Kirsty Imm from Kidderminster won the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Silver Championship at the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships on Barnebie.  The combination has spent the winter preparing for the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships held at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire from 11-15 April 2018. 

Barnebie is a 16.2hh, 11-year-old black gelding sired by Baroncelli owned and ridden by Kirsty. The partnership clearly impressed the judges with a stylish and accurate performance achieving a solid winning score of 70%. 

Kidderminster-based rider Kirsty Imm was delighted with Barnebie’s performance in an exciting atmosphere with some outstanding dressage tests and exceptional combinations competing for the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Silver title.  “I was really happy with my test, although I wasn’t expecting the score I got at all, which was even nicer!” exclaimed an ecstatic Kirsty.  “My walk didn’t go particularly to plan, I think he was a little overwhelmed by the atmosphere, but he was really good and pulled it together for me.”

“When I first got him, I found him really difficult and struggled to ride him, if I’m honest.  It took a lot for me to gain his confidence, it’s all down to understanding each other, I didn’t compete him for the first year and now the trust is there he’s a completely different horse.”

The Petplan Equine Area Festivals, now in their 19th year, provide riders across the levels from Preliminary to Intermediate II with the chance to experience the thrill of competing in top competition style conditions.  27 Area Festivals took place all around the country in 2017 with over 4,200 horse and rider combinations taking part. A further eight Area Festival Finals were then contested to gain qualification for the Championships at Hartpury.

Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant at Petplan Equine, commented; “We have been bowled over by the continued success of the Petplan Equine Area Festivals, participation has increased again, and the standard continues to rise at every Championships. We are proud and delighted to sponsor a series that has become so important to amateur and aspiring dressage riders around the country. It is an opportunity for grassroots riders to showcase the immense talent out there.  We would especially like to congratulate Kirsty and Barnebie on their fantastic win and wish her the very best of luck for the future.”


British Dressage’s Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said: “I am always very impressed with the dedication and commitment shown by competitors participating in the Petplan Equine Area Festivals series.  The growth in the number of combinations going down the centre line continues to surpass all our expectations.  The new format introduced last year, with the addition of the eight Area Festival Finals, has allowed even more people to experience the atmosphere of a top dressage competition – with the Championships being the icing on the cake.  Petplan Equine’s support of the Area Festivals will soon be entering its 20th year, which is testament to how much they have been a loyal, committed and trusted supporter of our sport.  BD really values the contribution that they make, and long may this partnership continue.”

Further information about the Petplan Equine Area Festivals and how to qualify for next year’s finals is available from the Petplan Equine website at:www.petplanequine.co.uk/area-festivals/


Sarah Dawes