Report by Kimberley Barclay

After the disappointment of losing out on the first few scottish events of 2016 riders were delighted to finally get the event season under way and even the weather managed to behave itself for two full days of competition at Dalkeith Park in Edinburgh.IMGL5076

Organiser Bruce Edward said We had a fantastic week end of sport and the weather could not have been kinder. After what was a very nerve racking and challenging time on the run up to the event where we really thought we were going to cancel, the weather picked up and gave us the chance we needed to get the site set up. The new intermediate track seemed to ride well and David Evans has designed a good question for all levels now. We still have plans to incorporate more new areas of ground and if the weather is kind we should have this done for August.
I hope everyone had a great time and look forward to welcoming you all back in August”

BE90 Section C was close at the top with only 2 points splitting the top three riders, [emember_protected custom_msg=’This content is only available to Members, to read more of this article please Join HERE or if you are a member please LOGIN‘]the winner was Freya Aitchison riding the 15.1h mare St Flannans Isbeal, 2nd Joanne Moses on Greenburn Sunrise “Dalkeith is a beautiful location for an event and very well run. The stewards are lovely and the atmosphere is always very friendly. This was our first event of the season, due to Forgandenny being cancelled, and the only one we have before we go down to The Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton 3rd-4th May. He jumped very well on Saturday and felt great on the xc course so hopefully he will behave himself down at Badminton!” 3rd place was rider Neve Watson riding 15.2 mare Killagoola Clover.

Novice section D was won by Elana Chilton who bought A Touch Cavalier 2 years ago as a relatively green 8yr old and introduced him to eventing. He is by Cavalier Royale. After a few placings at BE100 we moved up to Novice last year and he was double clear at Hutton for 10th, 2nd at Aske and we won our first event of the season at Dalkeith this year. We enjoy SJ too and are currently out jumping Newcomers and Foxhunters when we have time. He now has all of his Newcomers double clears and has qualified for the second rounds. Ben is a horse who is a bit of a worrier as he really likes to do a good job for you so it has taken a bit of time to build a solid partnership. He loves his jumping and has all the scope in the world so I hope to continue to progress up the grades with him. This season we are aiming for a CCI*. Dalkeith is a lovely event with super courses and we were so lucky with the ground after all the rain, it was fantastic!” 2nd was Douglas Edward on Rehy Volunteer a 16.2h gelding followed by Jess bell on DHI Ballybrack Dakota in 3rd.

David Gatherer riding Bendy Bob won Novice Section E after posting an impressive 25.5 dressage which proved useful after having an unlucky four faults in the show jumping, Aberdeenshires Caitlin Padfield was second aboard Chapel Down, Caitlin also had two other successful rides over the weekend making a tremendous start to her 2016 season, and Emma Murray also from Aberdeenshire was 3rd on Wainthropp “We bought Hetty as a 2 year old from Morgan Equine, she was a very nervous horse from the start and would not come near us at all. We started to break her when she was rising 4 and have never seen a horse buck / rear like it. We could not get a bridle on her and had to put the bit in her mouth and then build the bridle around her head. Every day for weeks we would get on and her back would shoot up, if you moved an inch she would explode. Then one day it all stopped and she was the sweetest horse you could imagine, still sharp but never bucks and never has a backward thought. We started jumping her and she was very unexciting but again never refused, we actually tried to give her away for nothing at one point, luckily the person never turned up so we decided to keep her and carry on a bit longer. At her first event (and the first time she was on a XC course) she went double clear. I was off for 9 months so Hetty did very little. This was her first Novice and she made it look remarkably easy, we still have to build the bridle around her face and that’s why she never wears a brow band. We have done 4 events with her , 3 x 100 and 1 x Novice, 3 she has been in the top 5 and 8th in the other” Husband Shaun also had his mare Uno Duo competing in section D and completed on a super 7th place.

The Under 18s Novice Section F was won by Susie White on Seventh Heaven II “Dids is 7yo now and we bred him ourselves out of our mare who I took up to 1* and gained my first Novice win on 3 years ago. He is totally self-produced and it has been a struggle to get his strength up for the flatwork as we have no arena at home but it is finally coming and the marks are improving a lot! Showjumping has always been my weak point but after a winter of training with Philippa Mckeever Curry it’s starting to come together and this was our first double clear. I am hoping he will move up to intermediate in a few runs so I am super pleased for a good run, especially how easy he made the cross country feel. He made the time without needing kicked on which I was thrilled about as there was only 10 inside the time across the 4 novice sections! My poor mum however has now been demoted to just lorry driver now however; normally I get quite tense at events but at Dalkeith she was stewarding the showjumping so I was left alone from when we arrived till the end and it was the most chilled out day I have ever had out eventing as I was able to focus totally on myself and the horse., 2nd place Lucinda Crawford said “ Turbo Toy was amazing & Dalkeith is Obviously our lucky place! Shame we lost the hat trick through time faults, but what an amazing event!” and 3rd Rosa Onslow on Henton Attorney General I was really pleased with both my horses – coming 3rd in the ONu18 and 5th in the intermediate. The courses were amazing and rode very well with some testing questions. It was especially good to have such good ground after some testing weather before the event!”

Novice Open section G Won by Danial Scott on Alvescot Mr Nice Guy, 2nd Connie Wishart on Devonair S H, 3rd Jennifer Burnett on Balhagarty Harvest Gold.

