Amateur eventers took to the stage on the opening day of the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in the Dodson & Horrell Eventer Challenge classes.
Caroline Bell won the Dodson & Horrell 100cm Eventer Challenge class riding eight-year-old Sir Castor Troy. Caroline, who lives in Moreton-in-Marsh, was thrilled to be announced as the overall 100cm winner.
“Troy jumped amazingly today,” she said. “I was keeping my eye on the clock but it was hard to keep the poles up as well. He has been fantastic all season but I usually let him down in the dressage so it was great that today I didn’t have to do that phase! He seemed to have as much fun as I did. I bought Troy as a five-year-old – he is very cheeky but he looks after me. This is my first year competing in this class – thank you to Dodson & Horrell for sponsoring this competition. It’s very well run and everyone is friendly and helpful.”
Sophie Albery and the 11-year-old New Forest pony Wayland Timberry took the Dodson & Horrell 90cm Eventer Challenge overall title.
Sophie, who comes from Hale in the New Forest, said: “I have owned ‘Tim’ for five years and this year has been our full season competing at BE90. Three weeks ago we qualified for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 competition [at Badminton Horse Trials], which is very exciting. He is doing really well and everything has clicked this season and he tried his heart out for me. We were only two hundredths of a second from the optimum time! I work part time as a receptionist and am building my own beauty therapist business alongside looking after and training Tim.”
Sam Horrell, CEO of Dodson & Horrell, said: “The SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a very special event for Dodson & Horrell and one which we particularly look forward to each year. The competition today has been nail-biting and this is just the start of three days of Eventer Challenge competitions. Congratulations to todays’ winners and good luck to everyone else competing over the next few days.”