Lynn Wins Suregrow Fertiliser Regional Elementary Freestyle Silver Title

Dressage Trainer and Pilates Teacher Lynn Perry was delighted to take the Regional Champion title at Easton and Otley College in the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Music Silver class.

Lynn and Starmaker took the winner’s rosette on a score of 71.923%, to qualify for the British Dressage Winter Championships.

Based at First Choice Dressage in Suffolk, Lynn is a highly respected and fully qualified dressage coach and has been successfully training riders and horses for more than 20 years.

Starmaker, known at home as Sparky is a homebred eight-year-old, 15.3hh chestnut gelding, by Showmaker out of Lynn’s mare Little Lady.

Currently Lynn has three horses competing from Novice to Advanced medium, all homebred and home produced, and has several youngsters waiting in the wings from yearlings upwards.

Said Lynn: “I was really pleased with how well we kept to all the timings in the music that emphasised the transitions and medium paces.

“I think Sparky was a little tense as he wasn't as forward as he normally is, so I felt parts of the test could have been more expressive.

“There are things we hope to improve on for the championships but I was surprised and also elated to win and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”


March 12, 2019  |   Share:

Alice Oppenheimer Wins Suregrow Elementary Gold at Merrist Wood College and at Wellington Equestrian Centre

Professional rider and trainer Alice Oppenheimer is on a wining role and has qualifyed for the prestigious British Dressage Winter Championships.

29-year-old Alice and Headmore Dionysus took the Suregrow Fertiliser Elementary Gold Freestyle title with an impressive score of 75.25% at Merrist Wood College.

Known at home as Dillon, Headmore Dionysus is a 15.3hh British Hanoverian, liver chestnut gelding and is a rising eight year old.  He was bred by Sarah Oppenheimer and has been owned by Amanda Radford for the last four years. Alice started competing Headmore Dionysus in October 2018.

Said Alice: “I am so pleased with Dillion’s test at Merrist Wood and I am delighted to have won a sash for his owner.”

Alice also took the Suregrow Fertiliser Elementary Gold Freestyle title at Wellington Equestrian Centre with an outstanding score of 78.59% on Headmore Bella Ruby, Headmore Dionysus half-sister.

Headmore Bella Ruby, known as Bella at home is a 16.3hh liver chestnut, seven-year-old Hanoverian mare. Owned and bred by Sarah Oppenheimer at Headmore, Bella has the same mother as Dionysys called Rubinsteena.

Added Alice: “We can’t wait for the finals.”

Having starting riding as a three-year-old Alice is now a successful professional rider and trainer producing mainly home bred horses up to International GP level and has been a member of several Nation cup teams representing Great Britain.

Based in Four Marks near Alton, Hampshire Alice’s other competition rides include Dillion’s half-sister Headmore Davina and Caroline Dibden’s horse Headmore Diffinity who have all also qualified for the Winter Championships at various levels.

Said Jonathan Cox of Suregrow Fertiliser: “A very well done to Alice for taking home two titles from our Suregrow sponsored events both of which have been very competitive rounds. We are pleased to support such a prestigious dressage series.”Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus.jpg

March 8, 2019  |   Share:

Jayne Wins Regional Dressage Championship at Summerhouse

Jayne Chapman and Life on Mars are celebrating after qualifying for the prestigious British Dressage Winter Championships.

The pair won the Suregrow Fertiliser Winter Elementary Freestyle Regional Silver Championship at Summerhouse on a fantastic score of 71.99%

Based in Taunton, Somerset, 47-year-old Jayne has been riding all her life. Formerly a keen event rider she decided to concentrate on dressage after under-going three sessions of spinal surgery to repair damaged discs.  The intensive surgery forced her to hang up her jumping boots and call it a day.

Focussing on dressage in a bid to keep riding Jayne has had a great success at Regional and National level. She has ridden for Team South West at the Home Internationals and has discovered a real passion for the Freestyle enjoying co-ordinating all her own music and choreography.

Life on Mars, known at home as Toad is a 17.1hh, bay 12-year-old British Sports horse, owned by Jayne for the last 10 years.

One of six horses on her busy yard, five are now all concentrating on dressage from Novice to Advanced Medium level.

Said Jayne: “I was absolutely thrilled to win. I had two of my horses in the Regional Final, the other horse being Hector III.

“I was completely stunned when I saw the results! I couldn’t believe I’d pulled off first and second place earning two places at the Winter Freestyle Championships. They scored 71.98% and 70.76% there was only just over 1% separating them.

“I am really excited about the finals and will be spending the next few weeks dedicated to getting ourselves as tuned up as possible with help from my trainers Adam Kemp and Helen Griffiths.”

Said Jonathan Cox of Suregrow Fertiliser: “A very well done to Jayne for taking home first and second place in our Suregrow sponsored event. We are pleased to support such a prestigious dressage series.”

Toad Summerhouse 1.jpg

March 8, 2019  |   Share:

Sarah-Jane Brown February Blog

This may be a slightly shorter blog than usual as shortly after writing my last blog I had a little issue that involved me diving onto concrete.

