Sarah Wells-Gaston reports ..
Burnham Market (2) signalled the last Muskateer Event Management affiliated competition of the 2019 season. And with classes ranging from BE90 upwards, more than 500 combinations entered across the 17 sections.
After applying to the FEI, British Eventing’s application to host a TCN2*-S and TCN3*-S at Burnham Market was approved. This was granted following the loss of the international classes at Somerford Park and provided riders with the opportunity to gain their minimum eligibility requirements.
Bubby Upton and MJM Bobby Dazzler were the winners of the TCN3*-S (Section A) with a score of 28.1. The pair, who are a new partnership this year, were fourth after the dressage, but a lightening quick cross-country round – they only incurred 0.4 time faults – saw them leap up the leaderboard for victory in the 38 strong field. The pair have notched up six top ten placings this season, including two victories (their first was at Aston-Le-Walls in May).
Bubby commented afterwards: “What a perfect end to our first season together and I can’t thank Catherine (Joice) enough for trusting me with this unbelievably talented horse. It’s been such a privilege taking on the ride on him and what an exciting young horse he is for the future.”
Second and third went to Piggy French with Brookfield Inocent and Carnival March taking second and third respectively.
Holly Woodhead took victory in the TCN2*-S (Section I) with Benicia B. It was a pillar to post victory for the pair who added nothing to their dressage score of 22.3 during the jumping phases to take the win.
Holly commented: “I am so proud of this mare, she isn’t always easy but has come such a long way.”
Second went to Alexa Palmer and Greenhays Super Nova whilst Australia’s Kevin McNab took third with Fortune III.
Willa Newton was on a winning streak at Burnham Market, topping three on the national classes. With Cock A Doodle Do she topped Intermediate Section B, and Novice Section K with Just Soda No Ice. Her trio of wins was topped of by Caja 20 with whom she won Open Intermediate Section O.
The lowest winning score of the weekend went to Iona Woods and Loughnatousa Joey who score 14.8 in the dressage, and adding just 0.8 time penalties from the cross country, the pair finished on a score of 15.6.
Collecting their ninth top ten finish of the year, and second win, Caroline Day and Fenomeen L topped BE100 Section H.
Caroline told Eventing Worldwide: “Fenomeen L is owned by Lucy Mason. I have been eventing him for four years and he is entered for his first novice at Little Downham. It was amazing to win with Fenn, he felt very smooth and confident around a fun and educational cross country course, hopefully that has set him up well for his first novice run.”
In addition to winning Intermediate Section C, Georgie Frow and TS Shanghai were crowned the winners of the Tri-Star Fairfax Saddles Novice League.
Georgie told Eventing Worldwide: “It has always been my aim to compete successfully at Intermediate level and I have been extremely lucky this season to get that opportunity on two horses – one for a former owner at the event yard of World Champion Ros Canter and the other, my father’s TS Shanghai. For the last year I have worked as a second rider for Ros and the training, experience and support has been invaluable.
TS Shanghai was bought by dad as a three-year-old – a real bargain buy and a true find. I had a smile on my face the first time I sat on him, and that was it. Over the last three years we have made fantastic progress and what a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago, we both struggled and had to retire when we had a bash at Intermediate – and now look.
Eventing is never easy and who knows what will happen next time out, but for now I am so proud of the pair of us. The Burnham Market course is one of the trickier Intermediates we have tackled – and I must have got some inspiration from Ros on Allstar B, who went out before me. On my safe return, she was there waiting – ever-supportive – to chastise me when I complained about getting some time faults. Of course, as ever, she was right as I should have just been delighted by the way Finn went round – but as it happens it was a win any way.”
Whilst they were not competing at Burnham Market, Laura Ridout and Coolodge Sox were the winners of the Tri-Star Saracen Horse Feeds Grassroots League, having been third in the league in 2018.
Other section results: Novice Section F Lisa Pilbeam, RLE Chloe; Open Novice Section G Meghan Healy, Springheeled; Novice Section J Matthew Wright, Redwood Autumn, BE100 Section L Lizzie Baugh, Shannondale Courage; BE100 Section M Richard Jones, Financial Express; BE100 Open Section N Imogen Murray, SJL Convince Me; BE90 Section O Charlotte Long, Avenurine; BE90 Section O Georgie Featherstone, Booty Boots.
Images courtesy of Stacey Smalley