BLUE CHIP SOLIHULL HORSE TRIALS

Report by Amanda Brown

Photographs courtesy of Hoofprints Photography by HR

Solihull Riding Club impressed competitors with their first British Eventing fixture of 2015. Since last year the competition centre has undergone renovations which include a new restaurant and coffee shop and have also radically changed the cross country course which has met a fantastic response with a lot of competitors aiming for a last confident run before heading to the Badminton Grassroots Championships next week.

Astrid Bowser, Business Development and Marketing Manager for Solihull Riding Club stated, “To see all the preparation for the event pull together the way it did and run so smoothly was immensely rewarding for us all at SRC. We have a great team of staff and committee members at the Club. We all have our strengths and we never think twice to help each other out. That mentality resonates across our army of fantastic volunteers which has the knock on effect of a well-run event with a great atmosphere. Solihull has invested in some major changes in the last couple of years or so which has seen a new building, new staff, rejuvenated grounds, new catering, new show jumps and new cross country courses. It was great to see these changes enjoyed by our competitors and visitors at the weekend. It is extremely rewarding to receive genuine feedback that shows the amount of effort we are putting in as a team is really paying off. There was a real buzz about the venue this weekend that made it a pleasure to be part of.”

Colin White, Grounds Team Leader went on to say, “Setting up a BE is hard work; you need a team who are willing to go the extra mile from the course designer to the helpers who give up their time during the show. On a personal note, I, as Grounds Team Leader, could not achieve this without the dedication and support of all our staff who worked long hours in amongst running our busy calendar of other competitions to ensure this was possible. Well done to you all. We also could not achieve this without the full support of our committee.”

In the BE80 (T) section H it was first time lucky for Hazel Harris and Bunderberg. After giving up riding and horses altogether after having a baby Harris was offered the ride on Bunderberg 18 months ago as something to keep her busy. After competing in some local shows and attending a variety of training clinics both Harris and the mare’s owner Tracy Martin felt Bunderberg was ready for her first event. Maintaining a clean sheet on a dressage score of 30.3 meant the pair took the win followed closely by Toby Bancroft and Verdener Jung who added time faults to their 28.3 dressage score.

Section A of the BE90 saw a fantastic round for Nicholas Bevan and Vechta Long Time, a horse bought from Vere Phillips as a four year old. Bevan said, “About 18 months ago I thought I was going to lose Red (Vechta Long Time) but thanks to our Vet, John Williams, he is still with us. Last year we worked hard on the dressage with Jo Swain who has worked miracles on both horse and rider. Last season wasn’t the best from a cross country point of view with the jockey (me) jumping the wrong fence and the odd stop, at one point I thought dressage was going to be his sport but I went and sought help from one of the best people in the cross country business, Jeanette Brakewell, who has helped us over that hurdle both literally and metaphorically. Solihull is a fantastic event and the new facilities have really updated the whole atmosphere of the place. The refreshing of the cross country course, bringing in new fences and using extra ground has made it a more exciting venue…Red and my other horse, Goody (Boleiro N), are now both qualified for the Eventers Challenge at Blenheim and for the regional finals for Badminton Grassroots 2016…If the horse gods are really kind and all those things that can go wrong don’t go wrong I’m looking forward to a really exciting season.”

Sarah Clack maintained her strong dressage score in Section B of the BE90 to take the win on Bold Rex. Clack said, “In the dressage phase he felt like a ticking time bomb underneath me but he contained himself and did a good test. He did a lovely show jumping round. When it comes to cross country he gets so excited especially when it comes to the count down. The round felt fantastic, he pulled me the whole way round and jumped the last fence like it was the first. It was our last run before the Badminton Grassroots Championships which I’m now really looking forward to”.

Section C of the BE90 saw Dan Mould take one of his three rides to the win with Daisy De Montfort fighting a close battle with less than a point ahead of Victoria Ingles riding Dream On who completed on their dressage score of 27.3 to take second place. Ingles said, “I have struggled with his (Dream On’s) dressage phase for years as he is very difficult in this phase…This was the first time apart from once at Aston Le Walls unaffiliated that I have managed to get a sub 30 dressage with him. He is a fantastic jumper, very talented and loves his job…Very sadly he is sixteen now and he did a tendon in 2010 so with both of those I am now just competing him at BE90. I have got two regional finals with him for Badminton Grassroots Championships 2016 so I am aiming him for that.” Ingles is also off to the Badminton Grassroots Championships next week with her other ride, Silver Spoon II.

