Millie Wain reports…
Kelsall Hill held 24 sections over three days with classes ranging from BE80(T) to Advanced Intermediate level. The event is renowned for its superb ground conditions and the recent weather conditions did not stop the team at Kelsall from ensuring that the going was good. With over 1000 horses competing over the weekend, the event welcomed many international riders. This included some combinations that were having their final runs before Badminton Horse Trials which takes place in two weeks. Amongst the badminton-bound riders were Oliver Townend, Ros Canter, Michael Owen and Caroline Powell.
BE90 section H, sponsored by Rowan Barbary Feeds, was won by Friday’s pathfinder Eadie Crouchley and she was riding Benban Spirit. They were in 5th place after the first phase but a double clear inside the time meant that the pair finished on their dressage score of 28.3 penalties and this was enough for them to claim first place. In second were Keeva Scott and Kellough Pride with a score of 29.8 and third place went to Patricia Moore riding Southern Comfort on 31.5 penalties.
Sam Ecroyd took the top spot in the BE90open with the 7 year old mare Lumina Cola. The combination finished on their excellent dressage score of 18.5 penalties, which was the best score of the weekend. This left them 4 penalties ahead of second place, which went to Estelle Eccleston riding Top Its Ambitious.
The winner of BE80(T) section A was Jodie Gray riding Danny Murphy. Eventing Worldwide spoke to Jodie after her win:
“As a family we have owned Danny Murphy for 12 years, however I knew him from when he was born and we broke him in. He has competed in all disciplines; he started off showing and then began to do jumping which he enjoys the most. Cross country is his favourite activity, he loves to jump. He has done all levels of Pony Club eventing and he has only got jumping faults a handful of times in any sort of competition. We have done BE for 2 seasons at my local events in Cumbria. Last year we won 3 trophies from the Cumbria Horse Trials: BE 80 Champion, Horse of the Year (the horse with the most points) and Horse and Rider Combination with Most Points. It’s a bit clichéd but he has been a horse of a lifetime for my family and still has plenty to give for me, and my 2 young daughters, who love him to bits.
Winning at Kelsall felt amazing. It was our first event of the season and due to the weather we have had, I was a bit worried that we were going to struggle fitness wise, but he managed great; the ground was superb which made it easier for him. My sister regularly competes at Kelsall and I had always wanted to come and have a go. The cross country fences are fab and there is such a variety. The event was run very well and everyone was very welcoming. I didn’t think I would have any chance of winning so to start off the season with a win fills me with great excitement.
My aims for this season are to move up to BE90. I thought that I would do the BE80 at Kelsall to start with so that we could get our eye in for competing again before we move up a level. We aim to do any events in Cumbria that we can get to, but we are also looking to travel further afield – Somerford Park is one I would like to do. We are also planning to come back to Kelsall and do the BE90 in September.”
On Saturday, the focus was on the Istanbul BBQ Advanced Intermediate class. Only Oliver Townend and Arthur Duffort completed Captain Mark Phillips’ cross country track within the optimum time of 5m51s, which altered the leader board from the first phase. The show jumping took place after the cross country, with only two fences separating the top 6 and the top 10% jumped in reverse order. It was sure to be an exciting conclusion and there were 7 clear rounds in total. Oliver Townend maintained his lead throughout the competition aboard Cillnabradden Evo, owned by Mrs Sally-Anne Egginton, and took home the £1000 cheque along with the Mr & Mrs Winton Memorial Trophy. Second place went to Arthur Duffort riding Mrs Kate Churton’s Gredington Mailthyme and Oliver Townend took third place riding Ballaghmor Class, owned by Mrs Angela Hislop and Mrs Val Ryan.
Equally, the Open Intermediate had several top combinations in the field. Oliver Townend was on fine form again and in this section, he took 1st and 2nd place with Ulises and Tregilder respectively. In third place was 18 year old Heidi Coy riding Carrigsean Tigerseye; the combination added just 0.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 28.9. One other combination in the section completed on their dressage score and this was the experienced partnership of Andrew Heffernan and Millthyme Corolla. They finished in fourth place and Andrew also won Novice section T aboard Gloriette TN on the Sunday.
It was a win for Lucy Watson and the 7 year old Rafiki Yango in BE100 section R. They completed with 25.8 penalties. They were 3.5 penalties ahead of the rest of the section and the win will have set them up well as they head to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup in less than two weeks. Franky Reid-Warrilow finished in second place with Dolley Phantom, and third place went to Millie King and CSF Teddy with a score of 29.5.
The winner of Novice section U was Ella Woodhead riding the 8 year old gelding Fernhill Playboy, completing on 22.8 penalties. The pair was closely followed by Hayden Hankey and Novaturient, who had a score of 23. Hayden also won section M of the Intermediate on the previous day riding Oaken Eddie.
Kelsall Hill (2) takes place on 21st-23rd September.
Other section results:
BE80(T) section D – Vicky Adams riding Direct Galaxy, 30 penalites
BE90 section E – Tayla Brooks riding Springwind Catwalk, 23.9 penalties
BE90 section F – Marie Pope riding WPC Georgia, 25.1 penalties
BE90 section I – Vicky Arnold riding Forever Van Het Sonnishof, 23.0 penalties
BE100 section O – Sophie Dodds riding Highlight K, 25 penalties
BE100 section P – Michael Owen riding Mr Rua, 28.3 penalties
BE100 section Q – Polly Stockton riding Clyde V, 22.5 penalties
BE100open section S – Molly Phillips riding Watachance, 27.8 penalties
Novice section W – Emma Silman riding KEC Kimberley, 30.1 penalties
Open Novice section V – Harry Harding riding Goetus S, 23.3 penalties
Intermediate section L – Nicola Wilson riding JL Dublin, 28 penalties
Photographs courtesy of FWR Photography