Hartpury and Uberherrn see Paralympians impress

Riders in Great Britain and Germany preparing for World Equestrian Games

female Para equestrian rider Natasha Baker smiles on her horse Natasha Baker and Mount St John Diva Dannebrog won triple gold at Hartpury 2018 © • Hartpury Festival of Dressage

The battle for spots at September’s World Championships heated up after two international Para equestrian competitions wrapped up in Hartpury, Great Britain; and Uberherrn, Germany.

The Hartpury Festival of Dressage held 4-6 July was the one of the last chances for British riders to show why they deserve to go to 2018 Worlds from 18-22 September in Tyron, North Carolina, USA.

Three-time Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker on her new horse Mount St John Diva Dannebrog and Sophie Wells on C Fatal Attraction, whom Wells rode to two golds and a silver in Rio, both claimed major wins.

Baker won the grade III team, individual and freestyle competitions; while Wells did the same in grade IV.

Fellow Rio 2016 champions Lee Pearson and Sophie Christiansen also rode to podium successes. Pearson, on Styletta, picked up wins in the team and individual grade II tests, and a third place in the freestyle. Christiansen, on her new ride Amazing Romance, finished second in the grade I freestyle.

New faces also made their cases for Tyron, with wins for Mari Durward Akhurst in the grade I individual and freestyle; Georgia Wilson in the grade II freestyle; and a stunning three out of three titles (team, individual and freestyle) for Isobelle Palmer in grade IV.

Palmer said: “I’m delighted with three wins in three days! My horse, Touchdown M tries his heart out. I’m just thrilled.”

Paralympic and Worlds medallists were also competing for tickets to Tyron in Uberherrn from 7-10 July.

The Netherlands’ Worlds bronze medallists Frank Hosmar, on Alphaville N.o.p, and Nicole Den Dulk, on Wallace N.o.p, won the team, individual and freestyle competitions in grade V and II respectively.

France’s Jose Letarte landed a hat-trick of wins in grade IV.

In grade III, Germany’s Angelika Trabert continued her competitive return to the sport with victories in the team and individual competitions. But the Netherlands’ Demi Van Meulen knocked her into second place in the freestyle.

Singapore’s Paralympic medallist Laurentia Tan also picked up golds in the grade I team and individual contests, while the Netherlands’ Eveline Van Looveren took the top prize in the grade’s freestyle.