Competitors in the Baileys Horse Feeds Arena Eventing Championships were treated to a spectacular day of competition at Dallas Burston Polo Club, where the 2019 80cm, 90cm and 100cm champions were crowned.
The journey from Sheffield proved worthwhile for the winner of the AE80 Championships, with Charlotte Kershaw and Paddy VI taking victory. They produced a foot perfect clear round over both the show jumping and cross-country courses. Stopping the clock just four seconds off the optimum time of three minutes 14 seconds, they managed to hold off competition from Cara Mannix and Twyford Cascade who were a fraction of a second further off the time than the winners to take second place. Maddison Boswell also kept a clean sheet over the fences with her own La Chance, but added 0.4 time penalties to her score after coming home six seconds under the optimum time, to finish in third place.
Paddy, who is known as Patrick at home has been owned by Charlotte for nine years. The pair previously competed in showing, having had many successful seasons. With an upper age limit of 21 years old for riders in their category, the pair started eventing and affiliated with BE last year, competing in three events. Charlotte works full time as a HR Advisor for a global company and is currently completing a degree in HR Management.
Charlotte told Eventing Worldwide: “At home Patrick is a very cheeky character and the famous saying within our family goes ‘Patrick does what Patrick wants’ – he’s the king of the yard. In the run up to the championships we went to Epworth Equestrian supposedly as a warm up as he had his first one day event on February 23. He went double clear and ended up 2nd and qualified. We went to the East Midlands Dressage Group ODE at Osberton Estate on Saturday 23rdwhere he went double clear and finished around 15th- I was over the moon. The alarm was set for 5am the following morning as we are based in Sheffield. I thought he was going to be tired; he was a little lazy in the warm up but as soon as he entered the arena he lit up to the occasion and jumped a fab double clear inside the time. It’s a huge achievement to even get to the championships and I’m still in shock now that he won. I’m so proud of him. Everyone has a pony of a lifetime and he is certainly mine, he hasn’t been the easiest like all ponies they have their quirks but he’s certainly been worth it.”
Lauren Collard and 11-year-old DVS Rocky were victorious in the AE90 class thanks to a clear jumping record and a perfectly timed round that saw her finish exactly on the optimum time of three minutes and 20 seconds. Nicki Grayson also secured a clear round over the show jumping and cross country fences and, with a time just two seconds off the optimum, to claim second place on her own Rainstown Michael. Third place went to Charlotte Noad and Lionel van den Doorndonk II with another double clear round in a time of three minutes and 16 seconds.
Lauren told Eventing Worldwide: “It was quite a special moment to win on Rocky as he had a really tough start in life and has been quite tricky to bring on. He was bred by my yard owner and trainer Jo Clarke but was unfortunately rejected by his dam. He then had a couple of serious illnesses which he was lucky to survive. And then five years ago he fractured his pelvis which set us back for nine months. He’s quite a quirky horse who can be nappy and really spooky but each year he gets a little better. It now feels like we are actually getting somewhere and the hard work is paying off. I thought the venue was lovely, and it was extremely friendly and well organised.”
In the AE100 class it was a win for Lottie Adams and Lex V. The combination put in a flawless jumping round, stopping the clock three seconds off the optimum time of three minutes 14 seconds to take the championship a fraction of a second ahead of runner-up Naomi Moult and King Alfred the Great II. Emma-jo Thorpe completed the top three with Treliver Dashley after another clear jumping round in a time of three minutes and nine seconds.