Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Cat Jamieson reports ….
It was an action-packed weekend of eventing at Calmsden., with nearly 500 entries over the two days of competition.
Katie Mathias and Lodor Carl have been on a winning streak which saw them take their fourth win in a row at Calmsden in BE90 Section H, and this is from five starts this season. On this occasion, they won on a score of 23.0. Ella Hitchman and In Your Dreams III have also been on a winning streak and Calmsden gave them their fourth win of the year in BE100 Section L. And BE100 Section G winners Christina Wiederkehr and DG Canta made Calmsden their third win in a row and fourth of the year.
Stephanie Carter and The Full Monty were victorious in BE90 Section I. The now 22-year-old gelding was a sixth birthday present for Stephanie when Monty was a two-year-old.
Stephanie told Eventing Worldwide: “He’s had a busy crazy life doing all riding activities. We attempted to give him a well-deserved retirement, in which he decided to play up and bully all my young horses! So mum and I made the decision to bring him back to work and I had the crazy idea to take him out to do a BE90 on a ticket aged 22! Well…. a 25 double clear at Treborough saw us take second place. So that evening I bought him a season pass! Monmouth next! A 24 dressage! An unfortunate pole due to a typical ‘Monty knows best moment’ saw us finishing with a flying cross-country round in fourth. Next was Dauntsey! The conditions were very challenging but a tidy test gave us 31 in a tough scoring section, and a perfect double clear saw us take second again! Calmsden was our last of the season. A very pleasant test left us on a score of 26. A foot perfect show jumping round! And an absolutely stunning cross-country round left us with a double clear on our dressage score! It was an extremely emotional moment when we heard that we had won! Especially as my grandad had attended to watch, who lost my beautiful nan this February, and without their continued support and funds I would have never been able to afford to even start competing. So for him to watch us at the top of our game, after 20 years of partnership really was the highlight of my life so far! Monty has finished the year with three regional final qualifications! And all being well he will be fit and healthy enough to complete these next season.”
Alexa Palmer and Ogue Caviar were the victors in Novice Section E, finishing on a score of 29.3. it was Cavier’s fourth win of the year, and Alexa’s fifth.
“He has also been very successful competing in pure dressage – this year we represented the South West and England at the Inter Regionals and Home International where we finished 4th in the Young Rider Elementary Championship. He has been very consistent cross country, with 100% clear xc record since I started riding him as a 6-year-old. This winter I will be training hard to utilise his scope in the show jumping arena. Our main aim for next year will be the Houghton CCI** Young Rider National Championship. I will also aim to qualify him for the British Dressage Winter Regionals over the next couple of weeks.”
Novice Section A went to George Bolt and UC Cavaloon. The pair has had a string of good results and Calmsden was their second win in a row.
George told Eventing Worldwide; “This is Jacks second season eventing and he only moved up to Novice earlier this year. He had his first novice win at Gatcombe his last time out before Calmsden. Jack’s next event will be Aldon CIC1* then we will have a short break, before going show jumping and dressage to capitalise on this season and to be on top form for the start of next season. He’s not been the easiest of horses to produce, he has been known to throw a diva tantrum here and there but he has really matured recently and is now understanding and enjoying the challenge.”
Jonty Evans came away from Calmsden with a sixth place in Novice Section A with SFS Arctic Chill. He commented: “Sometimes it’s the little things that make your day! SFS Arctic Chill who didn’t really understand eventing that well at the beginning of his career, jumped double clear round his first Novice at Calmsden. This super talented five-year-old has really grasped what eventing is about now and was so good. With good double clears and placings in his last four events he seems to have started to understand. It’s so rewarding when a horse gets it.”
At the start of the season Miranda Heynes had three goals; one to get a sub 25 dressage score, the second to win an event and the third to qualify for Badminton Grassroots. And she has so far achieved teo of these, becoming the NAF British Riding Club Senior 90 Individual and Team national champion in August with a dressage score of 24.8. At Calmsden she placed tenth in BE90 Section I with Copper and Chrome, known as Puzzle at Home.
