Jemma Docherty reports…

Over 180 Competitors headed to the Moray Coast in the North of Scotland to the Famous Burgie Horse Trials. 10 Sections ranging from 80(T) to Novice came to strut their moves, take on Colin Hexley’s challenging show jumping tracks and conquer the hills of Polly Lochore’s XC course.

Three sections of 90 started the day with dressage scores varying between 26 through to 46. This eventing game is no longer a dressage competition especially at Burgie where “that” elusive ditch at the top of the hill again caused so many issues for riders especially within the 80(T) and 90 sections. 

Section A was won on a score of 32.5 with a Double clear inside the time for Kelly Grant and Heaven Eyes. Keileigh More and Cloud Corrib Blue picked up the honours in Section B. This impressive win with a smart dressage of 26 and a classy double clear inside the time saw them improve from their 3rd place last month at Floors Castle. Keileigh is having a great season with this young horse who just seems to be getting better and better. They will have their sights set firmly on the grassroots championship being held at Blair Castle for the first time later this year.

Mhairi Munro and Atlantic Affair won in style the final 90 section with a very smart dressage score of 26.3, jumping double clear with just a few time penalties to add. This was Mhairi and Reg’s first run of the 2018 season. They made the long journey South in April after months of preparation to contest the 90 Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton. Unfortunately, after a good dressage, just before the Show jumping poor Reg tied up which resulted in them having to withdraw. Mhairi was very disappointed not to be able to complete her dream of riding XC at Badminton but I’m sure with results like this she will be back to fulfil that dream before she knows it.

The top 3 from each 90 and 100 section all qualify for the new Scottish Championships being held at the magnificent Blair Castle Horse Trials. (pending rider eligibility)

Section A – 1st – Kelly Grant and Heaven Eyes, 2nd Emma Grant and Mini Echo, 3rd Emily Harrower and Rooswell

Section B – 1st – Keileigh More and Cloud Corrib Blue, 2nd – Caitlin Padfield and Aragon House Liana, 3rd – Zoe Mackay and Grove Warrior

Section C – Mhairi Munro and Atlantic affair, 2nd – Kelly Reid and CloverI, 3rd Lynda Macey and Rinceoir Alainn

The Stirlingshire Saddlery 100 Section E was won by Ailsa Roberts and Little Miss Buttons Blue adding just 2.4 time to their dressage score of 26.5 narrowly beating Dawn Morley with a final score of 30.8 who went double clear within the optimum time of 4 minutes 20 seconds.  Rosanagh Davison and Rockwood Beau also finished on their dressage score to pick up 3rd place on 31.3.

Three sections of Novice including an U18 Section and the Novice Regional Final saw not only the Show Jumping being influential but also but fences 5 and 7 on the Cross Country playing a big factor on the final results.

Novice Section F sponsored by George Michie Photography, saw only 7 show jumping clear rounds.  The winning combination of Wills Oakden with David and Sylvia Kenwright’s Greystone Rising Star jumped a very stylish double clear to claim the top spot on their dressage score of 28.  11 penalties separated Wills and second placed Sally Kidd with Just Aske Darcy on 39.4.  Louisa Milne Home followed in third place with Carrow Iroko adding 10.8-time penalties to their dressage score of 29.5. 

Wills had a busy day with 4 rides in in this Novice section alone.  The highs and lows of eventing were certainly on show for Wills, from the high of winning, to the lows when he took a dunking in the second last fence at the water jump with the very promising young stallion Tayvale Hunky Dory Owned by his Aunt Frances Hay-Smith. Both were unhurt from the fall which saw Wills have a quick change of clothes to complete on his final ride which luckily was his wining mount. 

The U18 section was won by Lewis Maclean and Lissyegan Mikie Lou followed by Freya Hartley and Waterloo Sunset.

Fiona Malcom, along with her husband Andrew is one of the top supporters and sponsors of eventing in Scotland, took the Novice Regional Final title. The ten-year-old mare by Cult Hero, TheBestOfThree jumped a double clear with just a few time penalties to add to her dressage to claim their qualification to the finals at Gatcombe in August.

The 80(T) sections were well represented from the young and inexperienced 4-year old’s having their first competition experience through to the older combinations such as Liz Paddon and her 24 years young Society Sovereign. Liz and her seasoned campaigner were 2nd in section J to Stephanie Stewart and her own Eden IV with a winning score of 27.2. Section I was won by Jessica Berrie and Lucy Lockett III, their excellent dressage score of 25.8 meant that having two poles show jumping still gave them the win ahead of Rachel Macleod and Irish Liqueur who finished on 36.7.

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