European team riders continued their stunning form on home soil to take top honours in the Rotheras Under 21 Championships at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships.
Annabella Pidgley and her nine-year-old mare Espe finished top of the young riders class, on a score of 74.2%. This is their second title of the week, having already taken the prix st georges gold freestyle title.
“I’ve learnt to appreciate the improvements as they come,” said Annabella, who won double gold at the Europeans on Espe earlier this season. “We’ve had Espe since she was six. To see the development of this mare from then to now, when she is winning all over Europe, has been amazing.”
Annabella is currently riding full-time. She has been offered a place at King’s College London to study business but she has deferred a year to focus on horses: “I took a gap year to be a real athlete and spend time improving myself as a rider through every lens that I possibly can, including gym work and nutrition, now that I don’t have school. I want to do the yard work and spend as much time as I possibly can with the horses.”
Fellow 2023 Europeans competitor Abigail Gray, 15, topped the pony championship at the National Dressage Championships with British-bred grey George Clooney B.S on a score of 74.5%.
“My highlight was getting a nine for my last halt,” said Aberdeenshire-based Abigail, who is in her first season with 12-year-old George, who was previously competed by Mette Dahl. “My extended canter also felt really fun today. He’s such a wonderful pony and I’m so lucky to have him.
“He has a big canter so that has taken some time to get used to. George is a very nice person, but he can be cheeky when it comes to food!”
The National Dressage Championships children-on-horses title went to Darcey Blaze Marcus and Tackmann’s Dark Deluxe (76.8%) while top of the junior field was Sophie Wallace and First Light (72.1%).
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