09 Jan Lickley impresses on international debut
British rider Nicola Lickley enjoyed a successful international debut at the first CDI of the calendar, Drachten CDI3*, 3-5 January 2014. Nicola travelled to the popular Netherlands venue with her promising KWPN gelding, Zaire LH (pictured). The combination belied its low mileage to post top ten placings at small tour amongst high-class company.
Nicola and the 10-year-old son of Sir Sinclair were awarded 68.05% for eighth place in Friday’s 19-strong prix st georges, qualifying them for Saturday’s intermediate I freestyle where they came 10th on 67.77%. Both classes were won by the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud and Zanardi on 73.36% and 75.90% respectively.
Nicola, who runs Kingswood Equestrian Centre with her husband Rob, and trains with Netherlands-based Danish Olympian, Anne van Olst, was delighted with her horse’s performance in the atmosphere of the Drachten arena: “It was absolutely fantastic to compete at such a big show. There was a very good standard of horses and some top top competitors,” she said. “Zaire hasn’t a lot of experience but he reacted so well in the arena. He’s such a nice horse, and the comments from the judges were lovely. They wanted to give the good marks.”
“For the freestyle I need to get a stronger floor plan, plus we missed one line of changes. To get through to the kür though was more than I expected. I’m now going to work on a more technical programme and commission Tom Hunt to produce my music.”
Nicola has owned the attractive bay since the end of January 2013. “Anne found him for me. She’s very good at matching horses and riders and she couldn’t have found me a better horse. He’d only done four shows before I had him – three mediums, one advanced medium – but I felt straight away that he was ready to take on the work. And I now feel there’s so much more I can get out of him.”
“I plan to do some more small tour internationals before moving to grand prix.”