A new lead sponsor, the addition of a solar park and two days of fabulous grassroots sport
This season’s event at Berriewood saw a great deal of change for competitors. The long established equestrian centre had installed two large fields of solar panels around the farm as part of a new business venture – meaning there were major changes on the cross country course, access and event layout. However most horses and riders seemed un-phased by the solar park and the new route seemed to ride fairly well. As well as this, the addition of the solar park also brought with it a new sponsor for the event, Lightsource Renewable Energy ltd.
Donna Smith and Four Square III put forward a stylish dressage of 26.5, completing on a double clear to take the win in this section adding to their already impressive start to the season. Locally based Sophie Walker aboard Rhapsody RFW took second place on a double clear 30.5, after taking over the ride from Sister Alice who had competed Rhapsody so far this season. In third spot were Sarah Caplan and Barones, 35.5.
When asked about the new layout, Sophie Walker commented
‘The new layout worked great and the solar park didn’t affect the event as far as Rhapsody was concerned. The course rode great from the new start box and the show jumping and dressage arenas were well positioned’.
It was a win in this section for Hayley Mayer and Riverside Molly who was lying in joint first after dressage on 24.8; she went on to complete on a double clear, beating Lucas Poole and King Rollo III who after also gaining 24.8 dressage unfortunately picked up a collection of penalties to finish on 60.4. Second place in this section went to Smooth Operator IV ridden by Mathew Owen double clear on 25.0 – this 16.3 gelding by Jaguar Mail looks to be having a good start to his eventing career with two out of three top ten placings so far in his first season. Closely behind and finishing in third were Emma Grundy and Join The Dots (26.5) at their first BE outing of the year.
Georgia Webb and B B King put forward a fabulous 18.0 dressage and looked to have it in the bag, but rolled a pole show jumping to complete on 22.0 and finish in second. Katie Palshis and Daybreak Boy were hot on their heels after dressage with a 19.5 test, and managed to take the win with a double clear picking up their third win of the season at BE90. In third place was Langarth Spect Rum ridden by Judith Powell who completed on a still very impressive double clear and 25.5.
Emily Philp and Narramore My O Silver looked to be having an educating round on cross country, and after posting 21.5 dressage they managed to make the win look effortless in this section adding 0.8 time to finish on 22.30. Polly Stockton and Krafty Me finished on a promising 25.0 double clear in this section and Emily Gilruth and Mullentine Royal Clover finished 3rd on double clear 26.50
Bonnie Fishburn and Lislee Rock won this section with one of only four double clears finishing on 31.80. Sam Ecroyd riding Christoff added 8 penalties from show jumping to their dressage of 26.3 to finish on 34.30. In third place were Hollie Booth and Cisnia adding 4 penalties show jumping to complete on 34.30.
Westceffyl Prince ridden by Emma Orde-Powlett achieved their first win completing on their stylish 26.0 dressage 5.8 penalties ahead of Emma Silman and Kec Deakon who added a pole show jumping to complete on 31.80. Third place was taken by Katie Stuart who also added a pole show jumping aboard her long term ride Kyria Bay to finish on 33.50.
Sunday welcomed competitors to the Shropshire event with glorious sunshine, showing exactly why the organisers choose their spot for the new solar park. The addition of the BE80t saw a real mixture of competitors in the lorry park where the new hard standing areas for lorry parking had gone down particularly well.
Oliver Townend made the short trip from Ellesmere and appeared to have a successful weekend at Berriewood. His first ride Daisy produced an early win in section G finishing double clear on their dressage of 19.0. Second place in this section went to Brier Leahy aboard Kellen who completed double clear on 26.0 following their recent win and Bishop Burton in the BE100. The 18 hands Apollos Bruce All Mighty put in a consistent double clear looking brave on cross country and finished on his dressage ridden by Becky Hartley to take 3rd place with 28.50.
