Darren Kaye lead from start to finish in the KBIS British Equestrian Insurance Preliminary Championship at this years NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships held at Hartpury College.
As the first rider to enter the ring out of the 22 starters, Darren set the standard with the six-year-old Sir Donnerhall gelding This Time Next Year, scoring an impressive 71.97%. He then had a very anxious morning, having to patiently wait the two hour duration of the class but he was to be the only rider to break the 70% barrier to become a worthy championship winner.
“This is his first big championship, he can be very unsettled and naughty but he was really relaxed in the arena - not bad considering he came to us almost unridable! It’s been a great year with him” commentated Hull based Darren who has already secured his qualifications for the summer regionals and has his sights firmly set on the Nationals in September.
Darren trains with Joyce Fearne, who has known This Time Next Year (Rodney) since he was a three year old, when his owner Eleanor Tupenny started a BD apprentice with Joyce.
“He is an exceptionally clever horse, it has taken time to get him to cope with the excitement but he is now much bolder.”
Second place went to one of the smallest combinations of the class Abigail Uden and the 14.2hh black gelding Rain Dance who put in a foot perfect performance to earn a score of 69.39%, also taking the best amateur/owner prize. Having qualified at Patchetts in February the combination are now successfully competing at Novice level and are also planning their campaign for qualification to the nationals at this level.
Another to qualify for the Championships from Patchetts was dressage and sport horse editor at Horse & Hound, Alice Collins. Riding the British bred five-year-old mare Faconnable the combination secured their highest percentage of the year so far scoring 68.33% to take third place.
This is the second year KBIS have been the title sponsors of the preliminary winter series and championships, which they support alongside the para equestrian dressage championship. The series is one of the most popular classes of the sport, providing the amateur rider with an opportunity to compete at national championships.
Photo by Kevin Sparrow