EVENT REPORTS – Chilham Castle

Bryony Skinner reports…

It was a wet start to the weekend for the international event at Chilham Castle but the sun came out by Sunday afternoon and competitors and spectators enjoyed the 2nd fixture of the season held at the stunning location. 2019 was the first year that Chilham Castle has had new sponsors, One Ashford Hospital, and organizer Ali Ferry was delighted with the success of the event: “Despite a rather wet Saturday we were very pleased with our event here at Chilham Castle. The going was super and Scott Brickell’s courses rode very well. The CCI2*-S riders had the chance to ride their tests on the castle lawn and all riders show jumped down beside the lake with the Castle and the terraced gardens as a back drop. The sun came out on Sunday as did a record number of spectators.” Over 450 competitors took part in sections ranging from BE80, BE90, BE100, BE100Plus, Novice, 4 and 5 year old sections and the CCI2*-S. Spectators were also able to attend a classic car rally and fun dog show on the terraced lawn

Andrew James had a successful weekend at Chilham, taking the win in the 4 year old section with Jazz Quartet and also 6th in CCI2*-S aboard In Like Flynn. James commented:

“We had a lovely weekend at Chilham. We are very excited about Jazz Quartet who was bred by her owner and long time supporter and friend Steve Sykes, she is half sister to Jazz symphony who I took to Blenheim a couple of years ago and we hope this young mare will be even better. She has a couple more runs before heading to Osberton for the young horse champs. In Like Flynn is another lovely young horse owned by Angela Tucker. We were looking for a replacement after selling Movistar and luckily when I rang Angela to say I had found Flynn she said buy him; so the first time she saw him was when he arrived. He will again aim for the 6yr old championship at Osberton and maybe even Le Lion if he’s lucky enough to be selected. We have been to Chilham a few times now and I think the international Dressage arena is one of the most spectacular settings I’ve ever seen, it’s such a shame they have lost the international class next year. The going was perfect and the old turf could have coped with more rain. The undulating xc is a real test and a great education for the young horses. “

Winner of the 5 year old section was Naomi Lawrence who also came 8th in the same section. Naomi sold her advanced horse last year to fund her new business, producing and selling young show jump and event horses. Naomi just pipped Georgie Strang to tthe winning spot with Jaguar SF, completing on their dressage score of 30.5. Naomi actually achieved a better dressage score of 29.8 on her other ride ‘Jaimy’, but 4 faults in the showjumping dropped them to 8th position. Naomi said “I bought both Jaimy and Jaguar earlier this year to produce for the event horse classes and sell on. 
Jaguar came from Ireland and Jaimy from Holland. 
They have taken to eventing so well and Chilham was their first attempt at BE100 and the 5yr old class. I never thought either of them would win but was hoping to get two confident rounds. So it made the three hour journey particularly worth while for both of them to finish in the top 10. 
The course was very hilly but the going was great because of the rain we’d had the previous day, so I was really able to give them both a good gallop and it was a fantastic educational run which they both learnt alot from. 
I can’t wait for Osberton young horse champs with Jaguar and fingers crossed I can get Jaimy qualified for the champs as well. If it wasn’t for Jaimy’s pole they would have finished 1st and 2nd and both qualified but I think that would have been too good to be true!”

The BE90 section A winner, Jasmine Wilks, had a very busy weekend competing on 4 horses and finishing in top 12 with all of them. Jasmine won the BE90 section A aboard the 14.2hh, 6 year old gelding, Lough Derg Joe, completing on their dressage score of 30.5. The combination also won their BE90 section at Tweseldown just two weeks prior.

The last CCI2*-S class at this venue (it has been removed from the BE calendar next year) was taken by Claire Fielding riding Fernando IV while France’s Gaspard Maksud had a very good weekend finishing second and third in the 2* on Cado Louvo and Master Utah as well as winning the Novice Section J on Zaragoza II. Gaspard also received the prize for the highest placed from the South East Eventer’s League.
As well as winning the CCI2*-S with Fernando IV (ending 0.6 of a penalty ahead of Gaspard), Claire Fielding also won the BE90 section D with Walk in the Park. Claire commented:

“Fernando (Nando) is 10 yrs old by Charming Boy and he’s owned by Paula and David Evans. I’ve had him nearly 2 years, after he was brought for their daughter but things didn’t go to plan. Although I had good results last year it’s taken time to have total trust in each other. However, after finishing well in the top third at Tattersals this year he came back a different horse. More confident in his ability and brain and we had good bonding time as it was just him and I…..Chilham is such a lovely event; I’ve always enjoyed it there. Riding in the very smart arena in front of the castle was stunning and the going was amazing on all 3 phases. My test was last to go in pouring rain and Nando was a little excited. I attacked the test and we had a couple of mistakes but the rest was very good. He Show jumped beautifully and was Mega xc, making the time easily. Nando next runs at Aston and Somerford Intermediates.
Young Walk in the Park (petal) is by Puissance and owned by Helen Whiteley. She is 6yrs and was originally produced for showing for Helen and based with Katie Jerram Hunnable. She’s a very beautiful horse with superb presence and paces, but sadly showing wasn’t for her. So she came to me to see if she would like to try a different job. She wasn’t really quite ready last year and although we tried, she didn’t really understand what it was all about. I backed off and took time with her as she showed super talent and scope. This year she’s grown up a lot and is starting to prove what a little cracker she is. She will do another 90 at Horse Heath and then step up to 100. I adore her; she’s very special. The 90 and the 2* rode really well. It’s great to have the hills that make some of it more challenging. It makes you realise you have to ride the terrain not just the fences. Mine will have come away with lots of confidence from the xc.. Big shout out to all the organisers and the volunteers at Chilham who were so friendly and very efficient.”

