French connections pay off for rider

Rising Marlborough dressage star Nicola French turned in strong performances on both her horses at the annual Horse of the Year event in Hastings last week.

Backing up from a pleasing effort at the Bates National Championships at the start of this month, French picked up two reserve championships at what is also considered a major national event.

The Massey University student was second overall in level three on Rubiks Cube II in what was only the combination's fourth show together, while she achieved the same result in the CDIY Young Rider class aboard Don Freese, who was in only his second event back since recovering from a year-long injury.

Three other Marlborough riders were in action in Hastings - Melissa Parkes, Sarah Wadworth and Morgan Irvine.

Like French, Parkes was coming off good results on two horses at the national championships.

She took only one horse to last week's event, Windermere Johanson, and the pair managed second in the five-year-old dressage horse and 10th in the level two title class.

Wadworth and Faemoss BW had a first, seventh and 10th in level four, while Irvine and Golden Promise were fourth in the level one event.

The Marlborough Express