Sammie Stapleton reports ….

It has been a hard weekend for the team at Aldon’s first international fixture of the year, after abandoning both Friday and Sunday’s competition due to adverse weather conditions, Friday due to heavy rain and Sunday to snow.
The team however worked very hard on the running of Saturday’s competition, completing 9 sections from BE100u18 through to intermediate novice and saw 300 horses run.

Be100u18 section O winner, Anna Stillwell and 15hh Wellshead Squiggle completed on a score of 28.8. With a dressage of 24.8 and one pole down in the showjumping, the pair went on to complete the cross country within the time to secure the top spot.
Anna said of the horse, owned by Sue Lanz, ” Squiggle is such a trier. We compete in a lot of BD alongside BE at a medium level and this has really helped our eventing dressage so much, especially at Aldon where her leading dressage score was good enough to not be knocked off the top even with a pole down.
We have lots planned this season, competing in the Badminton grassroots championships in May and we’re also hoping to get onto the South West u18 Frickley team again as it was so much fun last year! It was a completely unexpected win at our first event of the season and I can’t thank Sue enough for the opportunity to ride such a talented mare”

BE100u18 sec O
1st Anna Stillwell – Wellshead Squiggle 28.8
2nd Nancy Eadie – Howen Loganberry 30.5
3rd Jemima Stratton – Gapolio 30.5
4th Susan Rogers-Coltman – Zibor 32.3
5th Emma Jowett – Strike a Pose 32.3

BE100u18 sec N
1st Nancy Eadie – Smokey Diamond 26.3
2nd Bizzy Loffet – Noteworthy 26.5
3rd Henrietta Ewall – Connaght Diamond 30.3
4th Emma Manton – Gortglas Earl Grey 30.8
5th Becky Manton – Cooley Hillowan 31.3

The BE100 section M class ran throughout the middle of the day and saw 17 starters. Among those starters was Emily Williams and her own 14.1hh gelding Culverlane St William Of York who scored a dressage of 27.3 and went double clear in the time to grab the win.
Emily spoke of her pony ” I’ve had William for 5 years now and he really is my rock. Last year he wasn’t himself at all and I was battling with illness, we fed off each other and in all honesty ended up falling out of love with the sport.
However, after a winter break for us both, I found myself with a much happier pony. Aldon’s win was a real shock and means such a lot to me, just having my ‘old’ William back and really loving it again was enough of a win for me. This win is really down to the people behind the scenes who got me through last years difficulties and got me through to the other side. I owe them and William an awful lot!”
Emily also thanks the whole team at Aldon for keeping the competition running on the Saturday as the course was “very testing and the conditions tricky and freezing cold.”

BE100 sec M
1st Emily Williams – Culverlane St William Of York 27.3
2nd Hector Payne – Quick Guy 28.3
3rd Sonia Chapman – Just So Cheeky 29.7
4th Tim Cheffings – CHS Burtonport 34.1
5th Harriet Wright – Riverside Lesotho 37.9

BE100 sec L1st Jane Rogers – Corrieview Merlin Magic 29.0
2nd Emily Proud – Leonado C 32.0
3rd Alexander Whewall – Wisbeach Cevin Z Pride 35.0
4th Harriet Waldron – Cider With Charlie 35.4

5th Catriona Goodman Jones – Ballycrinnigan Rock 

The Novice course saw the time was hard to get with only 2 out of 37 runners getting the time in section G and no one in section H.
Section G saw Andrew Nicholson take the top spot on Aquiles BT4, a 17hh 7 year old gelding. Alexander Bragg came in second with a dressage of 31.0 on Bonmahon Blue Mist and being 1 of 2 runners that got inside the time, they easily climbed up the leaderboard.
Andrew Nicholson once again appeared on the scoreboard in third this time on 16.2hh Belona, a 6 year old mare, the pair had also been to Twesledown the weekend before in the Novice where they finished 20th. Fourth position went to Imogen Gloag riding MHS Cooley Flash completing on a score of 31.1 and fifth position was awarded to Kat Raybould and Ferdinant N, on a score of 32.8.

