Heike Holstein and her home bred mare Sambuca retained both the Prix St-Georges and Intermédiare I finals they won in 2017, at the 2018 Irish national winter Championships in Cavan Equestrian Centre on 7 - 8 April 8, 2018.
Heike claimed the top two places in the Prix St-Georges final on Saturday with Chameur slotting into second place. Chameur also won the Advanced final. In the Intermédiare I final Heike and Sambuca headed the leaderboard on 69.485% with Sorrell Klatzko, making a welcome return to the national finals with Highlight, in second place on 66.912%.
"I'm very pleased" said Heike "Sambuca is now ready to move up to big tour level and I will be aiming to compete her on the international circuit in the future."
Sambuca is by Samarant x Limerick. Through her dam Astoria, Sambuca was well represented in the winners enclosure in Cavan with Nessa Toher Shannon winning the preliminary category two final with Furst Fendi, bred by Heike Holstein.
Sorrell Klatzko and Highlight narrowly saw off the challenge of Belinda Brereton and Captain Negro C, by just 0.221%, to win the Intermédiare II final on 63.309%. Having retired her grand prix horse Earlspark Loretto, at the end of last year, Limerick-based rider Tara Oliver and Furst Romance had a great start to the new season winning the Advanced Medium final.
Sabdh O’Toole and Schermeers Hof Ardensoog claiming the winner's rosette in the pony class.
The senior and junior trailblazers classes at preliminary and novice level, to make dressage more accessible to a greater number of new competitors at regional and national level, returned to the schedule again this year. Charlotte Mangan recorded a double in the junior trailblazers with West Joey, owned by equestrian journalist Louise Parkes, winning both the preliminary (12 to 16) final and the novice final. The junior trailblazer under 12 preliminary final was won by Oscar O’Connor and Doylan Chilli Pepper. Audrey Murphy and Glencarrig Chloe won the senior trailblazers (preliminary) final with Katie McGrath and Windhill Lucky picking up the rosette in the senior trailblazers (novice) division.
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