Jemma Docherty reports….
The Scottish event season kicked off in true Scottish style with rain, rain and more rain. Event organisers done an outstanding job to make sure the majority of the competition ran on the Saturday before admitting defeat to poor visibility and water logged ground. The last few unfortunate 90 competitors on the Saturday did not get to run XC and the Sunday competition was abandoned.
Douglas Crawford and Good Girl Susie owned by Geoff and Elspeth Adam got their season off to a great start with an impressive win finishing on their smart dressage score of 24.8 in Section A BE100 followed closely by Kirsty Stark on Mr Monkey Puzzle also finishing on their dressage score of 26.
Section B 100 was won by Avril Johnstone riding Para Handy II with Jess McKie and Little Joe III a close second.
Section C was led by Amy Hawley who also had a very smart dressage score of 20 adding just one pole and 1.6 time penalties XC to finish on 25.6.
The showjumping phase was proving to be the deciding factor in the 100 sections with only a total of 16 clears out of 51.
Morven Pringle took the win in Novice Sect D1 with Miss Contender. Miss Contender was formally ridden by a young up and coming eventor Natasha Galpin who sadly lost her life in a tragic fall on the gallops at Ian Jardines race yard at the start of the year. Natasha and Morven were very close friends and after the accident Natashas parents asked Morven to take on the ride. This was Morvens first event with the talented mare that Natasha had produced from a 5yrs old up to 1*.The aim this year for the combination is to get to Blair 2* but mainly to do Natasha proud.
Bella Innes Kerr who last year made the decision to ride professionally after graduating from university with a first has recently moved back to her borders base at Floors Castle after spending some time in Ireland at Ardeo Sport Horses took the win in Sect E on her very smart Grey gelding Highway II. Also known as Highway in the stable in Bellas own words is quite a character and is full of enthusiasm in everything he does! Highway will now run in one more Novice at Frenchfield before making the step up to Intermediate at Richmond, with the goal of the 6/7yrs old class at Tattersalls later in the year.
The big class of the day the Open Intermediate saw a good size of entry of 35 coming forward again the showjumping proving to be influential and only 5 combinations having some issues XC. Wills Oakden took the win on Ella MacGregors AKD Cooley Lockdown on a score of 30.4 followed closely by Ben Hobday and the first of 3 Shadow Sports horse in the top 10, Shadow Man II. Emma Hobday was close on her husbands heels finishing in third place with the little pocket rocket Shadow Puppet. Olivia Wilmot and the stunning grey Zebedee De Foja were fourth and Douglas Crawford and Shadow Lad taking 5th spot.
The last two 90 sections of the day fell fowl to the weather with only 14 competitors not getting to enjoy the buzz of the XC. Robyn Crawford and Ardlea Mr Spirit took the win in section G with only xc time penalties splitting her and Claire Paisley with Donna Keiseada into second.
Secion H saw some very smart dressage scores with the top three all finishing on their dressage scores of 28 and under. Persia Bhati and Aughnacliffe Gem winning the section on 25 followed by Emily Galbraith and Wrdeg Major Gibby on 26.5.
Images courtesy of Andrew Grant