Dag Albert and John B had an easy lead after dressage and held on to complete and win on 25.3. Second spot went to James Robinson riding Cassan who had two top ten placings at Berriwood (Native Spirit, 10th Section G), this combination finished on 27.50. Sammy Jo Clare and Hang Cool Teddy Bear, continued their good form of the year to finish in 3rd, double clear 29.0
Section J saw Oliver Townend’s second win of the day, this time with Harthill Olympic who although added four penalties show jumping kept their lead above Alex Hua Tian and Fabiola P who added 10.8 cross country time to their 18.0 dressage to finish in third. In second place in this section were Kate Justice and Pro Test who was one of the only two double clears in this section, the other being Rachel Sheldon and Libris Royal Weld, 4th.
It was another strong dressage for the BE100 riders that took the win in this section. This time a 20.0 for Robbie Alman-Wilson who completed aboard the 15.2 gelding Commanche Storm. Gemma Barnes and King Ed were hot on their heels finishing on their dressage of 22.0 for their second top ten placing of the season. Third place in this section was taken by Alexandra Cornwell and Playdun who completed on 27.90 after picking up 2.4 cross country time penalties.
Oliver Lofthouse and the seven year old gelding Amicitia finished on a double clear of 22.5 to win this section. Also going double clear was Laura Hanson and Bonnie Release The Stars (30.5) who looked bold cross country and seemed to make easy work of it, although being just 14.3. This section was clearly a battle of the ponies as in third place was Guy Anderson riding Brandon Bulawayo (14.1h). This combination completed on 34.30 at their second BE event after making their debut at Solihull earlier in the year.
Lucas Poole took the win in this section, this time aboard Lux Zee who completed on their dressage on 28.8. In second place was Master Coevers ridden by Yvonne Watson who looked very bold cross country to finish double clear on 29.50. Closely behind were Rachel Sheldon and Kilmalin Kilcoran and their best result to date finishing on their dressage of 29.80.
Bolt II showed he has what it takes giving Sarah Jones the win in this section finishing on 25.0 at this combinations second event. They had a 4.80 penalty lead above Helen Peel and Lightning Lass who completed double clear on 29.80 to take second. In third position on 31.30 were Amy Millar and her first BE for a while, aboard Denebank Dancing Queen.
Abigail Lee and 14.1 Tulsk Lad made their eventing debut and took the win with their dressage score in this section on an impressive 27.5. Becky Pugh and Orillia County continued their goof form of the season with their 6th top ten placing to finish second on 32.10. Third spot went to Aimee Hulme with My Best Bet who completed just behind on 32.30 again on good form with their third top ten placing of 2015.
So a fantastic weekend of competition and another very well organised and efficient event. Competitors ranged from local professionals getting experience into their young horses to local riders enjoying the opportunity to a have a BE80 run. BE volunteer, Fence Judge and part of the organising committee Vicky Baker commented that
‘Watching Oliver Townend going cross country on five horses all within a stone’s throw was the icing on the cake to a fantastic weekend’
The new layout appeared to work incredibly well, and for some regular competitors to the event it brought a new challenge. The organisers had gone to huge efforts to ensure that no teething problems presented and this year’s event appeared to attract many more spectators than usual, many of whom were intrigued by the new solar park but were pleasantly surprised when they saw what a welcoming yet competitive event Berriewood horse trials is.
Organiser Penny Cowdy commented that
‘We were delighted with how the event ran. It had been a little touch and go that we would be ready in time as Berriewood had seen such a huge change with the addition of the Solar Park. There was a great deal to get ready in time, and we were only connected to the main grid in March – so from then on we had a lot of work preparing the grounds and getting everything organised, which was a large team effort. However we were extremely excited to announce a new lead sponsor for this year – Lightsource Renewable Energy and we were very grateful for their huge support. They joined our longstanding section sponsors, Severn Edge Vets, Uppington Smithy Farriers, Balfours, Exfords Green Venison Farm, Wildes Plant Hire and Airowear. Plus of course our extremely generous fence sponsors who again we are most grateful to.
Overall it was another great event, made possible by our excellent team of helpers and volunteers, many of whom return every year ‘
Report By Cassie James