Marlton Spring Festival
07/04/2011 - Marlton Stud
It was a weekend to remember for Kildare-based Heike Holstein, who took the leading rider title at a Marlton Stud's sun-soaked spring festival. Riding the seasoned Fire and Ice, Heike took the top-spot in the Advanced Medium Championship, also securing second-place aboard her stunning grey Wanted. Former youth Olympian Amanda Goldsbury took third on her Irish bred Troytin in a class that displayed the depth of talent currently in Irish dressage.
The county Wicklow Stud, run by the Delahoyde family, played host to over 100 horse and rider combinations over two days of competition. With UK List One judge Sarah Leitch over-seeing the higher classes, the festival represented the first real test of the season ahead of the Winter Finals in Cavan.
And Heike can have few concerns about her Cavan preparations, also emerging victorious from the stiffly-fought Medium Championship, which was a virtual who's who of big name dressage riders. Fighting off competition from Yvette Truesdale, Sue Smallman and Kate Dwyer, Heike and Fire and Ice finished on a combined score of 72.77%, some two percent higher than Derry's Truesdale, who took second-spot. This added to her Advanced Championship win, capped of an exceptionally successful weekend for the Carbury resident.
Fittingly on mother's day, Maureen Dwyer was on hand to watch her daughter Kate take the Category Two Elementary Championship on their home bred Nero de Troyt, while she herself picked up the Preliminary Category Two title on Snowdon Faberge. The Amanda Goldsbury trained Caroline Lynch capped of an impressive weekend with a Preliminary Category One Championship win on her eventer It's a Clover, while Chloe Kirwan took the Junior title on Alex of Ashfield.
Next, attention turns to April 29th when for the first time ever the National Winter Finals and Cavan Festivals are being run as one competition. Judging by the volume of talent on display at Marlton, the three-day festival promises to be a real showcase of Irish dressage.
– Angel Strickland Fahy