Novice sec H
1st Willemina Van Der Goes-Petter – Fulco 30.7
2nd Andrew Nicholson – Ziska 31.6
3rd Harry Meade – Monbeg Medlar 34.2
4th Alexander Bragg – Cooga Hat Trick 37.2
5th Kristina Cook – Rebeliant

The Open Novice under 18 section I showed a first place and a fifth place for Sasha Hargreaves, even though she had a stressful day! Playtime, a 16.1hh 15 year old gelding took the top spot in section I with 29.0 while 8 year old Woodlands Be Daring finished fifth on 34.2.
Sasha said of her day “We actually arrived there planning on staying over night and competing Playtime in the OIu21 junior trial on the Sunday and Woodlands Be Daring in the ONu18 on the Saturday. As soon as we realised the Sunday would be cancelled we quickly switched Playtime into the ONu18 so we could get a run together.
However, Playtime’s dressage was an hour and a half before Woodlands Be Daring’s dressage and of course he wasn’t at all ready! My Mum had to plait Smarty (Playtime) while I ran the cross country course and as I arrived at the dressage warm up, the rider in front of me was already halfway through their test, so with only about 2 minutes to warm up, I am completely over the moon with his performance.
The ground was amazing there, and he absolutely flew the cross country and was so happy to be doing it, even in the snow!
I did the Junior Europeans on him last year at Millstreet and we’re trialling again this year with the hope of possible re-selection so it was nice to get a run under our belt.
It was also nice to get my younger horse Desmond (Woodlands Be Daring) out, and to finish 5th with him, it is a super good start to the season”

Open Novice under 18 sec I
1st Sasha Hargreaves – Playtime 29.0
2nd Jess Rimmer – Murphy Mayhill 29.5
3rd Hannah Gadras – Monsoon III 33.6
4th Hamish Clarke – Smashing Iris 34.0
5th Sasha Hargreaves – Woodlands Be Daring 34.2

Open Novice section J saw some top names in the top 10 with Aaron Millar grabbing first and seventh, Georgie Spence claiming fourth and sixth, Tim Cheffings in ninth and Tim Price in second.
Aaron Millar’s winning ride was the 15.2hh 15 year old Leonardo VIII, scoring a dressage of 26.5, showed a clean pair of heels over the showjumping and a clear cross country with just 0.4 penalties to finish on a score of 26.9. His other ride RLE Dierekt scored a 31.5 dressage and another double clear with 3.2 time penalties to finish on 34.7 and fifth place.
Tim Price clinched second place on Falco IV, a 16hh 9 year old gelding finishing on a score of 33.0 while Georgie Spence claimed fourth on Calvin II finishing on 34.4 and sixth on Cooley Legaland with 34.7.

Open Novice sec J
1st Aaron Millar – Leonardo III 26.9
2nd Tim Price – Falco IV 33.0
3rd Jamie-Lee Day – Kato Ridge 34.0
4th Georgie Spence – Calvin II 34.4
5th Jo Clarke – Frankly 34.7

Aldon’s Intermediate Novice class section K also saw some top names braving the cold conditions. 19 horses started this section under riders such as Emily King, Louise Harwood and Harry Meade.
Tim Price was the guy to beat as he set a dressage of 24.1 with Cekatinka, but 11.6 time penalties on the cross country set him down to sixth place while Richard Waygood on a score of 24.6 grabbed the top spot on board Askari, a 16.1hh 9 year old gelding, after 4.0 time penalties on the cross country.

Intermediate Novice sec K
1st Richard Waygood – Askari 28.6
2nd Rosie Fry – Aunt Augusta 30.9
3rd Harry Meade – Gideon 32.0
4th Katie Hancock – Coddstown Pet 34.1
5th Rosie Fry – True Blue Too II 34.8

We heard from a member of the Aldon team, mentioning every effort that was put in to running Saturday’s competition.
“Three days of action condensed into one over the weekend thanks to the return of “The beast from the East”.
Despite there being only one of three scheduled days, the entries were actually very high, with activity from sunrise to sundown. Efforts were made by all involved to allow those eligible to do so, move their entry to a Saturday class instead.
This was seen necessary given the cancellations during the early season throughout March, and three of the combinations who took up on this swap did so very successfully.”

Although not having the satisfaction of seeing the three days of competition, a final word must go out to the Aldon Team, the numerous volunteers in particular. All the riders who did compete were very grateful for the opportunity to actually get an outing, and many thanks to the fence judges, stewards and other volunteers who braved the cold throughout the day to see Aldon International (1) run.

Photography courtesy of Tanzy Lee

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