DRESSAGE – Runner-up finish in Freestyle crowns superb weekend for Ireland’s Martha Jobling Purser 

  • 11 October 2020, 22:05

Irish Dressage rider Martha Jobling Purser and Valido’s Starlight scored 72.615% to place second in this morning’s (Sunday) pony freestyle to music at Keysoe CDI ***, finishing off a superb weekend and bringing down the curtain in their pony years.

Martha Jobling Purser

Martha scored two hugely impressive wins at the British venue this weekend and in the process set a new personal best score. Martha, who has represented Ireland for two years at pony level and competed at two European Championships now moves to the junior ranks. Shauna Fitzgibbon and Damocles scored 67.33% to also take 8th place for Ireland in today’s class.

Anne Marie Dunphy, Horse Sport Ireland’s High Performance Dressage Manager for the Irish Youth Dressage teams said:

“This is a great end to Martha’s pony career.  She is a really positive, very focused and determined rider who has been in good form in what has been a challenging season for everyone.  Her personal best scores at Keysoe reflect the importance of getting riders into the Horse Sport Ireland high performance programme early.  Martha has competed at two FEI Pony European Championships for Ireland and will progress to the junior ranks in 2021.  She has every prospect of becoming a key member of the Team Ireland senior squad in the future which is all part of progressing through the high performance system.”


Heike Holstein and her Irish-bred mare Sambuca 

There was also Irish success at Senior International Dressage level in Britain this weekend, with Irish Olympian Heike Holstein recording two top 10 placings.
Riding her eleven-year-old Irish-bred mare Sambuca (pictured), Holsten finished fourth in Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle to Music at Keysoe CDI 3* on a score of 72.395%, coming just 24 hours after the pair finished ninth in another Grand Prix at the same venue.

“Sambuca felt super.” said Heike “We had a slight miscommunication in the tempi changes but fortunately I was able to use my ‘joker’ line to repeat the two tempi changes.  I love my music and her piaffe was much better.  I was also very pleased with the pirouettes.  Sambuca was great in the Grand Prix yesterday and has improved since my last international outing in March.  I’m delighted I came here to Keysoe to compete.”

British Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin completed a big tour clean sweep at Keysoe when scoring 83.360% with Gio for the win.  An all British podium was completed by Lara Butler (Rubin Al Asad) on 77.455% for second with Gareth Hughes (Kk Woodstock) in third on 76.500%.