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Sofia Jankiewicz is successful at the Advanced Medium Silver Freestyle Championship at the 2021 Petplan Equine Area Festivals

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Spalding rider Sofia Jankiewicz was successful in the Advanced Medium Silver Freestyle Championship at the 2021 Petplan Equine Area Festivals summer event.

She won a very competitive class at the Arena UK centre at Grantham in the first-ever Summer Championships for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals series

The event now welcomes freestyle competitors, adding to the atmosphere and occasion as well as making it the biggest ever championship with more than 800 dressage tests being ridden.

Sofia Jankiewicz with Boularouz.
Sofia Jankiewicz with Boularouz.

The championship is open to qualification for amateur riders and is the perfect introduction to affiliated competitions hosted by British Dressage.

It is the most popular dressage competition in the country with more competitors taking part than any other dressage series.

The horse and rider combinations competing for the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Silver Freestyle title all had to work hard to show off their horse’s ‘star quality’ and it was a major achievement to finish on top of the leaderboard.

Sofia – who was riding Boularouz – said: “I was so pleased, he really likes the music and so do I and the song totally suits him. He tends to come more alive to the music, so I’m over the moon.

“The week I got him I fractured my back, so it’s been quite a journey. He has been quite tricky to teach his changes too but it’s slowly paying off now.”

The qualification period for the Summer Championships was much shorter this year, so the pressure was on to go out and compete.

Boularouz, a 15-year-old, 16.2hh grey gelding certainly showed his talent to the judges, achieving the winning score of 68.5 per cent.

Petplan Equine is one of the country’s leading horse insurance providers and has sponsored the Area Festivals series for 22 years with the aim of giving grassroots riders the opportunity to experience the thrill of competing in top class competition style conditions.

Marketing executive Sara Oram commented: “Petplan Equine is so very honoured to be an integral part of this huge competition run by British Dressage.

“This first ever Summer Championship shows that the competition has continued to develop over the years.

“Its popularity is demonstrated by the large number of competitors who work tirelessly to qualify for the Area Festivals throughout the year and of course, the Championships.

“We know how much this competition means to all of the competitors and we never get tired of hearing about their competition journeys and the highs and lows along the way.

“We are so happy to congratulate Sofia and Boularouz on their triumph. We wish them the very best of luck for the future.”

British Dressage chief executive Jason Brautigam added: “It feels like we have been waiting a long time for this inaugural Petplan Equine Area Festivals Summer Championship.

“Having to cancel it last year was a great disappointment – and now that it’s here at last, we have thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

“One of the most exciting elements for me has been the introduction of the Freestyle Championship – dressage to music remains one of the fastest growing areas of our sport and it is always a pleasure to see the competitors show off their ‘dancing’ skills.

“There is so much to admire in the dedication of the competitors, who have somehow managed to fit in all of their preparation and training around jobs and families, as well as the difficulties we have all experienced in the last 18 months.

“I am extremely proud of this competition and of everyone involved, so congratulations on the success in getting to the Championships, as well as to all of the winners over the four days of competition.”

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