A 20-year-old dressage horse belied his age to win the Olympia Senior Showing & Dressage Championships sponsored by Anthony D Evans Insurance Brokers. Helen Christie’s Silvano KR, ridden by 16-year-old GCSE student Gracie Catling, looked in peak condition to take the laurels, having qualified for Olympia at the Three Counties Show.
The bay gelding scored 45 out of 50 for presentation, manners and way of going, and 18 out of 20 for suppleness, as judged by Mark Morrison and Sharon Thomas.
Gracie explained: “Dressage has been his main thing – I took him on at Elementary level – but now the showing has taken off and I love it. This just feels amazing.”
The runner-up, Amy Hunter’s 16-year-old skewbald cob ride Pilgrim, scored the highest marks (28 out of 30) for condition, but there is a poignant story behind the triumph.
“You couldn’t get on him when he came to me, at the age of 10. I bought him from a trekking centre where he had become unrideable – I think at one stage in his life he might have even been tethered at the side of the road,” explained Amy, who works as an estate agent in Southport.
“I took him right back to basics and have showed him and done dressage and we go for rides on the beach – he’s the dream horse.”
In the in-hand section, the remarkable 32-year-old Hot Fuss, shown by Laura Oughton-Aker, took the honours with a score of 19 out of 20 for suppleness. The 18-year-old Laithehill Pasha, shown by Philippa Dawson-Coates, took the reserve spot.