Section F of the BE90 was won by Janet Bradshaw on Boyne Valley Royal, Bradshaw commented on her win, “I felt the course was testing especially fence 5 which was a brush at the top of a steep hill and the triple brush which I know was black flag. As Sammy (Boyne Valley Royal) is so good at ditches I felt we could aim straight and go for the five strides and jump the brush. Both scary fences he flew which he often does! I walk a course and think ‘crikey’ and he jumps it as if to say ‘what big fences Mum?’”.

The BE90 Open saw Virginia Turnbull dominate the top 4 with a first, third and fourth on Seapatrick Narco, Par Avion and Finley Blueyes respectively. Freya Hibberd and Dizaronno held onto their dressage score of 28.5 to maintain a second position. Hibberd said, “I’m so proud of the little horse! I’ve owned her for five years and sadly she was left blind in one eye after an accident in the field in November 2014. Solihull was her first time out since her accident and she felt great! I booked into Solihull as I knew the show jumping was on a surface and so didn’t need to worry about the ground being wet or hard and I asked around about the cross country to see how difficult it was. I wanted to give her a kind first run to see how she coped and Ronno (Dizaronno) had a great round.”

Holly Bradshaw and Archfield Echo held off close followers Emma Orde-Powlett and Westceffyl Prince to win Section J of the BE100. Bradshaw said, “I bought Echo (Archfield Echo) from Archfield Stud last summer. I was so pleased with a win yesterday after finished second in his previous two BE100’s. It was a lovely event with a very educational course for young horses like Echo and there were a few questions on the course that he hasn’t come across yet like fence 7 which was a ditch to a skinny brush. He was so confident and took everything in his stride. I’m really excited about him for the future.” After a freak accident in 2014 Emma Orde-Powlett and Westceffyl Prince have made a fantastic comeback, Orde-Powlett said, “I think he did a lovely obedient dressage test and made light work of a very well built and testing show jumping course. The jumps weren’t huge but there were some interesting lines and turns. He flew around the cross country which was a much bigger, bolder course than last year. The whole event was a really good final run for us before stepping up to Novice at Broadway in two weeks, hopefully followed by Chatsworth”.

Abi Jacobs and The Jays Ghost In Cavalier pulled out a phenomenal 18 dressage and added just 4 faults in the show jumping to take the win in the BE100 Section L. The 7 year old mare by the popular stallion Drumhowan Cavalier has had 15 months out of work due to injury and this was their first BE100. Jacobs said, “She’s done three BE90’s gaining second, fourth and ninth…Dressage she was quite chilled but her usual ‘eager to please and show off’ self. So off we went down the centre line and she just kept coming up with the right answers in a chilled but active attitude. We finished I breathed and she got a big hug I was pleased she had held herself together very nicely. We didn’t warm up very well (for the show jumping) it was chaos in the warm up and she was getting wound up…She jumped a lovely round! We tipped the last but I didn’t care, I was so chuffed we had a nice round and when the announced the 18 dressage I actually cried!…She kept a rhythm the whole way around (the cross country) so I hoped it was a good time. I couldn’t believe it when we won and to top it off we won a trophy for being the best BE100 horse of the day.”

The BE100 Section M saw Anna Tomlinson lead straight through from the dressage to win on a score of 25. Tomlinson said, “Solihull was my last run before the Badminton Grassroots final in a week’s time. My horse Moreorless (Duster) has just come back from the BD Winter Championships after winning the Petplan Prelim Championships there so it was great to be back out eventing. I was very pleased with my dressage test score, he felt quite buzzy due to the fact he knew he was out eventing and could hear the cross country. He did manage to contain himself which is always a positive! He felt brilliant show jumping, making it all feel so easy, he gave me a confident clear round. Cross country was a perfect run before Badminton becuased it posed quite a few questions on the course and he jumped with ease coming back with lots of running left in him, which was a great confidence giver”.

The Novice sections proved particularly competitive, especially Section O which had the likes of Jock Paget and Andrew Nicholson at the top of the score board. In the Open Novice, Section Q Annie Keir took the win on Ardagh Highlight. Keir said, “He gave me a really good ride throughout the day and was very excited to be out. It was our first Novice of the year and we both really enjoyed it! JP Sheffield has really helped with the jumping side and it’s great when all the hard work pays off”. In Section P Rosie Thomas took the win on her young ride Stellor Comet saying, “Solihull has beefed their courses up, really good! Great jumping on a surface! I was really pleased with Stellor Comet as he’s only six and just started Novice eventing. He’s got a great jump and is a real star for the future”.

