Last weekend Berkshire College of Agriculture played host to a total of fifteen sections of competition from BE90 through to Novice. In previous years the college has run two events but, sadly, the pressure on staff at the start of the academic year lead to the early cancellation of the September midweek event and left this June weekend as the sole two days of eventing competition. The course was, as ever, beautifully prepared with the team working hard to ensure good going throughout, and with the usual added benefit of the show jumping, including warmup, taking place on a surface. On Saturday four Novice sections were started with a win for Ken Spencer aboard Freshmans Pink Floyd, an eight year old gelding, owned by Katie Witherspoon in section A. Ken finished just two seconds over the optimum time to stay ahead of Lauren Innes and Lawns Oddson. Third place in the section went to Andrew James on Cavaliers Showdown.

In section B Anthony Clark came home inside the time to complete on a dressage score of 30.3 and take the win on Carol Jackson-Bell’s ten year old gelding Golden Forever, who was taking a step back down to Novice having completed Intermediates at both Aston-le-Walls(2) and Little Downham (1) this year. Andrew James picked up second place with Beneluz Casino Royale with Bruce Haskell and Moon Under Water taking third.

A pole in the show jumping was not enough to prevent Lauren Yallop from taking first place in section C on Kim Whitfield’s Muschamp Kool Knight. Harriet Upton took second place on Sarah Millard’s Rocklodge Nasdaq with Katey Cuthbertson finishing third with Annaliese picking up the none year old mare’s first BE points.

Brook Staples led from start to finish in section D riding his own Talos Dazzler to win by a margin of 6 penalties to Richard Waygood and Prospector Joe who made it two second places from two events, having completed Rockingham Castle International on exactly the same score of 29.8. Harriet Upton picked up another placing finishing in third with Arabella II.

Section E was the turn of the five year olds and the win went to Ballycanu ridden by Sophie Jenman who completed on an impressive dressage score of 23.0. Second place went to Nici Wilson and Fine Fleur, one of her three rides in this section. Andrew James finished third with John Fuller’s Freestyler

It was a first time win in Section F for Angeline Chandler and Bailey, who are in their second BE season and have not previously achieved a top ten finish. Second place went to Lisa Pilbeam with Judi Vidler’s six year old mare Doucette du Seigneur who are yet to finish outside the top two in a total of four runs this season. In third was Kylie Roddy and Grovepark Dassett.

Cheryl Bezants and Heading East took the top spot in section G, the BE100 open class with Katie Horgan and Jumbo’s Jet in second. Third place went to Fiona Breach and SVS Chile Con Cooley a six year old mare owned by Jessica Pilling.

In the final Saturday section Eve Hobbs added 3.6 time penalties to a dressage score of 20.5 to win section H on her own six year old 14.2h gelding Fivale Indian Art, bouncing back from a horse fall in the ONu18 at Brand Hall last month. Second place went to Elaine Wilson and Ebabelou who stepped back up to BE100 after a successful outing at Ascott under Wychwood BE90 the previous weekend. Lizzie White finished in third place with Betsy Boo, with this combination yet to finish outside the top ten this season.

Sunday started with five sections of BE90 competition. Colina Pickles and the 14.2h Hayestown Caption completed on a dressage score of 25.5 to win section I with Tomas Cousillas and Bookhamlodge Spring Edition just 0.5 penalties behind in second place. Third place went to Francesca Dark and The Last Flight who were back eventing for the first time since completing the BE90 Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships at the beginning of May.

Section J was won by Harry Horton and the five year old gelding Nikardo picking up the horse’s first ever foundation points. Second place went to Fern Wilson and Killea Colours who finished just 0.2 penalties ahead of Jemima Morris with Dohulla Boy.

In section K Lucy Wheeler and Grangeford Boy finished ahead of Honor McFarlane and Ziggy IX after the latter’s 4 faults in the show jumping nudged them just out of the top spot. This was Lucy’s second win this season with the eleven year old gelding who she has been eventing since 2013. Third place in the section went to Sophie Ewen jand the fourteen year old mare Traa Dy Looar who has returned to British Eventing this season after a four year break.

Jade Manton made it two wins from her first two runs with Epperne Z, a fourteen year old gelding who previously been competed at Novice level but has since been downgraded. She finished on her dressage score of 26.0, 0.5 penalties ahead of Zoe Macqueen and Moon Sparrow who have now finished in second place on their last three runs. Hannah Okines and the six year old Monbeg Nordico complete the top three line up in section L.

It was back to back wins as well for Kerry Emms and Spiders Secret Weapon who topped section M and also won on their previous outing to Millfield at the end of May. Victoria Linfield took second place with Legendario while Harry Horton picked up another placing, this time aboard Renaldo II in third.

Two sections of BE100 finished the day with Hannah Savage and Ella Carthiloma completing section N on the same score and Jesse Campbell and Falco IV but taking the top spot by virtue of a three second difference on their cross country times. Hannah’s six year old mare has been eventing since June 2014 and made the step up to BE100 in April and this is their first placing at the level. Georgie Norton and Cooley Mastermind finished in third.

Jane Bettles, who won section O with Claudia Nacke’s mare Gold Rush IV, was tempted into entering the event after attending BE fence judging training at the college earlier in the year having never previously competed at the venue. Full of praise for the many volunteers Jane said that she found the show jumping up to height but that it rode well and she had the time of her life cross country. Jane, who has been riding Gold Rush since April 2014, has obtained placings in the Jump Training and JAS Finals at Hartpury and stepped back up to BE100 at BCA for the mare’s second event at that level.

Second in section O was Caroline Turner with Findon Final Fling who was another back out competing after a run at Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships. Lissa Green finished third with the 8 year old mare Med Night Trafford Mignonette, owned by Claudia Jane Watkins, who was making her BE100 debut at only her third BE event.

Report by Suzanne Stanner

Photographs Courtesy of Dave Murray

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