The BE100Open section was won by Emily Baldwin after adding 2.4 xc time penalties to her very good dressage score of 20.8 with the 9 year old mare, Fune D or M. Emily commented on her Facebook page: “A really fun day at Chilham today with Rinwood Cooley loving life and finishing 2nd in the Open Novice with a 25 dressage. Then Fune D or M was a pleasure from start to finish WINNING the Open100 with a dressage of 20.8”

Suzanne Ashwell won the BE80T section F with her own 15hh gelding, Rhomantic. The event seems to be a lucky one for this combination who also won a BE80T section at the first fixture in April 2019, with the exact same dressage mark. A delighted Suzanne said

“We’ve just about dried out from Chilham on Saturday now!!! Mouse (aka Rhomantic) spent most of Sunday snoozing after all his hard work. He finished the XC minus one front shoe – bless him I never felt a thing, he just kept on plugging away. He’s not fast horse but he keeps a good rhythm and he’s a proper trier. I thought the course was a good educational outing, what BE80T should be about: T for “training”. Fence 3 required riders to appreciate what the horses would see (or rather, not see until they were very close) so you needed to have them focused and listening. The conditions added a dash of additional excitement too, personally I quite enjoy it when it’s like that and it’s great for training. Mouse is a 15hh 9yo bay warmblood gelding. He’s dressage bred and we have been successful at BD this year too (he won his first round Area Festival at Elementary Silver, and was 6th at Hickstead Summer Regionals in the Novice Silver).
I’ve owned him since May last year, he belonged to a friend of mine who was busy with family life, her business and her other horses so Mouse had been having an extended holiday in the field having been backed and ridden away but not done anything competitive. I’d never even sat on him and just bought him “from the field” as I liked him so much to look at and was sure we’d get on. That gamble certainly paid off! His first ever competition with me was Borde Hill UA70 last August and since then he’s come on brilliantly since then. Plans for the rest of the season are to go to the BE80 Championships at Kelsall Hill in September (we won the 80RF at Borde Hill in May), and hopefully to qualify for the Area Festival Championship at Hartpury. As a “stretch goal” I’d love to qualify for Badminton grassroots”.

Sarah Bullimore, competed 4 horses over the weekend and took 1st in ON section K on her own 6 year old mare Coroyale,, completing on their dressage score of 23. Sarah also came 5th in the 5yo section with the 16.2hh mare Coraguar (by Jaguar Mail), adding 4 SJ faults to their dressage score of 28.3.

The BE100Plus section was won by Katie Preston on her home bred 5 year old mare, Templar Juno. Katie commented on her facebook page: “Templar Juno stepped up a level today to the 100 plus at Chilham Park and proved her class and talent once again leading from start to finish. Despite struggling a little with some of the movements in her first novice dressage test she scored 28.5.  She finished on this score with an easy clear SJ and by far her best XC round yet – really learning to gallop and jump and totally unphased by the testing steep terrain, I actually had to steady her at the end so we weren’t too fast.
So that’s 2 runs at Chilham for her and 2 wins – looking forward to being back at this fabulous event in 2020.”

Bethany Cole won the BE90 section B with her much loved 14.1hh gelding Fromerthig Bendigeidfran, completing on their dressage score of 27.5. Bethany said

“Sonic (stable name) is a 14.1hh, 15 year old welsh section D, who has been a part of our family for 11 years. It was a lovely surprise to have the best dressage of our arena, which was a first for Sonic and I. The cross-country course rode beautifully, with some great elements to it, related distances with technical lines and multiple hills to really test the horse’s fitness. We received a Badminton cup regional qualification earlier in the year at Munstead BE90, so we will be competing at Borde Hill at the end of August to compete for a qualification to Badminton!”

Other winners: BE100 section N – Daisy Hills, Taurmore Buster; BE100 section O – Sam Sweeney, Burntwood Sorrell; BE80(T) section G – Bridget Priest, Culmore Frank; BE80(T) section H – Evie Denton, Longstone Royal Messiah; BE80(T)RF – Madison Peries, Outward Bound; BE90 section C – Kim Hayward, Oliver of Sky; BE90Open section E – Melissa Joannides, Woodfield Gold;

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