Home Horse Training Sadie Smith makes it a double at 2024 Winter Dressage Championships

Sadie Smith makes it a double at 2024 Winter Dressage Championships

Sadie Smith makes it a double at 2024 Winter Dressage Championships


  • Sadie Smith and the extraordinary Swanmore Dantina made it two titles in as many days as they won the Superflex Inter I Freestyle Gold at the 2024 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, a day after winning the straight inter I title.

    The combination scored a personal best of 81.75% to top the leaderboard – almost 8% ahead of runners-up Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica.

    “I’ve only ever got over 80% once before,” said an emotional Sadie, “and the last couple of times I’ve done the freestyle I’ve had a few mistakes and I’ve been kicking myself. Today I really pushed for a clean test, with no mistakes, and it all came together.”

    Sadie’s music was a variation of a track she used for a novice test in 2015, featuring music from Curse of the Ice Queen, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Stardust.

    “It was a bit random, but I entered a prix st georges [PSG] freestyle at Wellington on a whim and I asked Tony [Hobden] from Equidance if he could make me a freestyle with that music and he had it made up in literally 24 hours,” explained Sadie.

    “We’ve tweaked it around a lot since then, and it was funny because I hadn’t done it for so long, and I have so many variations of the music and floorplans, that I couldn’t remember which one it was!”

    Luckily, Sadie was able to find the right music and floorplan in time, to end what has been a remarkable winter championships for her personally on a high note.

    “It makes me so emotional, I got to the end and I was like ‘I’ve done it’, and I just cried because days like this are so rare, and I’ve been so lucky because she’s been so successful, and it doesn’t come around too often – I’ve never cried at the end of a test like that before.”

    The combination now have their sights firmly set on grand prix: “Making that jump is the hard bit now, but I’m so excited, I’m just going to take my time and wait until she’s ready and strong enough – I can’t believe I have a horse like her.”

    2024 Winter Dressage Championships: “He’s one in a million”

    Sarah Edmondson and her own nine-year-old gelding Kyaro (Cedric) won the last class of the day, scoring 71.94% to win the Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver Championship.

    “I’m overwhelmed, we were all in tears,” said Sarah, “I didn’t know his score but it was the best he’s ever gone.”

    The combination rode to Made in Chelsea-inspired music featuring the series’ distinctive intro music by M83.

    Sarah bought Cedric from her trainer Katie Owens four years ago, with Sarah adding that: “I couldn’t have done any of this without Katie – she’s given me all the confidence I need with him. He’s like a big, cowardly lion, if you give him confidence he just does it.”

    At home Cedric, who Sarah stresses “doesn’t know his size”, is a truly family-orientated horse, who shares his stable from time to time with Bertie the German Shepherd and loves Lotus biscuits.

    “I see a big future for him,” said Sarah, “he’s one in a million and he’s not going anywhere.”

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