Sammi Tucker reports…
Bicton Arena is the South West’s premier equestrian venue. Set in a part of Devon’s rolling hills on the Clinton Estate, it is the perfect venue for all aspects of equestrian competition, but especially for the horse trials.
Bicton Arena saw an astounding amount of entries due to lots of earlier cancellations on the BE calendar. A major ballot took part and over the three days more than 1,200 horses started.
equally good to see some of our locals winning at the lower levels. These include Becki Churchill and Annie Mingo both of whomvolunteer for us and whose families help us at Bicton. It was great to see so many members of the public joining us to watch the action. Very grateful to Lord & Lady Clinton for allowing us to be here and also very grateful to all of our generous sponsors”
World class riders entered the advanced intermediate at Bicton, many prepping for Badminton. The 9yr old, 16.2hh gelding Vendredi Biats clinched the top spot under Kitty King in the advanced intermediate section K completing on a score of 30.1. The combination scored a dressage of 26.5 in a hotly contested AI and picked up 3.6 time faults across the county but nothing to damage their overall score.
Breathing down their necks was Pippa Funnell on the 14yr old Billy Beware. they scored a very decent dressage of 23.3 but 7.6 time penalties on the testing track set the to 30.9 and had to settle for second. The time proved hard to get for this advanced intermediate section with the time allowed being 5 minutes and 50 seconds and no one managed to get inside.
Intermediate section G was another cross country track with the optimum time of 5 minutes 50 seconds and only one rider came home inside of that time, and that was the winner Izzy Taylor on the 8yr old mare Grafenelle. The 16hh mare scored a dressage of 28.2 and went on to do a double clear inside the time to grab the win by 5.5 penalties ahead of Richard Waygood and Askari, who got a dressage of 22.5, but 11.2 time penalties on the cross country set them back.
Intermediate section H shown many more top riders including the ever famous Mary King coming second with King Bill. The 16.3hh, 8yr old gelding by Mill Law did a good dressage of 24.3 but 5.2 time penalties, set them for second as Tom Jackson took first with Capels Hollow Drift. They scored 26.1 in the dressage, clean heels over the showjumping and with 2.4 time penalties on the cross still saw them good enough for the win. Again, the only rider to go double clear inside the time was Izzy Taylor and Tregolls and so completed on their dressage of 30.2
The Open Intermediate saw a very hotly and world class contested section J with only 3 making the time on the cross country, two of them belonging to Izzy Taylor. Izzy finished 3rd and 4th in this section aboard Impromptu II a Master Imp sired gelding and Kilderrys Cougar Girl, a 10yr old mare.But neither could quite catch up with Pippa Funnell and Sandman 7 who scored a dressage of 23.9, clear showjumping and with just 2.0 time penalties across the country saw them finish in first on 25.9.
Just 14 horses started the Askham Bryan sponsored Open Intermediate under 21 section I and again saw the time was hard to get with only two finishing inside the time. One of those was the winner Playtime, ridden by Sasha Hargreaves. The 16.1hh gelding, now 15yrs old, put in a good dressage of 30.5 and did a double clear to grab the win.
BE100 section L saw Joe Roome winning a mare he backed and produced himself. Merdien D Exaerde, a 16.2 mare finished for the win with 26.2.
Emily Proud won the BE100 section O and I spoke with her about her win and her horse Leonado C.
She said: “I have had Leonado C (Locky) since he was 4, I purchased him from JB Sporthorses and brought him on as an event horse myself. We have taken things slowly as he is a giant, standing at nearly 18hh. So far he has been amazing though; as a 5 year old he qualified for the Burghley young event horse finals at Gatcombe, he won the Blue Chip flat ridden sport horse breeding (GB) finals in 2016, last year he won the novice workers at Royal Bath and West and this year he has finally got the win he so deserved at BE and it couldn’t have been at a more lovely event!He has been so close before, getting a few second placings, but at Bicton yesterday he got everything right. He did a beautiful dressage test – he is such a show off and finished with a double clear inside the time. I have had help with my dressage from trainer Alice Peternell and jumping from coach Warren Lamperd, who ran in the advanced intermediate at Bicton in preperation for Badminton. It was a really lovely touch winning a posy from Halley Floral Design, making the moment even more special and a hamper from Darts Farm and a big thank you to our section sponsor Wyvern Equestrian for the voucher, Locky will be picking himself something nice! It has been hard work juggling my full time job as a physiotherapist with my horses, but a day like this makes it all worthwhile!”
BE90 section T saw Ffion Loring and 15.3hh mare Flamenca Z win with a double clear.
Ffion said: “It was a really amazing start to the season, after making the three hour journey from South Wales, all we really wanted was to come away confident and ready to move up to 100. So when we got our best dressage test score to date we were really pleased. Going into the jumping there was a little pressure to do well, but luckily Izzy gave me an amazing double clear within the time! I’m still not sure I actually believe we won our first event of the season! It was our first time competing at Bicton, it is a lovely venue and we will definitely be returning!”
The final day of competition on the Sunday was exciting with both the International novice CIC 1* and the International intermediate CIC 2* finishing off with the two jumping phases. The dressage and showjumping for both of these classes took part in the year old Western Counties arena.
Other section results: BE100 Open Section M Aaron Millar, Cloonberry Flare; BE100 Section N Owen Cooper, Pembroke II; BE100 Under 18 section P Olivia Mitchell, Woodland Lad; BE100 Plus section Q Katie Hancock,Chytodden Crystal Rosw; BE90 Section R Annie Mingo, Snowglow Jewel; BE90 Section S Rebecca Churchill, Mind Over Matter; Novice Section U Helen Marsh, Disco Chick; Novice Section V Andrew Nicholson, Argentino BK; Open Novice Under 18 Section W Emma Manton, Gortlas Earl Grey; BE100 Section X Joanna Dunn, Fergie Boy.
Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee
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