Sarah Carless..

With classes from BE90 to Open Intermediate, Eridge Horse Trials was as popular as ever attracting large entries, and despite the weather the event did not suffer from many withdrawals.

With five top ten placings to their name this season, Jasmine Wilks and Ashtown Lilly topped the table in BE100 Section G for their first win of the season. The pair were one of the few riders to come home from the cross country under the optimum time and finished on their dressage score of 29.0.

Jasmine, who is a freelance rider based in Darenth, and the eight-year-old mare (owned by her boyfriend Alex Morgan and his dad Trevor) now have six Mitsubishi Motor Cup Regional Qualifications.

Jasmine told Eventing Worldwide: “I’m really pleased that she’s finally got a win in the bag after coming so close a number of times. I knew that if she got a respectable dressage mark that she would be competitive because she is normally quite consistent show jumping and even though she is a big mare, she has an amazing engine cross country.With that in mind, I was confident that the excessive heat on Saturday wouldn’t affect us as much as it did others because she is extremely fit and normally comes inside the time. We always make sure there is plenty of ice back at the trailer for her legs after competing and on Saturday it was especially important to make sure she was fully cooled down before taking her home. My plan is to try and qualify her for Badminton Grassroots and then give her a holiday as she has had a good season this year and I’d like to move her up a level next season.”

Melissa Joannides has racked up 48 top ten placings this season, including 11 wins. Her latest was in the BE90 Open Section D with Craan Bob – their third of the year. The Sussex-based rider also took second in the section with Promethus II. As a result of her success this year, Melissa leads the British Eventing Foundation Points Rider League but 132 points. One of her horses, Ashford Cleave Little Man leads the Foundation Points Leading Horse League on 110 points (a lead of 22 points), and added to his tally by finishing second in BE100 Section F at Eridge.

Sam Penn and Burntwood Sorrell collected their fourth win in a row winning BE100 Section F. Their previous victories came at Brightling Park, Rackham and Borde Hill. It means the pair have not been out of the top ten all year.

Liz Halliday Sharpe came away from Eridge with two wins to her name. The American rider topped BE100 Section N with Cooley Copresenter, with a winning margin of 6.2 penalties, for their second win of the year, and she also sat at the top of the standings in Novice Section J with Cooley Moonshine. This was the pairings fourth win out of four events this season. On this occasion they won by 8.5 penalties.

British rider Francis Whittington had a one-two finish in Novice Section I. He took victory on Brother Berties with DHI Fiktor Nita taking second.

Emily Cariad Nicol and Annaghmore Boomlander took their second victory at Open Novice Under 18 level in Section K1. The pairing tied with the second placed rider but gained victory by virtue of coming home under the optimum time on the cross country.

Following the event, organisers thanked everybody involved for theor support of the event.

‘We very much appreciated your thank you’s on the effort Scott and his team had put in to get the ground so good under this long dry spell and it was reflected by nearly everyone running their horses. A huge thank you goes out to our incredible team of over 120 volunteers from our officials, judges, car parking stewards, all the fence judges who endured two long hot days out in the old deer park to all the others who made this event such a success and to run so smoothly. A big thank you goes to Wendy, the event secretary, and her team of scorers. To Bonnie, Charlotte and Sally-Anne for organising the fabulous Country Market which had such a great calibre of exhibitors. Another massive thank you goes to Sandra and her team for once again putting on the incredibly popular ‘The Dogs in the Park’, and who continue to raise money for a lot of dog charities. It was fabulous to once again have SsangYong Motor UK as our title sponsor. A huge thank you to Andy Thomson and London Capital & Finance Plc for providing free waters to everyone and the drinks for our volunteers in their very impressive hospitality area. Thank you also to our many other sponsors for all your incredibly generous support.”

Other section results;BE90 Section A Zara Schrocter, Ramera; BE90 Section B Kathy Staples, John Travolta; BE90 Section C Rebecca Hill, Cill Eoghain Lady; BE100 Open Under 18 Harrison Chart, Direct Cruising; BE100 Open Section H Becky Morrish, Kilsallagh Cathal; Open Novice Section K Katy Jones, Step Smartly; Intermediate Section L Emma Chamings, Trefeinon Sovereign; Open Intermediate Section M MGH Grafton Street; BE100 Section O Anna Wilks, Micasi.

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