Event Reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Eryn Douglas reports ..
The beautiful Aske parkland hosted yet another weekend of affiliated evening competition last weekend (1st-2nd of July) in North Yorkshire. Aske Hall provides competitors with demanding terrain which did indeed incur an exciting weekend fixture of competition. The famous lake-side start box and rolling Yorkshire hills pulled in competitors from up and down the country competing in classes from BE90 to Intermediate level.
Olivia Wilmott enjoyed her first event back in the saddle by winning the Open Intermediate Section A riding her own and sponsor’s (Jim Spiers – Advanced Roller Doors) 13 year old Zebedee De Foja.
Zebedee and Olivia led the OI section from the start – posting a 28.4 dressage, followed by a double clear to secure victory.
What made Olivia’s win so incredibly impressive was that just 8 weeks ago, she gave birth to her second child – Hunter. Having not ridden at all throughout the pregnancy due to moving out of their family home, Olivia kept active through occupying her 2 year old son and coaching.
Having won her first competition back, Olivia said “I’m lucky I’ve got such a great support team, too many to mention but especially now I’ve got two children I really need the support.”. Olivia gave credit to the many people who contributed to her success at Aske – claiming that there were too many to mention!
A large part of Olivia’s impressive bounce back may be said to be her training with Equestrian 24 Fitness. Olivia has been “trying to do little and often so I don’t over do it but I get myself moving and fit again.”
Looking ahead, Olivia is aiming Zebedee at another OI at Eglinton and then on to Aston Advanced.
Melissa Chapman, a self-confessed dressage diva enjoyed an extremely successful weekend, bagging two wins and a second position with her three rides (DHI Sambuka, TCE Rockstar Cruising and Aswaal respectively) in BE90 sections I, J and K.
Melissa has vast experience in eventing, having competed up to advanced level before she then followed her dressage dreams and, on the back of this change in pathway, grew her business Team Chapman Equestrian. As well as running her own equestrian business, Melissa trains with and works for Ian and Heidi Woodhead – to whom she gives a great deal of credit as business mentors and friends.
Melissa says that despite her dressage focus, “I have always been a great believer in ‘variety being the spice of life’ and apply this philosophy in all aspects of my life and the training plans for the horses (who do love to jump!) and so here I am, back in the world of eventing… and absolutely loving it.”
To the disappointment of many competitors, the annual September fixture at Aske Hall has sadly been cancelled. Competitors and spectators alike, however, can reflect upon this last weekend’s worth of competition and look forward to their next opportunity to return to Yorkshire and enjoy another weekend of exciting competition.
Photographs courtesy of Chantal Crosby