EVENT REPORTS – Bicton Arena (2)

Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners

Rika Nile reports….

Grassroots and KBIS Age classes were the primary focus of Bicton Arena’s second fixture of the season, held over 8th-9th July, which saw Vicky Tuffs  top the leader board in no less than three sections across the weekend with a string of young horses. 

Vicky, who was at her second event back after having her second baby, picked up her first win on the Saturday in BE90open section D, with 7-year-old Bonheur Quality Z. The Berlin sired gelding is being produced by Vicky to be sold as a potential Junior horse, and is aimed at a 1* at the end of the season. 

Continuing the winning form, Vicky’s smart four-year-old ride GHF On The Button won the KBIS sponsored 4YO section E, collecting Vicky’s first ticket of the weekend to Osberton in the Autumn. A 25.8 dressage matched with a double clear gave them the win over Taggy Forester-Bennett and The Trollie Dolley II, who finished only a mark behind the winners.

The third win for Vicky, and her second ticket to Osberton, came in 5YO section with the smart bay gelding Fernhill Funtime, who kept a clean sheet to finish on 25.5. She also finished 5th in the same section, with Heartbeat, after keeping him steady in preparation for later qualifiers.

“Once Fernhill Funtime had finished XC and had taken the lead, I just ran Heartbeat quietly as there was only one qualifying spot available. He’ll go on to do more qualifiers in August, along with a range of other four-year-olds. We’re hoping to have a lorry full at Osberton!” said Vicky.

“The team have been amazing with the work that they’ve done over the winter whilst I was pregnant, which has enabled me to get on and come straight out winning. We’ve got some really exciting prospects and it’s great to see how they progress.” she added.

Close behind Vicky with two young horses was Dorset-based Joe Roome, who’s trip to Bicton was not wasted after he took 2nd and 4th in the 5YO section on Merdien D Exaerde and Emerald Spirit II respectively.

“This was only Merdien D Exaerde’s second 100, after starting her career in April,” said Joe

“She’s been really consistent, placing in seven of her eight starts so far, getting closer to a win each time.

“I was really pleased with both her and Emerald Spirit, who’s owned and bred by Sarah Bingham, they made nothing of the course and both performed well. They have done everything together this season, so hopefully they can both get qualified for Osberton,” he added.

17-year-old India John made juggling A levels and eventing, as well as competing in dressage, all worthwhile after she took the top spot in BE90 section A with Zephir. India and the 16.2hh gelding, who have recently been selected to represent England at the BYRDS Home International, took advantage of having a handful of time faults in hand, to add only 2 penalties to their 26.8 dressage and stay on top.

“Zeph has been with us since October and had mainly done dressage before he came to us, but loves his jumping and is incredibly bold if the rider is also willing to be brave. I mostly event now to avoid being continuously beaten by my 12-year-old sister Scarlett on her fabulous dressage pony Buddy, luckily Zeph is enjoying it!” India told Eventing Worldwide.

“I am very lucky to have really amazing supportive parents, who have tolerated my desperately trying to keep all the horses fit and happy whilst locking myself away revising for exams! So it was lovely to have a good successful weekend to remind them why we wake up so early and don’t have weekends like normal families!” India, who also took 7th in BE100 section J with other ride Ballyhooly, added.

BE90 section C also had a competitive dressage rider leading the section, after Annie Brooker rode Gail Critchlow’s Witchcombe Music Man to a win. The 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross posted a 28.3 dressage, which took the pressure off going into the cross country, allowing the combination to add 3.2 time to their score.

“He’s been with me just less than a year and is currently now for sale. He’d normally be flying round the 100 course, but with him on the market, we’re being a little more cautious! For the moment, the rest of the season is unknown, but will just carry on as we are, giving him some easier runs, hopefully keeping up the good results!” said Annie, who is in training for her first Prix St Georges test later on in the year.

Sheila Williams and her quirky 8-year-old Alvescot Peppi are on target to return to Badminton for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup next year, after winning BE90 section B. Acquiring the gelding in October 2015, he has enabled Sheila to not only achieve her eventing dreams, but also in other areas.

“He’s always throwing new challenges at me, but he has fulfilled three of my childhood dreams, qualifying for HOYS, going round Badminton and having a write up with a picture in Horse and Hound,” said Sheila.

“During our first year of competing together he took me to HOYS in the Search for a Star Riding Club Show Horse class and completed the BE90 section at Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup. I am hoping to qualify again for next year’s Mitsubishi Motors Cup, with my aim being a top 10 finish.”

The combination posted an impressive dressage of 23.5, which was 5 marks ahead of her nearest rivals, Tiegan Sime and MGH Coco, who eventually finished 2nd.

“I have regular lessons with the fantastic Jo May, she has helped me so much over the last few years with her positive, calm, unflappable nature and wealth of knowledge. I would also like to mention my husband Mark who without his continued support throughout the whole year and getting up at stupid o’clock to groom and video for me I would struggle to do what I love doing.” Sheila added, also praising her mother for getting her into horses in the first place. 

Other section winners:

BE80(T) section G: Jenny Lo-Vel – Holywell Cavaliere Classic

BE80(T) section H: Amy Cox – Tiger Lily II

BE90 section F: Janine Paterson – Pride Of My Heart

BE100 section I: Louis Evripides – Yasmin

BE100 section J: Emma Beresford – Kaizer 

BE100 section K: Jason Ferguson – Barley Sugar Twist

BE100open section M: Line Andreson – Troja Queen

BE100plus section N: Rupert Batting – Beech Hill Kiko Clover

Novice section O: Holly Wright – Primitive Star II

Novice section P: Freddie Scala – Corriebeg Vivendi

Open Novice section Q: Roxi Foster – Dalsaans Hasty Prince

Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee


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