Local Riders Prove to be Five Star

Hertfordshire dressage rider Daisy Coakley won a national title at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships held 10th-14th April at Hartpury Arena.

20-year-old Daisy rode Cleopatra II, a 6-year-old KWPN mare by Daynao to head the GFS Elementary Restricted Music Freestyle with a score of 73.08%. “I’m really thrilled she was great,” smiled Daisy whose freestyle routine was choreographed to dramatic, film score music. “She was settled, she listened to me, and her bold medium canter right towards the judge – felt amazing.” “I started riding her last February and we first competed a couple of months later,” said Daisy. “She copes really well at shows and is so good in her mind.” Essex dressage rider Claire Knowles rode Pendragon of Independence, the beguiling 8-year-old Knabstrupper stallion to head the Blue Chip Novice Open Championship with 71.38%.

“I’m thrilled. I hoped to make the top ten. I didn’t think we’d make the top three though, let alone win,” said Claire. Claire has ridden the German-bred and owned leopard spot premium graded stallion for 18 months. He was backed as a 3-year-old then used solely for breeding for several years so has started his ridden career relatively late in life. “He laps up the work and has a great work ethic,” she said, clearly delighted. “He’s also very consistent and such a good boy. It’s a testament to his character. This is the first show where he’s had to stay away and he’s coped very well.”

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