Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Georgia Dixon reports…..
It’s been a week full of excitement here at Brand Hall International Horse Trials in Shropshire as a new British Junior and British Pony Champion was crowned.
It played host to the iconic Charles Owen British National Ponies Championships and the Hows Racesafe CCIJ* alongside a CIC* class sponsored by David and Catherine Witt of Rookery Park Stud, Novice sections sponsored by Graham Heath Equestrian Structures and BE90 Sections sponsored by Blue Chip.
17 year-old Sasha Hargreaves was crowned the CCIJ* Champion with her own Playtime NZPH, otherwise known as Smarty. Sasha was in second place after the dressage behind Bubby Upton and Eros DHI and remained in second place after being faultless around an extremely tough cross country track.
Going into the final phase of show jumping, Bubby Upton and Eros DHI were leading, but there was no room for error having only a 3.4 penalty lead on Sasha Hargreaves.
Sasha and Playtime NZPH jumped around clear leaving them on their dressage score of 37.5. Bubby and Eros DHI then had one show jump down, pushing them out of the top spot for the first time all weekend, where they then finished 2nd on a score of 38.1.
Sasha told us: “I was very shocked and quite emotional when I found out that I had won. I had really never expected that result so it was absolutely amazing.” Sasha won the BE100U18 Championships at Frickley last year and this year hopes to go and defend her title this time in the CCIJ* there with her other horse, Cranny Volt.
The British Pony Championships crown went to 15 year old Saffie Osborne and Little Indian Feather, owned by Lord and Lady Blyth. Saffron Cresswell was the leader after the dressage with Cuffesgrange Little Ric, being the only combination who scored a dressage score under 40 for 33.1. However, with the cross country course causing problems left right and centre, Saffron was eliminated and their hopes of the crown disappeared.
This then meant that Saffie was the overnight leader going into the final phase of show jumping, taking forwards a score of 43.9. The combination was then one of only 3 show jumping clear rounds to take the win.
Safie told us: “After jumping that last show jump, I just burst into tears, it meant so much to me, I couldn’t believe it had just happened, I was in shock! From here, I am just going to keep working hard and and keep trying to improve. I will keep campaigning my two ponies, Little Indian Feather and Red Dandy.” Saffie also came 4th in the Championships with Red Dandy.
Eleanor Mcfarlane was the runner up on board Fusilier. Eleanor was the only rider to go around the cross country inside the time. The combination then added 4 faults in the show jumping leaving them the runners up on a score of 51.9. Almost half of the starters in the British Pony Championships faced a problem on the cross country course.
The winner of the CIC* is officially the speed machine of the class. Jack Leese won the International Novice section on Ms Independant and he also came 5th on board Cashman B. Jack Leese was the only rider to go inside the time cross country and he did it on both of his rides.
This left Jack Leese and Ms Independant on their dressage score of 43.6 after adding nothing show jumping either. They had a strong lead over second placed combination Bonnie Bartlett and Hayestown Clover Quin who finished on a score of 51.7 adding only 6.4 time faults to a dressage score of 45.3.
Brier Leahy and Paul Sims shared the win in the Novice Regional Final on Saturday. Brier Leahy was riding Kellen and Paul was riding Oaken George. Both Combinations finished on their dressage score of 30, leaving them both in the top spot and therefore both qualify for the Championships at Gatcombe. Katie Barber finished in 3rd place with Daytona Dreamer after adding only 4 faults from the showjumping to a dressage score of 29.8.
Young Rider Fred Powell won the BE90 Section I onboard a horse whom he had only rode twice before taking to Brand Hall; Embla Topnotch. The combination won after adding nothing to a dressage score of 23.8. Louise Barrett came second adding 1.2 time faults too fast with Blossoms Magna Carta to a dressage score of 23.
Lucy Bednall and My Grey Melody came out on top in BE90 Section M despite going too fast across country and adding 1.6 time penalties. Lucy won with a score of 29.9. Maeva Barioz and Max Reserve came 2nd, finishing on their dressage score of 33.
Section N saw an impressive dressage score from Georgia Cathcart and Arleys Toyboy who then went on to win the section. They finished on their dressage score of 24.8. Stephanie Hill finished in 2nd place with Stormhill Martin after finishing on their dressage score of 27.8.
Harry Moran had his second win in a row in the Novice Section D with Bally Chill. The combination won at Bishop Burton last week and have come out on top finishing on their dressage score at Brand Hall this week of 27.8. Hannah Freeman and Crockaulin Prince came 2nd after finishing on their dressage score of 33.
Novice Section E saw Laura Sale take her first win of the season on Ballyvonare Pixie. They finished on their dressage score of 30, just ahead of Kate Bleloch and Goldlook who finished on their dressage score of 32.3. for 2nd place. Connie Gill finished 3rd on board her 14.2 hh pony Movie Star II. Connie also finished 6th in the British Pony Championships with Hotshots.
Photographs courtesy of Felicity White Photography