‘I have no doubt he is a horse for the future’: British-bred novice gold champion proves one to watch

National Dressage Championships novice gold winners Sarah Rogers and Full Moon II
National Dressage Championships novice gold winners Sarah Rogers and Full Moon II

Sarah Rogers scored a resounding victory in the BETTALIFE novice gold at the Lemieux National Dressage Championships. Sarah rode the five-year-old Fürstenball x Gribaldi gelding Full Moon II to a chunky score of 77.85%, finishing 4% ahead of runner-up Alex Baker on Tiger.

The tall youngster, known at home as Moony, was bred and is still owned by the Bechtolscheimer family. Laura Tomlinson [née Bechtolsheimer] and her mother Ursula were at the National Dressage Championships to witness his super novice gold performance with Sarah.

“He’s such a special horse – he is sweet to handle and to travel with. It’s quite a lot for him to take in here, so we were delighted with him today,” said Sarah, who rides for the Bechtolsheimers. “Even though he was a little unsure at times, he listened to me and we were able to perform a good test. But I can feel that there is so, so much more in there. For such a big young horse he can sit and he can push, and he’s got a great mind too, so we just want to not hurry him and to enjoy the journey.”

The gelding remained impressively calm in the main Lemieux arena, despite only having limited competition experience up to this point.

“I could feel at moments he wasn’t sure, but he still listened to me. For such a big horse he has always been well balanced, even as a three- and four-year-old. I’m looking forward to when he builds even more strength and to see how he comes on over the winter. I have no doubt in my mind that he is a horse for the future,” continued Sarah, who has ridden Moony since the very beginning of his ridden career.

“That’s why I’m so proud of him today: to come here and to show off like he did. We came here just hoping for a good score and a nice way of going, but not really expecting anything.”

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