little rain last week didn’t stop the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show in Tattenhall, Chester, U.K. from attracting VIP visitors and top equestrians from around the world for a celebration of equestrian sport. The towering Bolesworth Castle served as the perfect backdrop to the picturesque English horse show, which featured a display of all three Olympic equestrian disciplines.
The Queen Is Back — Dressage Queen That Is...
Starting off the week with a bang, British dressage queens Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle made their return to the manège since their FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) bronze medal performance last September. Winning both the grand prix and the grand prix special — posting a personal best of 82.979% — Charlotte has her eyes set on bringing the talented mare to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer.
“I was absolutely thrilled with [her]. She tries so hard, and there were so many highlights. Her canter work felt very solid, and she feels so much stronger than last year,” Charlotte said. “She is still only 10, so has not got very much mileage, so to come here in this arena and perform the way she did, I am absolutely delighted.”
Gemma Tattersall Makes Her Bolesworth Debut
Although it was her first trip to Bolesworth, WEG team gold medalist Gemma Tattersall made a statement, topping the leaderboard in the fan-favorite Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix aboard Santiago Bay. The pair put the pedal down around the course made up of both show jumping and cross-country obstacles to finish with an eight-second margin over second place finisher and countryman, Jay Halim.
"It was a fantastic class," Gemma said. “[Santiago Bay] always says yes to every question, and I had a fantastic time in there. She gave me a great ride.”
A Standout Performance for the Eye-Catching Ulyss Morinda
All eyes were set on the Belgian duo Rik Hemeryck and Ulyss Morinda as they entered the International Arena for the 10-horse jump-off in the Equerry Horse Feeds International Grand Prix. A partnership slowly curated over the past four years, the pair’s impressive win over Olympic and WEG team gold medalist, Laura Kraut, solidified Rik’s belief in the stunning piebald stallion as they flew around the challenging Kelvin Bywater-designed track.
"I have had [Ulyss Morinda] since he was seven, and he is really careful. I took my time developing him, and he did a couple of bigger shows last year before having a whole winter's rest,” Rik said of the Selle Français stallion. “This would be his biggest win. I have really enjoyed the Bolesworth experience. It is so nice here, and I hope I can come back next year."
Want more Bolesworth? Check out some of our favorite moments from the classic English horse show:
Bolesworth's stunning International Ring.
Tabitha Kyle and Playboy van de Zoetewei win the 138cms Grand Prix.
Joss Williams is all smiles aboard Zandokan Z.
Spectators enjoying the VIP tent.
Holly Smith gives Hearts Destiny a deserved pat.
Winners of the Prix St Georges Invitational, Robyn Smith and Francesco 77.
Photography courtesy of Bolesworth International Horse Show.