It’s that age old problem of being a working rider with limited light in the week, it means at the weekend I try and give them a good hack or box them to a school. On this particular Sunday it was windy, ok let’s be honest there was a weather warning for wind and being only a mile or so from the coast we are pretty exposed. I decided to plough on and ride both regardless, I had survived a ride on Ellie but on mounting Fliss she spooked with me half on causing me to kick her on the backside next minute I was hurtling toward the concrete with the knowledge this was likely to hurt. It did and it ended up with a trip to casualty where fortunately no breaks were identified but soft tissue damage around the ribs. It may only have been soft tissue but it was extremely painful and I lived in fear of something making me sneeze!

I was unable to ride for 10 days and then only sit and pootle round the block it was nearly four weeks until the sharp pains had subsided enough for life to be fairly normal. Luckily the girls were fit and going nicely so a break wasn’t the end of the world. We also timed it well as we had a few days of snow, but you can see Ellie had fun.

I am lucky I have enough grazing for both girls to not to be too short in the winter. Also huge thanks to Suregrow for helping maintain the grass and keep it in great condition with a good root structure. As I have no schooling facilities I also use Ellie’s field to ride in through the winter and it is looking great still.

We did manage one outing a jumping show at Bicton Arena. I cannot believe the weather we had, warm sunny weather and perfect for some jumping at Bicton. It has been a while since we have been out. I decided to just take Fliss although I kept my brave pants on and entered the 1.05 and Newcomers rather than stepping back as was sorely tempting.

The Bicton jumping shows at the beginning and the end of the season are some of my favourite jumping shows, with just one arena running and everyone gathered around there is a great atmosphere, it is well organised with great competitive jumping. I was sensible for once and went for consistent quality rounds without getting carried away for fast times. I am very excited about Fliss's future and don't want to spoil her jump at this stage by rushing her.

She was fab and over two decent tracks jumped two nice double clears. In the Newcomers she jumped her first treble albeit rather greenly managing to add a stride but was very honest. It was the only mistake she made in either round and she had the ability to get away with it. 

As I write this we are preparing for a big road trip with a journey to Northants (seven hours in the lorry) to Aston Le Walls for the BRC Arena Eventing Championships which both horses qualified for in the Autumn. I am really looking forward to representing Threewaters Riding Club in this great competition. As we have travelled so far we are planning a couple of days of boot camp on the way back with a stop at the fabulous Attington to have some lessons with International Irish Event rider Austin O’Connor. He is a fabulous trainer having first taught me 30 years ago when based in Cornwall. My lessons with Austin this time last year really shaped a huge improvement in both girls and very excited to be going back.

Hopefully plenty more for the next blog if you want regular updates do follow me on my website


March 8, 2019  |   Share:

Jo Barry Wins Suregrow Elementary Gold Freestyle at Morris Equestrian Centre

National Dressage rider Jo Barry and Hidalgo II took the Suregrow Fertiliser Elementary Gold Freestyle title with an outstanding score of 77.37% at Morris Equestrian Centre.

The Suregrow Elementary Gold winner has won numerous Regional and Scottish titles and 16 National Championships throughout her Dressage career and currently competes up to Small Tour Level.

Having ridden from a young age, Jo started riding at her local riding school at just four-years-old. She had weekly riding lessons, which soon turned into spending weekends at the yard as well as many evenings after school whenever possible. Jo got her first pony when she was eight-years-old and took part in Pony Club activities.

Based in West Lothian near Edinburgh Jo now works professionally with horses, providing livery and coaching while working and training her own horses in her goal to reach international level. 

Jo trains with Olympic Gold Medallist Carl Hester and well known dressage rider Paul Hayler, Jo currently has four competition horses from Novice to Small Tour.

Known at home as Humphrey, Hidalgo II is a 17.3hh, chestnut gelding by Rousseau, out of a Donnerhall mare, although he is not bred by Jo she bought his mother from Holland  whilst in foal with Humphrey. He was born in 2012 at Jo’s yard.

Owned by Jo and Lady Hope, Hidalgo II also won the Elementary straight class and the medium freestyle at the Regionals.

Said Jo: “The Suregrow Elementary Gold Freestyle test went very well at Morris Equestrian Centre and I am thrilled to qualify with Humphrey.

We are very much looking forward to the finals.”

Said Jonathan Cox of Suregrow Fertiliser: “Congratulations to Jo and Hidalgo II on winning the title with a fantastic result. We are pleased to support such a prestigious dressage series.”

equiscot 4325 njo barry.jpg

Photo by Equiscot.

March 5, 2019  |   Share:

Lucy Wins Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Regional Final at Bishop Burton

Successful dressage and event rider, Lucy Robinson, is having a fantastic start to the season after taking the Regional Champion title at Bishop Burton in the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Music Silver class.

Riding Jane Boothroyd’s homebred mare by Kyra Kirkland’s Master, Private Dancer V is a 16hh, 10-year-old mare. Known at home as Sara, Lucy and the mare have had huge success including two regional titles and last year she was crowned Northern Region Elementary Champion.

