Young horses excite at Hartpury Festival

A major attraction at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage (5 – 9 July 2017) is the Shearwater Young Horse Semi-Final, the first of two with the next taking place at Port Royal in Yorkshire on the 19 July.

Kerry Mackin

The top five horses in each age category scoring 7.0 or above then go forward to Shearwater Young Horse Championships at the LeMieux National Championships in September.

A field of 22 four-year-olds were presented, each performing the BD Young Horse Novice Test in front of BD Training Director and List 1 Judge Paul Hayler (GBR) and Canadian FEI5* Judge, Cara Whitham. The quality of horses was a feast for the eyes but there could be only one winner and that was, Izonik (pictured).

Ridden by Kerry Mackin who co-owns him with Rowan Bryson, the beautiful stallion showed all the credentials of a future top horse. Izonik is by Edward Gal’s young Grand Prix horse, Zonik, and out of a Jazz mare. On his score sheet he was described as “A beautiful horse with three super paces,” by Paul Hayler who awarded him nines for his super walk and his general impression. He was awarded a total score of 8.60, ahead of second placed Santo Del Ponca ridden by Daniel Sherriff.

Kerry (35) from Horsham in West Sussex is a specialist producer of young horses, one of her equine protégés being C Fatal Attraction ridden now by Sophie Wells.

Charlotte Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin who had a cracking show in the CDI and Premier League classes, also presented three of her young rides, taking the five-year-old title and both top spots in the six-year-olds.

The 2016 Shearwater four-year-old winner, Hawtins San Floriana (San Amour x Florestan), is a step closer to adding another Shearwater title to her tally with a win in the five-year-old semi-final. The British-bred daughter of elite Hanoverian performance mare, Hawtins Floriana, was bred by Judith Davis but is now owned by her rider and Carl Hester.

FEI5* Judge Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode from the Netherlands and British FEI4* Judge Judy Harvey assessed each horse’s execution of the BD Young Horse Elementary Test. Hawtins San Floriana (pictured above) was awarded a total of 8.68, the highest score across all age categories. Close behind in the runner-up spot was Jess Dunn with her own mare Helga (Chagall x Sandro Hit).

Charlotte Dujardin

Another en route for a stab at a second Shearwater crown is Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John VIP (Vivaldi x Donnerhall), the 2016 Shearwater Five-Year-Old Champion. Charlotte presented the elegant mare beautifully throughout the BD Young Horse Medium Test to take the six-year-old second round. The mare (pictured below), who is the reigning Equi-Trek Elementary Gold title holder was awarded a score of 8.60 by the judges – FEI4* Judge Elke Ebert from Germany and British FEI3* Judge, Peter Storr.