Ireland’s Kate Dwyer boosted her chances of competing at the World Equestrian Games in September when scoring 66.348% with Snowdon Faberge in this evening’s four-star Al Shira’aa Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The pairing’s score exceeds the 66% mark which must be achieved by combinations at two qualifying events in order to be eligible for WEG selection. They had already achieved the mark when scoring 66.020% in the three-star Grand Prix at Keysoe last year.

Meath-based Dwyer said she was “over the moon” at the result. “It is great to achieve the qualification at this stage of the season,” said the 34-year old, who will be in action again next week at Compiengne in France.

“It was only our fifth ever international big tour outing and Snowdon Faberge kept his cool. Our pirouettes improved a lot and the passage was strong. He is an imposing horse that the crowd really take to.”

Dwyer, who was Irish champion in 2012 with Reve D’Or, placed 10th in the event.

British stalwarts Charlotte Dujardin (Mount St John Freestyle) and Carl Hester (Hawkins Delicato) took the top two places respectively scoring 78.587% and 75.717%. Another British rider, Richard Davison, placed third with Bubblingh with a score of 70.826%.

Dujardin was having only her third Grand Prix outing with Mount St John Freestyle. “I am chuffed to bits with her,” she said. “She’s so chilled and really takes everything in her stride especially as she has really done next to nothing at this international level. I am so, so happy.”

Hestor was also having his third such outing with Hawkins Delicato. “You literally have no idea with these young horses how they will react but this is such a good arena and space and does give you an idea of how they will cope with the big occasion,” he said. “He is such a lovely horse with so much presence and the judges must, like me, also think highly of him.”

Mike Dunne