Sarah Carless reports
Aldon’s season closing event attracted a truly international entry list with 15 nations represented across the 18 sections, including six international classes, featuring some of the world’s best riders
Despite the high number of international entries in the international classes but it was the Brits who reigned supreme taking victory in each of the sections.
Felicity Collins topped off her eventing season in style, signing off with a win in the CIC** (Section M) with Just Amazing III. Their form this season has included nine top ten placings, including two wins, and stepping up to three star level.
Felicity commented: “I couldn’t be happier to end what has been the most incredible year with a win. There’s always a little bit of pressure to finish on a good note at the end of the season, so it’s really lovely to go into the winter with that confidence boost for both myself and the horse. She was absolutely class in all three phases at Aldon – she’s a real horse for the future and top level. Next year she’ll aim to consolidate her 3* form having stepped up to that level well at Barbury, and participate in Young Rider trials again. We are also thinking about embryo transfer with her, as we bred her ourselves so we would love to continue the line.”
Second in the CIC** went to Xanthe Goldsack with Hi Tech whilst Bill Levett finished third with Piltown Colours.
Saffron Cresswell claimed CCI* Section C on Quality Rose. The pair were held mid-way round the cross country but this did not disrupt them in any way, and with the breather they posted the fastest round of the day. Saffron has had Quality Rose for two seasons, her first foray into horses.
Saffron told Eventing Worldwide: “She hadn’t done any eventing and very few shows but we liked her quiet nature and work ethic. I had a great first season with her and moved up through the levels from BE90 to o winning Aldon CICYH* at the end of 2016. Aldon seems to be my lucky event, and following this was selected for the Young Horse Talent Programme. Unfortunately, she had to have time off at the beginning of the season so has had a shorter eventing year this season. But she has continued to impress. We have completed both of our first Intermediates and have now done three CCI*; Hartpury, Osberton where she finished 13th, and now Aldon. It is great to finish on such a high with this mare, especially after having trained her completely myself. And it puts us in good stead for a winter of hard training on her dressage and show jumping ready to come out next season and hopefully make the step up to 2** mid-year. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with her.”
The short format CIC* (Section K) was won by Chelsea Pearce and Djakota EB. The pair led from start to finish, with a stunning dressage score of 37.2. And despite 3.6 time penalties, they finished 10.3 marks ahead of the rest of the field. Chelsea has had Djakota EB for three seasons, with the horse a previous winner of the five-year-old championship at Osberton.
Chelsea said: “He has been knocking on the door this season to win a one star having been second at Bicton International CIC* and he previously came close at Gatombe and Aldon last year. He has stacks of ability but has been slightly immature to produce, but this year he has really come on and feels like a different horse. Of course, it’s great to finish the season off with a win and I was delighted with Djakota who really deserved it.”
The CIC* for Young Horses (Section L) was won by Harry Harding and Goteus S – their fourth win of the year which has seen them progress from BE100 to One Star in style.
The long format BE100 sections offered riders with the opportunity to directly qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup Championships. In total eight riders gained their qualification. Jasmin Holmes was the winner of BE100 Open Section B with Doolin De Reve.
Leanne George was the winner of BE100 Section A with Arcturus Oceanstar paving the way for the pair’s second visit to the Championships having be placed 15th in the BE90 Championships this year.
Australian event rider Sam Griffiths continued his comeback from injury in fine style, making it two wins from two runs with his former Badminton winner Paulank Brockagh, winning Open Intermediate Section J on a score of 20.7 – a winning margin of 6.9 penalties. The pair now head to Pau for the CCI****. Another rider also heading to Pau this week was also in winning form. Lissa Green, who will ride Hollyfield at the CCI**** in France took victory in Novice Section F with Corraggio Z.
Gubby Leech and Padraig McCarthy shared the spoils in Intermediate Section I as neither of the international event riders could be separated. Riding Mullaghmeed and Rosemaber Lancuest respectively, the pair both scored 33.6 in the dressage and then both picked up two time penalties on the cross country to finish on 35.6.
Other section results; Novice Section D Alexander Bragg, King Of The Mill; Novice Section E Alexander Bragg, Killahurler Connect; Novice Under 18 Section G Hamish Clarke, Smashing Iris; BE100 Under 18 Section H Bronte Monks, Cuffesgrange Lord Admiral; BE100 Section N Rupert Batting, Pinchallah; BE100 Section O Charles Foot; Pembrooke Royal Prince; BE100 Section P Vittoria Panizzon, Lougherne Luke At Me.