Report by Jessica Crocker
Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee
It was a rather chilly start to the first day at Aldon but always a warm welcome from all the organisers. Tessa and Venetia where in fine spirits and excited about the 3 days of competition that lay ahead.
Due to an overcast morning the effects of the solar eclipse where next to nothing so it was left to the competitors to create the days excitement.
Fridays line up of 5 100 sections and 2 Novice sections looked a great way to start, all full up on entries, and once the sun broke through the clouds what a glorious day it was.
I had the pleasure of watching Megan Alecock our Badminton Grassroots Blogger jump a super speedy clear, what a great partnership Megan and Ester are. They ended the day in 14th place a great pre Badminton run for them both.
Alexander Bragg was the first rider to break the Aldon XC turf on his own and Mrs Ellacott’s Midnight Ash, the course ran well and the going was near perfect.
The best dressage of the day went to Zoe Wilkinson riding the super Francoe PFB on a score of 16.5 in the 100 Sec C, but it was Alexander Whewall and Edyvanta that took the top spot on a 20.5 double clear. In very close 2nd on 20.8 was Robert Stevens on Mr Delicious and Georgina Joynson with Gorfelyn Peter The Great in 3rd on 25.9.
Lindsey Cheffings was delighted to be reunited with her own De Beer’s Delfi who won the 100 open Sec E on their dressage of 19.8, the mare showed now signs of her 17 years giving Lindsay a fantastic double clear inside the time. Lindsay has now passed the ride onto Chloe Baxter Taylor so Delfi can compete where she is happiest and give Chloe the great experience of riding her.
2nd place went to EWWs The Night Traveller ridden by Alexander Bragg, they had a super dressage of 25 with just a little XC time to add finished on a score of 26.2, after unseating his rider here in October the aim for The Night Traveller was to complete well, so to finish in 2nd place was a fantastic result, the pair look to be back on form.
David Doel was 3rd riding Mark Milligan’s Bottoms Up III on a score of 28.5.
David Doel had the pleasure of taking 1st place in the 100 Open Sec D on Get Set Autumn Star on a great dressage of 20.3, 7 marks ahead of Sarah Johnson in 2nd riding her own Bryndarcy. whilst in 3rd place was Kat Raybould on Sally Mundan’s skewbald mare Kahawa.
Gubby Leech on the 5yo Blickfield had another great day, the pair jumped their 3rd consecutive double clear of the season inside the time for super win in the 100 Sec B. Elizabeth Wadey and Dundee Fellow were in 2nd place and Caroline Harris took 3rd on Woodlands Bongo their 2nd run of the season.
A tough 100 sec A was won by Katie Hancock who made the journey form Cornwall, she had a great dressage of 25 riding her own Kilcandra Rambo Ray. In a close 2nd place with 26.3 was Kirsty Johnston and Classic VI and 3rd was taken by Briony Simpson and Direct Roller Boy on 29.3.
Katie Jupp must be delighted with her first run of the season on Natta On coming 1st in the Novice SecF.
Rebecca Howard had her 3rd consecutive win here in the Novice Sec G on Quickly owned by Meregan Norwood. The pair won the Novice sec G at Tweseldown and Larkhill’s Novice at the end of last season.
Astier Nicolas had a great day in the Novices coming 3rd on Vinci De La Vigne in sec F and 2nd on Finley IV in Sec G.
While Sarah Helfer and Chilly Boy did a super job for 2nd in Sec F their first run of the season.
Millie Dumas and MGH Regents Street gained another top 3 spot after winning the Novice Sec F at Tweseldown.
So Aldon (1) day one was a super day, the sun shone, the going was perfect and a lot of smiley faces. I for one was delighted to be here for my first outing of 2015.