Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Georgia Dixon reports …
Stafford Horse Trials (sponsored by Land Rover) has successfully put on another fantastic grassroots competition. This was the second event of the season and classes once again ranged from BE80(T) to BE100Plus, including 4YO and 5YO sections. There were 22 sections overall throughout the weekend.
There were 4 BE80 (T) sections (sponsored by Airowear.) Section R winner, Wendy Mcgarry rode a beautiful test with Hugo Hunting to give them the best dressage score of 20. The combination then went on to add nothing and finish on a score of 20, leaving them over 4 penalties ahead of the combination that finished in 2nd.
It was tight at the top in BE80(T) Section P, with 3rd, 4th and 5th place all finishing on the same score of 27.3. There were 0.2 penalties between 1st and 2nd place. Jane Valentine was the winner on board Dollar Oats. They finished on their dressage score of 25.3. Dawn Crichton and Rio also finished on their dressage score however were just pipped to the post to finish up in 2nd on a score of 25.5
Philippa Inskip and Freddy In Clover did their first event together and their first event of the season to win BE80(T) Section Q after finishing on their dressage score of 32.5. Fly Aphrodite and Kelly Macpherson were speeding along the cross country course which unfortunately pushed them down to 2nd place. They had a dressage score of 30.5 but then added 3.2 time faults for going too fast which meant that they finished on a score of 33.7.
Chakkari went to his first event at Stafford with Annie Bellamy as pilot in the 4YO Section (sponsored by KBIS) and ended up winning the class on a dressage score of 26. Piggy French and Irresistible finished in 2nd on their dressage score of 26.8, also the 16hh mare’s first event.
Samantha Bebbington and Willoway Court Jester have accumulated their second win in a row after finishing BE90 Section J on a dressage score of 28.8. The combination won at Somerford Park previous to competing at Stafford. Tina Canton and Crogan finished in 2nd place after 3.6 time faults too fast across country left them on a score of 29.6, just behind Samantha.
BE90 Section T saw a win from Sarah Spearing and Timberwolf III. The combination lead from start to finish after attaining the best dressage score of the section and then adding nothing to their score. They finished on 27.3. Heather Fletcher and Fernhill Fine Friend finished 2nd after remaining on their dressage score of 28.5.
Sally Hutchinson rode Gott You J to a win in his first event after finishing in the top spot in BE90 Section V. They had the dressage score of 25.3 and remained on that score to win. Mary Goodridge finished 2nd with Annaghmore Gwenievere, they added 1.6 time faults too fast to a dressage score of 27.3.
Lupicorde was the 5YO of the moment after winning the KBIS 5YO class with Eliza Stoddart. The combination won by only 0.2 penalties with Sarah Parkes and MBF Dassett Legacy finishing just behind in 2nd place. Both combinations finished on their dressage scores, however Eliza and Lupicorde just couldn’t be beaten after posting a dressage of 24.3. John-Paul Sheffield and Hikita also weren’t far behind in 3rd on a score of 24.8.
The winner of BE100 Section A was Piggy French and Carsten Of Westoak. The pair performed impeccably and finished on a score of 22.3. This was just ahead of Andrew Heffernan and Gloriette DHI who finished on 23.3.
Georgia Webb was overwhelmed after finishing 10th on B B King in Section A after being told a year ago that the 9-year-old gelding should be put to sleep. Georgia told us: “In July 2016 BB went into Leahurst for his MRI and we got the horrible news that confirmed our suspicions and he had navicular in both front feet and a recommendation that at 8 years old we had him PTS. I was absolutely heartbroken.”
Georgia made the decision to fight for him and said it was the best decision they have ever made. “We went through 6 months of rehabilitation starting with 10 minutes of in hand walking, slowly moving up to ridden work. He came back into canter work in January this year and since then we’ve been slowly building up his muscle and introducing him to Jumping. It’s been a very long, hard and emotional journey but I wouldn’t change it as if it had been any different then Friday wouldn’t have been so special. This is our first top ten placing at BE100, so it is obvious that we have done something right.”
BE100 Section E was won by Rebecca Hooley and Primitive Bazaar II. They won after doing a foot perfect show jumping and cross country round, leaving them on their dressage score of 30. Francesca Fitzherbert and MGH April were hot on their heels however in 2nd place, finishing on 30.5.
Under 18 rider, Sophie Wilson won B100 Section N with Gran Dis Fleur after finishing on their dressage score of 31.3. Sophie beat the likes of Rachel Hughes and Morrigan Brenin who finished 2nd and Jessica Leuty who finished 3rd riding Eclipse SB.
Sarah Mitchell and Puzzel won BE100 Section O making this their 4th win of the season. They added nothing to a dressage score of 30, which was good enough for them to take top spot. Carrie Childs and Donner Sara B put in a good performance for 2nd place, finishing on their dressage score of 31.
In the BE100Plus class, competitors have to jump around a novice show jumping track and dance through a novice level dressage test whilst then finishing their performance over the BE100 cross country course. Emma Rarity and Zummertimes flew through all three phases to take the top spot. They added nothing to a dressage score of 28.5. Samantha Brown was the rider in 2nd place on board Loxleys Last Stand.
Photographs courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography