EVENT REPORTS – Cholmondeley Castle

Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners

Millie Wain reports…

The Eqclusive Cholmondeley Castle Horse Trials took place within the beautiful Cholmondeley estate and there were 17 sections running over the weekend. This year, a BE90 class that attracted 157 competitions was introduced to the event. As well as this, there were BE100, Novice and Intermediate classes. Although there had been some heavy rain showers, the Cholmondeley team ensured that after a period of time with little rain, the going was very good.

Both the showjumping and cross country courses resulted in many combinations accumulating penalties. At all levels, the cross country tracks designed by Alec Lochore proved to be a challenging yet educational test for the horses and riders, encouraging positive and accurate riding throughout. The courses were traditional and incorporated galloping stretches.

There were some competitive dressage scores in BE90 section D but the influential jumping tracks altered the leaderboard after the first phase. Susan Pym finished on her dressage score of 22 and took the win aboard the 7-year-old gelding Clonswords Stardust. There were three riders who completed on a score of 24.5 and out of those three, Chloe Whitney riding Run For Fun finished the closest to the optimum time of 5 minutes so she claimed second place. Third place went to Becky Hartley with the 5 year old Bee Master Cobra.

BE100 section E was won by Sarah Roberts riding Duke V, who is owned by Heidi Page. They were in 4th place after the dressage phase but jumped a good double clear with 0.8 time penalties to take home first place. Marcus Reid finished in second place on a score of 29.6 riding Glencorran. Third place went to Neil Fox riding Tradhearg Cool Joules; their completion score was 30.4 penalties.

There were 21 starters in the BE100plus class. Michael Owen won the section riding Cappoquin Jon. They concluded with a score of 22.7 and this was more than six penalties ahead of second place, which went to Sarah Warner and Zarento VDL. Michael also won the BE100open section riding King Ed.

On Sunday, there were four Novice sections, three intermediate sections and two BE100 sections.

Cheshire-based rider Robyn Gray had a busy weekend, riding seven horses over the two days and gaining five top 10 placings. Robyn won section J of the novice with the chestnut gelding Litchfield Foxtrot, owned by Jane Phillips. They added 4 time penalties from the cross country phase to their dressage score of 27.5. Robyn spoke to Eventing Worldwide about her results and she said’ “He (Litchfield Foxtrot) was super in all three phases so it felt like a deserved win for the horse. My weekend was very educational for all of the horses, with good results as a bonus. After hitting the deck on Saturday, there was a change of luck with a win on Sunday which shows the ups and downs of eventing. My aim for the season is for the horses to finish happy, safe and sound.”

Brazilian rider Carlos Parro won Novice section K and he was riding the 6-year-old JRP Kick on Casanova. They completed on their dressage score of 26.5 and Robyn Gray claimed second place with the 6-year-old mare Gelukkig with 30.7 penalties . Helen Waterhouse and Merlot were one of two combinations in the section to finish on their dressage score, which was 32.0 penalties to finish third.

The intermediate section was won by Emily Philp riding Hells Bells. Emily also had a win in the Open Novice section with Global Royal Luxor. Tina Canton and Just A Game came second and third place went to Matt Hecking riding Harle Belle. Only two of the top ten combinations in this section jumped a clear round in the showjumping so quick cross country rounds were needed in order to secure the top placings. Just two riders across the three intermediate sections came home from the cross country within the optimum time of 6 minutes and 25 seconds.

The Junior European gold medalist Bubby Upton was riding two horses at Cholmondeley. Her recent success continued this weekend as she rode Cola III and Cannavaro to first and fifth place respectively in the OIU21. This was Cola III’s first intermediate; at 7 years old, he has already gained 35 BE points in two years of eventing.

The Open Intermediate section attracted some of the top riders in the sport, including Oliver Townend and Rosalind Canter, who have both been selected to represent Great Britain at the Europeans in Strzegom in August. The winner of the Open Intermediate was Ibby Macpherson riding Ballingowan Diamond on a score of 23.8. Second place went to Emily Philp riding Masterplan on 27.0 penalties. Third place went to Paul Sims with Last Secret who completed on a score of 28.2.

There were two BE100 sections taking place on Sunday afternoon. Becky Hartley won one of the sections riding the 5-year-old chestnut mare Safira. The pair led from the dressage phase and finished on their score of 24.5 penalties. Becky spoke to Eventing Worldwide after her win; she told us about her partnership with Safira and what her plans are for the rest of the season: “Safira is a new ride this season who has joined my team. We really clicked from the off, winning our first event together at Llanymynech in May. We have gone from strength to strength, qualifying for the young horse championships at Osberton and winning the BE100 today at Cholmondeley. The plan is just to keep giving her confident runs before Osberton in September.”

Other section winners:
BE90 section A – Charlotte Brewster riding Richmondlea Terence, 26.4 penalties
BE90 section B – Louise Jones riding Jude III, 27.7 penalties
BE90 section C – Estelle Eccleston riding Top Its Ambitious, 24.8 penalties
BE100 section F – Hannah Bate riding Carnsdale Talk Talk, 24.0 penalties
Novice section I – Harry Harding riding Goteus S, 20.0 penalties
Open Novice section L – Emily Philip riding Global Royal Luxor, 26.8 penalties
BE100 section P – Polly Stockton riding Sir Alfred II, 30.8 penalties

Photographs courtesy of FRW Photography

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