including Michael Eilberg, Emma Corbett and Tom Goode.
It was a clean sweep for the Mount St John horses scooping the top three placings in the Medium 73. Ryan Todd and Mount St John Di Romantica, owned by Jane Mothersdale, rode into 1st place. Michael Eilberg and Mount St John Dante VX, had held an early lead until Eilidh Grant (2nd) with Mount St John Doornroos II, snatched the top spot. Not held for long, 1st was then taken by Ryan, who commented:
I’ve been riding the mare for three years” … “we’ve already qualified for the medium regionals and we’ll do those at Somerford Park.”
Tom Goode rode strong Advanced Medium tests scooping 1st and 3rd place by the close of play. Based with Emile Faurie at Heath Farm Tom navigated Sakira into 1st and Emile Faurie’s, Feine Schufro, into third for the Andrew Bowen sponsored class. Belinda Brereton riding her own Galaxy Moone, took 2nd.
Over in arena three, the first BDYH class of the day got underway at 2pm. The classes, set in the new arena situated away from the hustle and bustle of the event, provided a perfect position for the young horses to experience an event of this standard without too much interference and distraction.
Keeping up appearances, the first class for the 4-year-olds was won by Tom Goode, riding Special Diva, another horse owned Emile Faurie. Kirstie Clarke with Kingston IV and Emma Woolley from WSC Dressage finished in third place riding Kinnear.
Following on from the 4-year-olds was the BDYH 5 year-old-class. Darcas Lever, riding Holly Watson’s Sandrovski rode into 1st place with Beth Bexon and Woodcroft Jamais Nublaiz in 2nd. Melissa Chapman scooped third on board her first horse, Jaguar DHI.
To conclude the Young Horse classes of the day, the BDYH 6-year-old was won by Melissa Chapman riding Inocencio DHI, with Anne-Marie Rawlins and Sugarbabe in second. Gillian Davison and Intero took third place.
The action continues today with the competition including the Premier League FEI Prix St Georges class, accompanied by Hickstead British Young Horse BD National Test and the Premier League FEI Intermediate II to mention only a few.
Tickets to enter the event are £10 per car, this includes parking. A selection of stalls and seating is available to enjoy British Dressage at it’s best. For more information and directions on how to get to the event visit www.somerfordpark.co.uk