DRIFFIELD dressage ace Lottie Fry enjoyed an 18th birthday to remember on Tuesday with a brace of wins at the British Dressage Northern Winter Regionals at Bishop Burton College.
Fry, from Aike Grange Stud, took the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Music Freestyle with an impressive 76.06 per cent on the 10-year-old bay gelding Z Flemmenco owned by her grandmother Rosemary Shewen.
The birthday girl also rode to victory in the Naf Magic Prix St Georges Music Freestyle on Remming, a 16-year-old dark bay gelding, while Fry and Z Flemmenco also took runner-up spot in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Open.
On her other ride, Riviera L, the teenager took seventh place in the Spillers Medium Open Music Freestyle. Tuesday’s wins came on Fry’s 18th birthday with the success all the more poignant given the death of Fry’s mother, Olympic grand prix dressage rider and trainer Laura Fry, back in 2012.
“It was especially nice that I had taken Riviera L as my mother used to ride him,” said Fry, who was sporting an enormous 18th birthday badge.
“Of course, it was sad in that she wasn’t there but it was also a very happy day.
“I definitely didn’t want to miss the regional finals because of my birthday and winning made the celebrations all the more special that night.”
Assessing her targets for 2014, rising star Fry added: “As far as the coming season goes, my aim is to secure a place on the 2014 Junior European team.”
Elsewhere at the event, held from Saturday until Tuesday evening, Derbyshire-based Bishop Burton student Helen Spalton, a third-year BSc Equine Science student, took sixth place in both the Equitop Myoplast Elementary Open and the Albion Medium Restricted on Lordships Delusion. Jack Wainwright, from Fridaythorpe, near Driffield, rode Dark Bacardi to first place in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Restricted Music Freestyle. Among the competitors were Olympian Nicola Wilson, from Northallerton, on her new ride One Too Many.
The talented teenage Shipley sisters from Sheriff Hutton, near York, were also in the placings. Roxanne took sixth place in both the Advanced Medium Music Freestyle and the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Restricted on Headmore Dream On. Bethany, riding Port Patrick, rode away with fourth place in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Music Freestyle.
Kristina Hall-Jackson, from Dewsbury, was first and second in the Equitop Myoplast Elementary Restricted class, riding Heartbreaker Junior and More or Less respectively. Bishop Burton’s Equine Event Co-ordinator, Kathryn Megan, said entries were up on last year; adding how encouraging it had been to see so many young riders among the prizewinners.
Huddersfield show jumping star John Whitaker took third place aboard Argento in Sunday’s 50,000 euros Graz Grand Prix in Austria. With 12 riders having jumped clear in the first round, the jump off was highly competitive with all vying for their lion share of the prize fund. With seven of the 12 then putting in another clear run, time was the crucial factor in deciding the final line up with less than two seconds deciding the top four placings.
It was home rider Thomas Fruhmann with The Sixth Sense jumping clear in a time of 38.45 seconds who took home the first prize of 16,500 euros with Max Kuhner for Germany and Cornetta 11 taking second in 38.97 secs.
Whitaker and Argento produced a stunning jump off, but their time of 39.75 seconds just wasn’t enough to claim a victory and saw them take third place just ahead of Pia Luise Aufrecht for Germany with MCB Ulke and their time of 40.02 seconds.
Argento, a 12-year-old bay stallion, is owned by Whitaker’s wife Clare.
Joining Whitaker in Austria was son Robert with his mother’s Catwalk IV.
Jumping clear in the first round, they incurred four penalties in a time of 39.53 seconds in the jump off giving them a 10th-place finish. One day earlier, world No 2 Ben Maher edged out Scott Brash in Wellington, Florida, for pole position in the $370,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix.
Riding Jane F Clark’s grey mare Cella in a thrilling jump off, Maher put in an incredible performance to relegate Brash and Ursula XII, owned by Lady Pauline Kirkham and Lady Pauline Harris, into second.