British Eventing’s winter series reach their climax over the weekend with the finals for both Jump Training and Arena Eventing taking place.
The Baileys Horse Feeds Jump Training finals were held at Moreton Morrell with three classes at 80, 90 and 100.
The JT Championship went to Molly Goodwin and Kaydees Girl, with a slim winning margin of 0.5 penalties. Molly graduated from Hartpury last year and has owned Dolly for the past two years.
Molly told Eventing Worldwide: “We competed last season at BE80 and I want to move her up to 90 this year. Our main aims are to qualify for the BE80 Burghley championship in September, and Badminton Grassroots in 2021. This is our first win together so feels extra special. The BE Jump Training has been so beneficial for both of us – Dolly feels so much more relaxed and we have been given valuable advice from each trainer. I really believe these competitions have improved our show jumping, and I am feeling really confident going into the season. I am delighted to have won and couldn’t of done it without my parents support and help from the team at Armstrong Equine.”
Naomi Wright and Ballybough Dougie took second with Megan Baker and Tallyho Charlie finishing third.
The JT90 final was won by Heidi Ford and Contessa III. The pair have also qualified for the Science Supplements Cup at BE90 which will be held at Badminton in May. It was close at the top of the leaderboard with just 2.5 penalties cover the top three. Southerly Roberts and Wurlitzer I took second with Stephanie Read and Whitehill Boy came in third.
Isabella Smith and Rincoola Hob Nob took the honours in the JT100 championships. The pair finished on a score of 23.0 – winning by two penalties. Southerly Roberts once again took the runner-up spot, this time with Fizz IV who was also fourth in the JT90 class, with Charlie Ahl and Earl Galante in third.
The following day, competitors battled it out in five sections for the Baileys Horse Feeds Arena Eventing Championship titles at Westons Lawn. The final boasted five sections, with new open sections in the 90cm and 100cm which allowed normally overqualified combinations to compete.
The AE Championship went the way of Andrea Clarkson and Mystery Lady who picked up just 2.0 penalties. Fleur Kingsford and Mis Fantastic took second with Lynsey Taylor and Ocelet finishing third.
Katie Stephens Grandy took first and third in the AE90 Championship – with the win being taken on Belview Bobby on a score of zero, with Rathcline Kestrel rounding off the podium. Katie has qualified for the Science Supplements Cup with Bellview Bobby. Katie is based in North Yorkshire where she breeds her own event horses.
She told Eventing Worldwide: “I have an obsession with Connemara’s and I’ve owned Belview Bobby and Rathcline Kestrel since four year-olds. I had a near fatal accident two years ago and shattered my left leg and ankle and am still re-building from that. I have to make sure I am being as effective as possible so the winter training competitions have been perfect to keep practicing. The win was amazing and I really didn’t expect it at all. The arena eventing has provided such a great preparation for the eventing season – I’ve only done it with the Connemara’s and wish I’d taken my bigger horses as well. Both the Connemara’s make me excited about horses they are so trainable and defiantly characterful and cheeky! I’ve owned Belview Bobby for four and a half years now. We qualified for the Science Supplements Cup at Badminton 2020 so this has really helped the preparation! The win was absolutely amazing I’m so proud of Belview Bobby. Rathcline Kestrel is Belview Bobby’s younger brother – he’s much spookier and greener and the arena eventing has really built his confidence.”
Having won the previous class, Andrea Clarkson and Mystery Lady were on the podium again finishing in the runner-up spot.
The AE90 Open Championship went to Claire Daly and Ralphie G, with a winning score of zero penalties. Claire gave up competing seven years ago when she gave Ralphie G to her daughter having previously evented him buying him as a four-year-old.
Claire told Eventing Worldwide: “He has been the ultimate fun horse with the biggest heart matched by his ego. He took my daughter around Novice and to the Pony Club Championships in Show Jumping and eventing. Unfortunately, he broke down March 2018. With the help of Tower Equine Veterinary Surgeons and a lot of time and rehabilitation he came back to full work in mid 2019. With my daughter going to university and myself the wrong side of 50 I decided to put my brave pants on and took back the reins. I always need an aim so when I saw that BE was doing an Open 90 Arena Eventing I thought I would try and qualify. I felt confident we could go well at the championships but I get so nervous competing so it was a huge surprise to win. Ralph owes me nothing and as much as I would love to I have made the decision that he won’t ever event again. He adores a big party so I will aim him at arena eventing and plan on going to some of the big horse trials like Bramham that run these classes where he will be in his element. For this reason, I’m exceptionally grateful to be for running these events.”
It was a close-run race in the AE100 Championship with both the top two riders finishing with 0.4 penalties. It came down to three hundredths of a second but it was Jade Short and Marys Mini Ha Ha who came away with victory. Fiona Moore took second with PSF Underdun with Xanthe Smith and Riversdale Whist finishing in third.
Sophie Griffiths and Global Royal Luxor took the AE100 Open Class finishing with no penalties to their name. Callum Robertson and Ferro Curry took the runner-up spot with Lottie Stiles and Castle Contendor finishing third.
Images courtesy of First Class Images