BE80 (T) Section H
1st Hazel Harris & Bunderberg 30.3 D, Double Clear
2nd Toby Bancroft & Verdener Jung 28.3 D, 5.6 XCT
3rd Georgia Dunford Jones & Ginger VI 31.8 D, 2.8 XCT

BE80 (T) Section I
1st Chiara Conze & Abbotts Murfys Law 29.3 D, double clear
2nd Megan Hill & Springfern Threeforagirl 23.8 D, 8 SJ, 0.4 XCT
3rd Suzie Beeson & Amber Island 32 D, 0.8 XCT

BE90 Section A
1st Nicholas Bevan & Vechta Long Time 24.5 D, double clear
2nd Vicky Mortimer & Mr Cole 24.8 D, double clear
3rd Jenny Young & Savana II 31.5 D, double clear

BE90 Section B
1st Sarah Louise Clack & Bold Rex 27.8 D, double clear
2nd Ellen Pickard & Wonderboy 31 D, double clear
3rd Michelle Sampson & Rocket VII 32.5 D, double clear

BE90 Section C
1st Dan Mould & Daisy De Montfort 26.5 D, double clear
2nd Victoria Ingles & Dream On 27.3 D, double clear
3rd Victoria Mazengarb & Deli Halo 24 D, 4 SJ

BE90 Section D
1st Fiona Denton & Patchwork Patrick 28.8 D, double clear
2nd Melanie Betts & Lux Lad 32 D, double clear
3rd Julia Zorab & Treliver Dilly The Pink 33 D, double clear

BE90 Section E
1st Hannah Rix & Whisper Dunno 30 D, double clear
2nd Chloe Pearson & Garrybritt Calvin 30.5 D, double clear
3rd Steph Lynn & Crystal VII 30.8 D, double clear

BE90 Section F
1st Janet Bradshaw & Boyne Valley Royal 30.3 D, double clear
2nd Emily Kettle & Frontier Girl 30 D, 1 SJT
3rd Poppy Young & Galiant Star 31.8 D, double clear

BE90 Open Section G
1st Virginia M Turnbull & Seapatrick Narco 27 D, double clear
2nd Freya Hibberd & Dizaronno 28.5 D, double clear
3rd Virginia M Turnbull & Par Avion 29.5 D, double clear

BE100 Section J
1st Holly Bradshaw & Archfield Echo 25.5 D, double clear
2nd Emma Orde-Powlett & Westceffyl Prince 26.8 D, double clear
3rd Sam Gillespie & Oscars Diamond 27.8 D, double clear

BE100 Section K
1st Melissa Shawcross & Direct Mistress 25.5 D, double clear
2nd Rachel Sargeant & Tambourine Man II 26.5 D, double clear
3rd Sophie Beaty & Woodend Scooter 27.8 D, double clear

BE100 Section L
1st Abi Jacobs & The Jays Ghost In Cavalier 18 D, 4 SJ
2nd Louisa Miller & Croagh Lad 24.5 D, 2.4 XCT
3rd Anna Czylok & Curolea Mika 28.5 D, double clear

BE100 Section M
1st Anna Tomlinson & Moreorless II 25 D, double clear
2nd Rosalind Canter & Bazaars Inca 27.3 D, 0.4 XCT
3rd Heidi Coy & Riversdale Magic Heart 29.3 D, double clear

BE100 Open Section N
1st Katie Richards & Ridgebarn Ruff 21.5 D, double clear
2nd Claira Miesegaes & Bruce II 23 D, double clear
3rd Rosie Skinner & Simba 27 D, double clear

Novice Section O
1st Andrew Nicholson & Zacarias 27.3 D, double clear
2nd Jonathan Paget & Angus Blue 27.8 D, double clear
3rd Samantha Rose & Erinnerung U Van Het Juxschot 30.5 D, double clear

Novice Section P
1st Rosie Thomas & Stellor Commet 32.3 D, 3.2 XCT
2nd Jane Burton & Le Petit Diablotin 36.8 D, 0.4 XCT
3rd Ben Edwards & Regal Lilly 35 D, 3.6 XCT

Open Novice Section Q
1st Annie Keir & Ardagh Highlight 29 D, 0.8 XCT
2nd Nat Dixon & Party Juice 30 D, double clear
3rd Jessica Beasley & Urbanes 33.5 D, double clear

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