Based on the Staffordshire/ Derbyshire borders, Lucy helps run her family equestrian yard. Lucy started riding at a very young age, starting with showing then progressed to Pony Club where she has won many national titles for both dressage and eventing including winning the Open Eventing twice.

Lucy is now competing very successfully in the Under 21’s. She has three of her own event horses and competes a range of horses for owners from BE90 to 3 star level.

Lucy starting riding Jane’s dressage horses more than four years ago to help with the dressage phase of eventing. Jane needed help as she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis so although she enjoyed training the horses, competitions are a bit stressful.

Said Jane: “Lucy rode a calm, obedient test to a medley of Beatles music which suited the mare and impressed the judges.  Apart from lifting her front leg to salute the judges in the first halt, everything went according to plan and getting nearly all sevens which resulted in all the judges scoring the pair over 70%.

“It’s very exciting to win and qualify - I am going to have to cut my holiday short to take Lucy and Sara to Hartpury.”


February 28, 2019  |   Share:

Gracie Wins Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Regional Final

Young dressage rider Gracie Catling has been taking the dressage world by storm and has qualified for the prestigious British Dressage Winter Championships.

Gracie and Henton For Fun took the Suregrow Fertiliser Winter Elementary Freestyle Regional Champion title on an impressive score of 72.12% at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre.

Just 15-years-old Gracie has been riding from a young age, with her mother Julia a British Dressage judge offering much support.

Known at home as Billy, Henton For Fun is a former ride of eventing legend William Fox-Pitt, until leg problems, meant he had to be retired from jumping. Previously owned by Tara Glen, Billy was kindly gifted to Gracie and has really taken to pure dressage.

The bay gelding is a 12-year-old Hanoverian x New Zealand thoroughbred and has been with Gracie for eight months.

Said Gracie: “I am so excited to take Billy to the finals, he loves showing off in the ring and is extremely lovely to ride and be around.

“Billy went perfectly; he couldn’t have gone any better and didn’t put a foot wrong. He loves the music and seems to just relax and perform in the arena.

“This year I hope to move Billy up to medium level and compete at Junior FEI.”

Said Jonathan Cox of Suregrow Fertiliser: “We are delighted to sponsor this championship, its brilliant to see such a high standard of competitors, and congratulations to Gracie and Billy.”

Gracie Catling and Henton for Fun.jpg

February 5, 2019  |   Share:

Sarah-Jane Brown January Blog

2019 has come in with a bit of a bang, literally! Last weekend it was gale force winds and Fliss spooked whilst I was getting on, rather than abandon the mounting process, as I only had a foot in the stirrup, I tried to carry on mounting and gave her a hefty boot as I was throwing my right leg over, she then dropped me on the concrete. You know sometimes as you see the floor coming up to meet you think this is going to hurt - well it did! The afternoon was spent in A&E and luckily nothing broken although the muscles around my ribs are hugely painful.

As I write this a week later, I have managed to clamber on Ellie again but realistically I’m not riding just sitting there. I have no core strength and plenty of pain, just being able to walk her out though at least keeps things ticking over and hopefully another week I will feel a bit more able to get going. Things are planned to be busy in March but luckily both girls were fit and ready to start the season so a quiet few weeks will do no harm at all.

We have made some big steps in January with Ellie ticking off one of the goals for 2019 very early having jumped three Newcomers classes in the month a real step up for my pocket rocket pony. A mid-winter outside three day show may not have been the brightest idea but actually we were relatively lucky with the weather and although it was bitterly cold at times we all survived our trip to Chard. It was great to get a few days solid competition practice.

On the first day Fliss won the Discovery, both girls then went on to jump a decent 1.05 class and we had another double clear from Fliss and just a rail down from Ellie when I misjudged a distance. While we had the weekend before jumped a Newcomers at Duchy I was well aware a Single Phase Newcomers at Chard is a different proposition. The course builder Steve Williams always builds well up to height. I walked it and there was a decent treble in the course but brave pants were on and Ellie was entered. 

I am over the moon with how well she tackled the course. She actually made it feel easy, yes there were two mistakes but she was by no means out of her depth and she enjoyed her round. If she can jump a Newcomers at Chard then she should be able to jump one anywhere! Very ready for some Novice BE as well.

Video of the Newcomers

Ellie went on to jump another Newcomers as did Fliss who was double clear.

Fliss did some British Dressage and won a couple of novice sections so all in all some decent preparation in the bag.

This week like most places in the country we had snow. Luckily I was still able to get too and from the yard and Ellie was turned out in and had some brilliant fun. Fliss meanwhile was suspicious of the white stuff but did brave an hour in the field.


So looking ahead to 2019 what are the goals I have set?

x - Upgrade Ellie to Novice BE this Spring

x - Jump some Newcomers with Ellie by April (Tick done)

x - Start Fliss at BE100 and also upgrade to Novice by Autumn

x - Have one or both ready for 1 star by the season end

x - Run a 10k in less than 1hr5 minutes

x - Find a way to earn more money to support the points above so I don't need to rob a bank - not sure how to achieve this ideas welcome!

x - Be positive and enjoy the horses

Now just need to get the recovery done and then we will be back on track.

February 4, 2019  |   Share: