Natalie Clark reports ..
Fifteen classes were held at Ascott-under-Wychwood’s first British Eventing fixture of the year in an event that saw all weather conditions across two days of competition.
Cross country time penalties had an impact on the top ten placings in BE100 section a. Eventual winner
Lates Flash (Laura Ridout) was in joint fourth position after the first phase on 23.3 however a round within the time allowed for the final phase allowed them to leap up the leader board. Dressage leaders Melissa Pollett and Little Jim scored 20 in the first phase however four time faults were expensive and cost them two places to wind up third. Claire Matheson and Castleroche Lilly posted a 22.3 in between the white boards for second after that phase however clocking up 1.6 cost them the win.
Kylie Roddy and Lowhill Toome Cruising finished in the top spot of the BE90 Open class. The pair sat in third after their dressage score of 28.3 however climbed up the rankings when the leaders were too slow in the final phase.
Victoria Mitchell and Coolgrange Pixie led from the start in the BE100 Open class at Crown Farm. The pair, who have been together since 2010, posted their third British Eventing win by posting an impressive 22.8 in the first phase and adding no jumping penalties to finish 8.5 ahead of their closest rivals.
Hollywood Dancer dazzled the judges in between the white boards for Gemma Gurvidi to score 19.8 and win the trophy in BE90 section l on her eventing debut. The talented five-year-old mare led from the start and could afford 3.6 cross country time faults to stay at the top of the leader board by 4.9 ahead of Georgina Gray’s Glenomra Blossom who finished in the runner up spot.
Carnsdale Show Man started his 2017 season the same way he ended 2016 with a win in BE90 section g under Amelia Bambra. Two time faults in the final phase nearly prevented the 15hh gelding from taking victory however a 27.3 dressage score meant the pair held onto their lead over second placed Easier Said Than Dun by 0.5. Cross country time faults were influential in this section with only nine combinations finishing the final phase penalty free.
Devizes-based Abbie Cowley took home the red rosette in BE100 section f with Sarah Cowley’s Kylebrack Star. Despite adding two cross country time faults the pair finished a cool 5.3 ahead of second placed Tim Rogers and Livell. Third place in this section went to Mimo Sandford and The Earl Of Guinness who finished on the same score of 31.3 as Tim, however a speedier cross country round meant Tim took the higher placing.
Lottie Kennedy HS 365 UCS De Dior finished on their dressage score of 24, just over seven marks ahead of second placed Francesca Brough and Ferdi III in BE 100 section c. Lottie posted one of five cross country penalty free rounds in this section.
Another impressive dressage score came from BE section b winners Isabella Sevilla-rebelderia and Tawnmore Tyran who were awarded 22 for their test. Four competitors broke the 30 mark in the first phase in this section.
The Oxfordshire event hosted two BE80(T) sections and each had 28 completions. The 3:48 cross country optimum time proved difficult to get with only 12 competitors beating the clock home in both sections. Dawn Richardson and Avas Star led from the start in section o with a dressage of 24.3 which they added nothing to in the final two phases while Moelfryn Golden Wonder earned Katie Baldwin a trophy in section n, this duo also led from the start.
Sophie Gardner and Knockdrumagh Lad won BE90 section k, Katrina Marshall and Sweet Wispa finished at the top of the leader board in BE90 section j, Sara Ridgway and SKA Buachaill Mor won BE90 section I while Annie Bellamy and Hera S took the trophy in BE90 section h.
Photographs courtesy of Phil J Photographs