She told Eventing Worldwide: “We qualified for three regional finals for the grassroots championships, completed nine BE events – seven of which we were in top 10 and achieved six double clears. Last winter was the first time I had kept Puzzle in work and so I spent it working hard with Louise Bell on my dressage which paid off as up until this year we weren’t really in the top ten very often! Added to that I had my abdominals sewn back up post children so took on biomechanics personal trainer Katy Stokes who has worked very hard on my fitness, core strength and pelvis which has made such a difference to my riding. This winter puzzle is having a three week holiday and then once back in full work I will be working weekly with Louise on dressage and Chris Hall on show jumping courses. I plan to do some 100cm eventer training at Aston le Walls and Allen’s Hill to make sure I am confident at this level to try it eventing next season. Whatever level I do I like to do it well and be as competitive as possible! Luckily Puzzle looks after me when I make mistakes.”
Sue Peckham and Mr Gangster have recent had a string of top ten results, with them placing seventh in BE90 Section H at Calmsden. She has owned the 11-year-old coloured gelding, who has aspirations to be brown, since he was six.
She commented: “He likes to conserve his energy and only does the bare minimum to get through the day, but he is very genuine and loves to jump, in most of his pics he has his ears back to make him more streamline, as he isn’t too fast cross country, but at last seems to have got the idea that you have to keep going between fences and not stop and look at the view. As is the same every winter I hope to do dressage and show jumping, with the odd days hunting when I’m needed to escort pony club children, last week he went out on the Saturday afternoon and still managed to get around Dauntsey with a double clear and eighth place.”
Rosie Marlow has had a very short season this year with only two runs at BE90 due to Truly Scrumptious V being poorly. They finished 13th in BE90 Section I. Rosie commented: “We have been working hard on our dressage and I was delighted with a 30.5 dressage score. My aims for over the winter are to continue working on my dressage and show jumping, we have just started competing at BS Discovery and my aims for over the winter are to continue at this level and work towards a 1.05 class. Roll on the winter for lots of cuddles with Truly and the start of the 2018 eventing season.”
Owen Cooper rode Dora The Explorer II to victory in BE100 Open Section M, winning on their dressage score of 26.0. Owen had a great weekend at the event also placing fourth in Novice Section E with Cash Casino, fourth in Novice Section A with Shirsheen Clover and ninth in Novice Section B with Ringwood Madras.
It was a five minute trip down the road for event rider Tom Rowland as Calmsden is his most local event. Brentano Spice was 5th in BE100 Section G with Tom commenting “This was the perfect end to his year, he oozes class and it’s like driving a sports car – effortless acceleration! Next year should be very exciting for him as a 6 year old.”
Tom also had his first ride on Dragonfly VII, the older brother of Snap To It. Tom felt he was rather harshly marked in the dressage, but jumped beautifully to finish just outside the top ten, saying “He’s a real trier and a very dear horse.”
Calmsden was also the final of the EquiFeast Bursary. The finalists for this were Jessica Clew
Jenny Hampshire and Ben Newman. Malcolm Green from EquiFeast commented: “Sadly a minor injury reduced our finalists to three. But all three showed great progress in horse temperament and athleticism. And all three ran double clear. So, the final judging panel will have a tricky decision to make.”
Other section results; Novice Section B Sophie Hearle, Jacomar Boy; Novice Section C Becky Woolven, Mille Fleurs; Open Novice Section D William Fox Pitt, Fernhill Pimms; BE100 Section F Laura Rideout, Lates Flash; BE90 Section J Rosie Pothecary, Hes The Man; BE90 Section K Chloe Fry, Spirit of Felix; BE100 Section N Jason Hobbs, Harola Z.
Photographs courtesy of Phil J Photos