BE80T I Won by Jennifer Lange on Flashed By, Sarah Walker Coolarne Jake, Sandra Lamb on Winnetoe II

Sunday had three BE100 sections and section J was won by Gillian Bassett riding Rainton Woodlander,” Ive had Woody for two and a half years now, having had a few years out of eventing concentrating on dressage, I am slowly progressing him up the grades at BE, having wins and good placings at 80,90 and now 100 level. He was bred locally by Sally Green , is by Primitive Star, and is a pleasure to own. We really enjoyed our day at Dalkeith, it is a super event, in a lovely setting and very friendly and well run. We won the 90 at this event last year so it’s now one of my favourite events!” 2nd was Helen Self riding Wee McPea and 3rd was Morag O Mara on Mr Incredible II who scored a whopping 25 dressage, “My little Mr Incredible horse did such a nice dressage test, It carried us through an unlucky 4 faults in the SJ, And he felt fantastic around the lovely xc course which rode so well and the ground was perfect. This was our first BE 100 of the season really pleased to finish 3rd place.” Less than 2 points split the top 5 in this section.

Section K was won by Catriona Meikle on Whos Vision” This was my first BE event this year. I was a bit nervous and wondered if we had done enough prep for it. I work in Aberdeen during the week and my horse stays in west Lothian so it’s a long distance relationship where I only get to ride at weekends. A couple of friends exercise my horse (George) during the week to keep him fit and I go to the gym to keep myself fit. I’ve had him since he was 4 and he’s now 11 so we know each other pretty well and the long distance thing seems to work just fine! The course at Dalkeith is lovely and rides fantastic. I was very pleased with my dressage mark of 23.3 as this is one of our best yet! I was third in the BE100 here last year with the same horse. We have been lucky with the weather every time at Dalkeith which makes the day so much more enjoyable. A great event and can’t wait for take-2 later in the year!” , 2nd Jay Ryder on Faith Full “Faithy is a 6yo mare bought for me at the start of last year by the Northstar syndicate from Sam Griffiths and we were consistently placed last year as a 5yo. I was so pleased with her yesterday, she was so consistent through all 3 phases and I’m so excited for her future. She’s been knocking on the door for a while so I’m really hoping she’ll get a win soon!”3rd was Sophie Bultitude on Manhatten Skyline.

There was also an Under 18s 100 section which was won by Daisy Cross riding Faegh Delamin, 2nd was 16year old Izzie Bamford riding Coosh “this is my 4th season eventing. We have owned Coosh for 7 years, and he introduced both me and my sister to eventing. He was 9th at badminton grassroots 100 final last year with my sister and was on the Scotland u18 team with her in 2014. I took over the ride full time last June and was part of the 100u18 Scottish team at Weston park last year where we finished top Scottish combination in individual 4th. Dalkeith was his second run of the season (he went to burgham and was double clear and 3rd in the 90) and I was really pleased with his performance. Dressage is his weakest phase but I was happy with the test and posted a competitive score of 27. He followed this by a lovely double clear inside a tight time- I was particularly happy about this as have been working hard on his fitness over the winter. Coosh is such a character and always tries his absolute hardest- I am looking forward to competing him in the next 100u18 trials at Kirriemuir and Floors. I was also riding 6year old Geffory who did his first ever 100, and did a 25.8 dressage, 4fts sj and a good clear xc, so it was quite a busy day! It was a welcomed break from studying for my highers which start in just over a week. After all the rain previous, the ground was incredible, the whole team at Dalkeith did an amazing job to run such a brilliant event “ and 3rd was Betty Boo XXIII ridden by Anna Pate “I was delighted with the result as this was our first event this season and it was the perfect preparation for the Mitsubishi motors cup which we are heading to next week! It was a well run event which was a credit to the organizers.”
Intermediate sections ran on Sunday too with Sonya Cunningham winning Section N riding Opposition Eclipse II, 2nd was Daniel Scott riding Casmo Z, 3rd Stephen Runciman “I bought joli certain (patch) as a 2yo from Livy Agnew, he is now 12 with 32 point. Was delighted with his jumping performance at Dalkeith showing he has the right attitude and talent to go to a higher level. Being 18hands, he and I find the dressage difficult so still lots to work to do before we go 2-star”. The Open Intermediate section was won by Olivia Wilmot on Zebedee De Foja who posted a very impressive 20 dressage the highest mark over the two days of competition, 2nd Kirsty Brewis riding Harbour Lights, 3rd was Sonya Cunningham on another ride Dryfe Royal Cavalier, Emily Parker finished 4th after being the only double clear in this section.

BE90 Section P was won by Emma Bruce riding Ardagh Frenchie, 2nd Laura Collins riding the bay mare Donnadoni B “we have been trained by Shelagh Steven for 17 years now and we also compete in dressage and British Show jumping, I think we have now qualified for the championships at cumwhinton and a regional final” 3rd was Olivia Burns riding All Rosie.
Section Q was won by Alexandra Meikle on Sahara Blue, 2nd was Cindy Fisher on Mac Millabi, 3rd Laura Hooker on Zeb.

All feedback has been hugely positive for the weekend at Dalkeith and massive thanks must go to organisers, volunteers and sponsors for providing a great competition and everyone looks forward to the summer fixture for Dalkeith (2)

Photography Courtesy of Dave Cameron


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