With ten horses entered during the week that were born at Headmore Stud, it was likely they’d feature well in the placings but in the SureGrow UK Elementary Freestyle Gold, it was a case of domination.
First of the Headmore trio was the six-year-old Florencio-sired Headmore Figaro, owned by Sarah Oppenheimer with Dannie Morgan in the saddle. Due to a withdrawal, they were also the first of the class and what a start to make! A captivating floorplan with as much technicality as the level allows to music which was so apt for the cheerful chestnut. A massive score of 78.78% was announced…gauntlet firmly laid down.
Next was the Belissimo M mare Headmore Bella Ruby with Alice Oppenheimer. This duo were still flying high from their Equi-Trek Elementary Gold and they looked pretty spot on. Again excellent music with a flat plan packed with difficulty greeted the judges who duly obliged with a score of 77.37% to put Alice second.
The combinations gave their all including Dannie with his second ride, Nicola Callam’s High Hoes Florizel, but they couldn’t come close.
Then the penultimate to go was Alice with her second ride, Headmore Dionysus, a half brother to Bella Ruby in sharing the same dam, Headmore’s legendary Rubinsteena but this time with Dimaggio as the sire. ‘Dillon’ was bridesmaid on Thursday in the straight class but being a year older, today he showed that extra strength and was a picture in the arena. Again, perfectly selected music by Sara Green accompanied well thought out movements. They halted and saluted knowing it was going to be a good score. The commentator started…78…point…20%. Dannie and ‘Jack’ were champions.
“I’m really pleased with him,” exclaimed Dannie. “I broke him in as a three year old and produced him along the way. He was fourth here last year and then second at the Nationals at Novice so it’s great to come here and get the win.
“He’s got a great walk and he’s very secure in the medium canter plus he can do the simple changes so I’ve really worked on a technical floor plan. I didn’t mind going first, I just went in and gave the judges something to sit up and watch!” he continued.
Alice was emotional afterwards. “It’s been an incredible week for Headmore. Six wins so far and three seconds, just amazing. Dannie and I have had some banter; ‘my walk is better, but no my music is’ – it’s been fun and in the end, it didn’t matter who won. Bella Ruby felt a bit tired today, she’s not a physically developed as Dillan but for all three to get those scores and be so far ahead of the other is great, they’re so clever! That was definitely the coolest prize giving I’ve ever done!
“I have to thank Sara Green for her amazing skill in putting my music together. The detail she puts into every one and captures the horse’s personality is amazing. She’ll certainly be part of our celebrations.
“It’s been a big build up for all the horses and I can’t fault any of them this week. It’s been very emotional and I’ve had the full range of ups and downs!” said Alice.
Jonathan Cox of Suregrow said: “Congratulations to Dannie and Headmore Figaro on winning the championship with a fantastic result.
“Dannie Morgan’s score of 78.782% was the highest score of the entire championships, an amazing achievement! We are pleased to support such a prestigious dressage series.”