Young horse classes are like marmite, some people love them, others not so much. People that enter these classes often have different aims, some people enter with the aim of being competitive whilst others enter purely for the experience. Either way, participants generally see them as a great opportunity to get younger horses used to big competitive environments and all the things that these type of competitions entail, like stabling away from home and busy arena walks.
Most people know about Valegro’s success in such classes and he turned out to be one in a million but what about the other winners of young horse classes, where are they now?
We thought it would be interesting to see if the winners of the young horse classes at the National Championships from 2014-2018 are still competing successfully. Disclaimer: We don’t know any of these horses personally so we can’t comment on their potential outside of the black and white scores as recorded on the British Dressage website.
What we found, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that Charlotte Dujardin has won many a young horse national title and each of the horses she won a young horse title with has gone on to be very successful. This success however is not exclusive to Charlotte, nearly all of the horses that won a young horse national title in 2014 to 2018 are continuing to move up through the levels whilst still achieving high placings and high scores at regional, national and international competitions.
The tables below show the full results of our findings.
From this information below there is no evidence to support the accusation (often made on social media) that young horse classes push young horses too fast and too far. The opposite conclusion, that these classes never result in young horses being pushed too fast or too far cannot be concluded either as most of these horses are still less than 11 years old and we have only looked at the winners, not at all the other participants in such classes. It would be interesting to see if the same results can be seen for those horses who placed 2nd and 3rd in each of the young horses classes at the nationals and 1st-3rd in the premier league young horse championships.
Many of the riders below have successful breeders behind them so they have an opportunity to select the horses who are ready, capable and most likely to thrive in such a competition. These same breeders are very likely to have had several other 4,5 and 6 year olds who didn’t compete in the young horse classes but have still gone on to have successful competitive careers.
2014 Young Horse winners – National Championships
|Class||Horse BD name||Rider in 2014||Where are they now?|
|4 year old||MOUNT ST JOHN BEST OF ALL||Charlotte Dujardin||Mount St John Best of All’s last competitive outing was in November 2017 with Emma Blundell, the pair scored 71% in an Advanced Medium class.|
|5 year old||RIVER RISE ESCARLA||Sadie Smith||River Rise Escarla is now 11 years old and last competed in June 2018 with Charlotte Dujardin in a CDI3* PSG class at Bolesworth, where she placed 2nd to Florentina VI, also ridden by Charlotte.|
2015 Young Horse winners – National Championships
|Class||Horse BD name||Rider in 2015||Where are they now?|
|4 year old||HAWTINS DUCHESSA||Bryony Goodwin||Hawtins Duchessa enjoyed success at Advanced Medium competitions towards the end of 2019 with Lucinda Elliot.|
|5 year old||FLORENTINA VI||Charlotte Dujardin||Florentina hasn’t competed according to the BD website since September 2018. In her last competitive outing she secured two national titles, one in Inter 1 and another in the Inter 1 FSM.|
2016 Young Horse winners – National Championships
|Class||Horse BD name||Rider in 2016||Where are they now?|
|4 year old||HAWTINS SAN FLORIANA||Bryony Goodwin||Hawtins San Floriana went on to win the 5yo and 6yo class in 2017 and 2018 national championships with Charlotte Dujardin.|
|5 year old||MOUNT ST JOHN VIP||Charlotte Dujardin||Mount St John VIP went on to win the 6 year old national title in 2017. She last competed at an international at Keysoe in 2019, winning the PSG class and then the Inter 1 class and then the Inter 1 FSM class with over 77%.|
|6 year old||SAN MARCO||Caroline Church||San Marco, now 10 years old, is competing at PSG with rider Dylan Deutrom. The partnership scored over 70% in their regional class at Wellington in February 2020.|
2017 Young Horse winners – National Championships
|Class||Horse BD name||Rider in 2017||Where are they now?|
|4 year old||WAVERLEY DANTE||Gregory Sims||Now 7 years old, Waverley Dante came 2nd at the winter regionals in the Medium class in March 2020.|
|5 year old||HAWTINS SAN FLORIANA||Charlotte Dujardin||Hawtins San Floriana went on to win the 6yo class in the 2018 national championships and in 2019 won the Advanced Medium class at Hartpury premier league.|
|6 year old||MOUNT ST JOHN VIP||Charlotte Dujardin||Mount St John VIP last competed at an international at Keysoe in 2019, winning the PSG class and then the Inter 1 class and then the Inter 1 FSM class with over 77%.|
2018 Young Horse winners – National Championships
|Class||Horse BD name||Rider in 2018||Where are they now?|
|4 year old||HAWTINS LIRICA||Lucinda Elliot||Hawtins Lirica had an international top 10 finish as a 5 year old with Lucinda Elliot and in 2020 under a new rider, Kim Seaby, has been competing at Elementary with scores of up to 74%.|
|5 year old||IZONIK||Kerry Mackin||Izonik is now 7years old and won the regional Elementary title at Prestige Equestrian on the 6th March with a score of over 77%, ridden by Rowan Bryson.|
|6 year old||HAWTINS SAN FLORIANA||Charlotte Dujardin||Hawtins San Floriana won the Advanced Medium class at Hartpury premier league with Charlotte towards the end of 2019.|