LeMieux National Dressage Championships drew to an exciting close, with three different riders taking the top three titles.
Hayley Watson-Greaves was crowned the new LeMieux National Champion, Lara Butler won the LeMieux Grand Prix Gold Championship riding Rubin Al Asad, while Carl Hester took the Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle title, for the second year running, with new ride Alcazar.
You can watch ALL the Freestyle and Grand Prix tests on H&C Play NOW.
Lara pulled off a fantastic performance riding her long-term partner Rubin Al Asad to score 73.78% in Saturday’s Grand Prix.
“He’s just in such great form,” said Lara. “He’s so pleased to be back out and proving to everyone how nice and how fit he is – he can still show the young horses how to do it!”
Hayley was second with WG Rubins Nite on 73.62%, and Carl came third on new ride Alcazar.
Carl went on to win the Freestyle with Alcazar – a horse he is riding for his pupil Katherine Bateson-Chandler. It was their first time competing together and Carl rode the 12-year-old Dutch warmblood to music previously used by Uthopia. The pair scored an impressive 78.75%, to take the title.
“I’m thrilled,” said Carl. “It was Uthopia’s music, it felt like riding Uthopia and he went like Uthopia. His extended trot was great and he gave me a really fun, happy feeling. He had lots of power in there and he did the technical things really well.
“Yesterday was my rehearsal and today I had a different ride; I had a happy horse and it was a great performance to end the championships on. And I’m one title further away from Charlotte!”
Hayley and ‘Squeak’ were second on 78.43%, while Lara and ‘Rufus’ were third with 77.40%.
Hayley’s two runner-up spots gave her an average score of 76.18%, which was enough to win the coveted LeMieux National Champion title.
“I can’t quite believe it, I’m a little bit speechless,” said Hayley. “He’s just absolutely awesome and tries his heart out every time. I love him to pieces, we have a great partnership and he’s got me where I am today.
Charlotte cleans up
Charlotte Dujardin also had a successful National Championships with her up-and-coming rides – winning an incredible five titles, and many more top three placings.
Charlotte took the top three spots in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter 1 Championship with Mount St John Freestyle, En Vogue and Mount St John Kom Fairytale. She pulled off another one-two-three the following day in the TopSpec Medium Gold Championship, this time with Mount St John VIP, River Rise Nisa and Gio.
Other wins came in the Monarch Equestrian Intermediate II with Hawtins Delicato and the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Championships, where Charlotte also came second with En Vogue. Charlotte was also crowned Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Supreme Champion.
As well as showing all the Freestyle and Grand Prix tests on H&C Play, we have highlights of the LeMieux National Dressage Championships on 1 October at 9pm on Sky 253. You can also watch online via H&C Play and Amazon Video.