Meet your new British Dressage Young Horse Champion - 5-year-old Hawtins Lirica

In sponsoring the British Dressage Young Horse Championships we have been able to follow the journey and careers of a number of incredible horses.   There are none so famous as Valegro, who graduated from the Shearwater young horse classes, or the legacy that the Mount St John stud has created.  Another name becoming synonymous with success in British breeding and producing championship winning young horses is the Hawtins Stud.

In Hawtins Duchessa won the 4-year-old final in 2015, Hawtins San Floriana was victorious at age four, five and six from 2016 to 2018.  Now it's the turn or Hawtins Lirica who won the 4-year-old title in 2018 and now claims the 2019 5-year-old championship.

The four horses to make the final were Judith Davis’ Hawtins Lirica, a diminutive chestnut mare by Lemonys Nicket, Astrid Bolton’s Femme Fatale by the popular stallion Foundation, Alex Hardwick’s bay gelding Joie de Vivre Prins, and Sara Lucas’ SJL Baks Zacco who impressed at the Young Horse Forum’s earlier in the year.

All four young horses received lavish praise from ride judge Philip Hess, however, each also received areas of criticism or had areas for development identified.  There was less of a clear winner as the judges gathered to deliberate their scores and findings.  Eventually the overall winner was confirmed, for a second consecutive year, as Hawtins Lirica ridden by Lucinda Elliot.

“She’s a very sensitive horse, with a fabulous movement” confirmed Philip Hess from the saddle.

“She’s a horse with great opportunities and it’s just important to get a feeling for her now to make her relaxed but she has a lot of cadence and quality.  She has lots of motivation and this is what we like as dressage riders.  The more I canter the more she gets comfortable with me and it’s an amazing feeling in trot – it’s a pleasure to ride this talented horse!”

Rider Lucinda Elliot added, “she wants to give 110%.  It’s what you need to keep going and keep training her.  Everything you ask her she just finds so easy.  She picks it up so well.  She’s my favourite for sure!”

The British bred 16.1hh Hanoverian mare looks so small and petite compared to the other three finalists, but as they say ‘good things come in small packages.

“Where she is so small, she feels so powerful and has a huge engine compared to her size.  So just feels so go-ey!”

The expressive and talented mare won the Shearwater 4-Year-Old Championship in 2018, and now with the 5-Year-Old title under her belt as well she looks set to conquer the world and will aim for the World Young Horse Championships following a win in the selection trial at Bolesworth with 81.8%.

Breeder and owner Judith Davis commented, “these classes are important for us, it is a badge of quality and shows all of the care and hard work we put into British breeding.  We’re a small stud and are very lucky to have ambassadors like Carl Hester, but to come here and take back to back wins is very special.”

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