Sue and Annie help set winning fashion for northern dressage

Team members receiving their trophy at the British Dressage Senior Home International.
Team members receiving their trophy at the British Dressage Senior Home International.
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RIDERS from the North of England pulled out all the stops to become the champion team at the British Dressage Senior Home International.

Northern Fashion were the clear winners on a score of 17 which was a full 21 points ahead of their nearest rivals, the Eastern Region.

Thirty-four teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competed at the event held at the David Broome Centre in Monmouthshire.

The Northern Fashion team of mother and daughter Sue and Annie Staines (medium and novice), Heidi Hutchinson (elementary) and Amy Miller (preliminary) all gained placings in the top five on both days. Heidi and Amy both won their individual classes.

Heidi, from Copmanthorpe near York, and her five-year-old Dutch-bred gelding, Balero, have already had a very successful year with seven consecutive wins between novice and elementary.

“I couldn’t have asked for more from such a young horse, he really rose to the occasion,” said Heidi.

Amy Miller, based in Lincolnshire, and her British- bred stallion, Valentino X1V, were originally reserves for the team and came up trumps when they were called up, winning the Prelim class.

“He went really well over the three days,” said Amy. “As a stallion, he can lose attention easily at normal shows, but he worked as well as he does at home. We had a fantastic time.”

Sue Staines and Comte D’Orsino were second in the Medium individual championships and Annie, riding Royal Standard, was fourth in the Novice section.

Other successes for riders from the Northern region included Claire Pytches, riding Wisley, who finished second in the Novice class.

Also in the Novice class, Cara Shardlow riding Detonator, won the Novice class on the Saturday and went on to come ninth in the individuals.

Kate Johnson, riding Casse-Cou in the Advance Medium class, had a first place and then came second in the individual championship.

Another team from the North, Northern Freedom, also did well to finish ninth. The team was Laura Hedley Gray, Claire Pytches, Verity Saul and Yvonne Scales.

“This is my first year as regional development officer and what a way to celebrate,” said Sarah Huntridge from British Dressage. “I find it very gratifying to bring together riders as the sport can be lonely competing by oneself. It is also great to see riders develop in the lead up to the competitions and afterwards.”

Many riders feel they are not ready for competitions but, with some gentle persuasion, their confidence grows, says Sarah. “I would recommend all riders to go to their region’s selection and viewing days and find out more about these competitions.”

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BREEDING horses using AI (artificial insemination) is the subject of a presentation and discussion being organised by Yorkshire Sport Horse at the Bridge Hotel at Walshford on October 27.

The speakers include Tullis Matson from Stallion AI Services in Shropshire and Dr Jonathan Pycock from Equine Reproductive Services.

Tickets are £15 in advance or £20 on the door, available from Liz Lorrimar, 172 Front Street, Sowerby, Thirsk YO7 1JN.

Come and have a ball with us, say hunt

NEWCOMERS to hunting are welcome to join what the Badsworth and Bramham Moor say will be a “hunting day to remember.”

Their Newcomers’ Day on Saturday, October 29, will begin at 10am at the meet at Frickley and visitors are also invited to the autumn hunt ball to be held that evening at the Riley-Smith Hall in Tadcaster.

“Whether you attend both events or just one, we look forward to welcoming you,” says hunt secretary Jenny Tomlinson Walsh.

For more information about the Newcomers’ Day contact Jenny on 07977 627128 or by email at

To find out more about the hunt ball, call 01937 590525.

WITCHES and skeletons will be making an appearance at Thornton Lodge Farm’s Hallowe’en Hunter Trial at Easingwold next weekend.

The popular event features jumps with a Hallowe’en theme (watch out for the scary wood and the coffin jump) and there are special prizes for the best dressed horse and rider.

Classes range from Minimus and Nanny and Novice at 1ft 6in to novice juniors and seniors and pairs, 2ft 6in and an open class at 3ft 3in.

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A regional qualifier for the BHS Equitation competition is being held at Friars Hill Stables, Sinnington on November 6.

The competition gives riders from riding schools, who do not own their own horses, the chance to take part and qualify for a final which will be held at Warwickshire College next year.

It involves a dressage test, show-jumping course and equine general knowledge questions.

The competition is open to three ages groups, 13 and under, 17 and under and 18 and over.

For more information go to or telephone Alison on 01751 432758.

Yorkshire trio taking centre stage on famous Aintree course

YOUNG jockeys will be lining up at Aintree this afternoon for the finals of the Charles Owen Pony Racing series.

The 24 riders qualified for the final following a 22-race series at racecourses, point-to-points and at Pony Club race days held all over the country.

The two races, for ponies 138cm and under and 148cm and under, will take place before the main racing starts. Among the hopefuls are three jockeys from Yorkshire – Emma Smith, riding Stambrook Marquesa, and William Hill, riding Clonross Star, both from near Thirsk and Alex French, riding Hope, who is from near Malton.

Alex will be competing in his fourth consecutive final, which will also be his last, as he is now 16.

SAD news from Kath Barley, whose “horse of a lifetime,” Drummacy, died this week at the age of 22.

“It’s the end of an era but we have some brilliant memories,” said Kath, who is based near Boroughbridge.

Drummacy, by State Diplomacy out of Drummer, retired on a high last year after becoming champion Lightweight Hunter brood mare at the Great Yorkshire Show. Her filly foal, Drummatic, won its class and was also champion foal.

Drummacy, who was home bred, began a long line of successes when she was champion foal in 1989 at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The list includes being supreme champion at Ryedale Show and at the Yorkshire Sport Horse Show and her foal Percussionist was champion foal at the National Hunter Show in 2009.

Drummacy had six foals, the first five of which were colts.

“We finally got the filly and, hopefully, she will carry on the line,” said Kath.