Ruth Gregory reports..
Brand Hall International, hosted another fantastic weekend of eventing, unfortunately its last with international status. Despite, competitors flocked to the stunning venue to contest sections from BE90 upwards to CCI2*, including the Charles Owen pony championships, ICE Equine National U18 J2* Championships and Novice Reginal Final classes.
The Charles Owen Pony Championships, was filled with the best current pony trial partnerships, hoping to put in another top performance to catch the selectors eye for the Pony Euros, to be held at Strzegom, Poland, in August.
Leading from the off to top the class field was Daisy Bathe, riding Sf Detroit. The pairing meant business for the start, posting an impressive sub 20 dressage mark of 19.6. They then only rolled one pole on the final day to finish on a score od 23.6. Sf Detroit, is no stranger to the pony circuit having won individual gold at the 2017 Pony Europeans with former rider Georgina Herrling.
Daisy has proven to have jelled with the stallion by having an amazing season so far, including two pony trial wins and now the British Pony Champion title.
She also finished 13th in the section with her other ride, Alfie XI.
“I’m delighted with how my ponies went this weekend. Troy, (Sf Detroit), was amazing from start to finish. It’s a dream come true! I feel incredibly lucky and honoured to have such lovely ponies.”
Daisy’s performances impressed selectors as she’s has been named for the European longlist on both of her ponies, hopefully she can carry on her form for the final pony trials to make the short list.
Runners up were Freya Partridge, and Master Macky. They also only added one pole show jumping to finish on a score of 28.8. This is the combination’s fourth season together and third contesting pony trials. They were reserves for the Pony Europeans, held at Bishop Burton College, last August, However, will be looking to go one better and make the team this year, with a pony trial win already in the bag from Weston Park, back in April.
“Macky, was amazing all weekend and I am over the moon with him, he tried he heart out cross country, even taking a few flyers! He will have a well-earned rest for a few days and then will be looking forward to the next competition, he is such a special pony and I just don’t want this season to end as it’s my last on him.”
They too, have also made the European Longlist so will be hoping to carry on with good results to be selected for the final team, to be announced in July.
Jessica Corser took the U18 J2* IEC Equine National Championships, with Moangarriff Duke. They were second after dressage but added nothing to their dressage mark of 28.1 to take the win.
“I was very pleased with how our few days at Brand Hall went,” said Jess, “I took him for an easy run in the Junior 2* after doing the 3* at Rockingham. He was a star from start to finish and found it all so easy.”
Jess, also finished 13th in the section with her other horse Class Booze Cruise.
“He was last to go cross country as I had two horses in the class, I knew we would have a good chance of taking the win as he has been feeling on top form all season, he made every fence feel easy and we cruised home easily inside the time.
It is the pairs’ second season together, as Moangarriff Duke was previously campaigned by Willa Newton. But already this season they’ve had great results, with a win in the ONu18 at Solihull and 3rd place at Aston-Le-Walls in the OIu21 class.
“This was his second win of the season! My goal was to aim for 8/9yo 4* at Blenheim with him or the advanced 8/9yo at Aston, but that they may change slightly after our next run.”
Polly Stockton, headed the pack in the Rookery Park Stud CCI 2*-S section with Cessida Legge’s and Mafr Smithers’, Sir Alfred II. They finished on their dressage of 29.1 to cement the win. It was the geldings second international run, having won a novice section at Richmond in May before stepping up a level.
It was a double cause for celebration in the Stockton camp, as Polly also took the top stop in the Novice Section E, with her own and Kate Willis’, Chicko. It carries on the gelding great run of form this season, having been placed within the top 10 at each of his events.
Vittoria Panizzon, had a splendid Saturday afternoon with her string of talented mares, taking top spot in two sections.
She won the Novice Regional final, with Mandy Morrison’s, Gebaliaretto. “I was delighted with her,” said Vittoria, “she won at Chatsworth last time out, we always expect a good result from her.”
Vittoria, also piloted Chanson Du Village to a win in the Novice Section F, despite it being the mare’s, who is owned by Christopher Baker, first time at this level. “I’m quite surprised but delighted.” Says Vittoria, “she still travels a bit on the flat when holding a contact, but it felt right to step her up as she’s got plenty of jump, so it’s a good start to have a really nice run.”
Her final ride, Secret Legacy finished 5th in the Novice Section E. The mare is a half sister to Vittoria’s superstar, Borough Pennyz. “It was a schooling run with a steady cross country in preparation for the rest of the season. She is still only a six-year-old, and I don’t like rushing young horse, but she is proving to be a good, experienced jumper. I’ve got no events entered for them next as I like to take it as it comes as with typical horses’ plans can change. But I am hoping to aim them for more international runs for the rest of the year.”
Robyn Gray, had another successful weekend, winning the ON Section G with Litchfield Foxtrot, finishing on their dressage of 30.5.
Whilst, Amelia White was triumphant in the BE90 Section J with Willy Wiz, finishing on their dressage mark of 27.0
“I was over the moon with winning, it was only my second ever BE90! I absolutely loved the cross-country course. Dunston (Willy Wiz), stormed around 10 seconds too fast. My aims for the rest of the year are to have a go at some under 28 events and try a BE100 by the end of the season. I am also in pony club and am trying to qualify for the pony club nationals for eventing later in the summer.”
Novice, Section D; Saskia Davies, Singing Usk; BE90, Section I; Lucy Pemberton, Chevalian Cult Heroine; BE90, Section K; Dean Price, Regal Prince V; BE90, Section L; Nicola Mann; Catton Candyman; BE90, Section M; Bethany Humphries, Brians Best
Images courtesy of FRW Photography