Last weekend saw the British Riding Club’s (BRC) NAF Five Star National Championships take place at Lincolnshire Showground
Over 1,500 competitors took part in 21 separate championship classes for both seniors on Saturday and juniors on Sunday; with riders competing in dressage, riding test, show jumping and style jumping.
Sprits couldn’t be dampened by the rain over the weekend, with Elstead Riding Club (RC) winning no fewer than four team championships (senior style jumping, team of six dressage, junior riding test and junior style jumping).
Melanie Lusted of Elstead RC rode Keeshen Jazmine to win in each the senior style jumping, riding test and prelim dressage arenas, and went on to lift the overall individual prelim dressage championship title. Melanie said: “I cannot quite believe what we have achieved today, I am so thrilled with Jazmine, she is just the most wonderful pony and a true all-rounder.”
Stoneleigh RC took the title of Senior Open Dressage Team champions. The Stoneleigh team repeated their superb win at the BRC Intermediate Winter Championships 2016 back in April. Alexzandra Houldcroft, of Stoneleigh RC, said: “It was fantastic to win the Intermediate Championships at the end of April for a second year running, but to win the National Championships was a dream come true.” Alex and Copper IV finished third in their novice dressage arena, with fellow team member Susan Bullock and Lynwood Crofter winning their Elementary arena, to clinch the team title, finishing on a total of just eight points.
The sun came out for Sunday’s Junior Championship Day, with Aiden Billing (16) of Cherwell Valley RC riding homebred Gaytonian Samson to overall individual wins in both the junior riding test and style jumping championships.
Mossvale RC made their journey from Northern Ireland worthwhile, winning both junior the novice and intermediate show jumping championships. This was made more notable given that both teams only fielded three riders in each team, so all scores had to count and in total each rider jumped three immaculate clear rounds.
New for this year, an advanced medium/medium dressage championship was added and was won by Chiltern RC’s Sarah Lambert-Gibbs riding Pennfield Pirate. Sarah was thrilled with her win, and said of Pennfield Pirate: “He truly is my horse of a lifetime, was given to me by his trainer as a four year-old, who had raced 15 times on the flat and has now taken me from novice to medium level dressage in 18 months.”
Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, Branwen Griffin and Sarah Gibson and their team were presenting rugs and prizes and offering nutritional and NAF product advice all weekend.
Melissa said: "Even the rain couldn’t dampen the competitors’, volunteers’ and spectators’ spirits. It is such a pleasure to sponsor such a well-run and prestigious event. We have seen the thrills and spills of the show jumping, the elegance of the dressage and some very stylish style classes, all demonstrating the ethos of British Riding Clubs and its valuable place in the equestrian world."
BRC extends a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and team volunteers who made the NAF Five Star National Championships 2016 such a great success.
All results are on the BRC website and pictures can be seen on BRC’s Facebook page.