Ruth Gregory reports ..
The ever popular, Kelsall Hill, ran it’s first event of the year over Easter weekend, with glorious sunshine and over 900 competitors, including some familiar stars, the event was set up for success.
Izzy Taylor dominated the Advanced Intermediate section with an impressive one, two finish.
She lead the section from the off with her own and Charlie Sands’, Monkeying Around. The pair made light work of the technical cross country course, designed by Captain Mark Phillips, to add nothing to their dressage of 28.1. When interviewed by An Eventful Life, Izzy said,
“He does definitely make me smile, makes me want to get up in the morning. He’s very, very cool, very talented. He is cheeky as his name would suggest, but I love him. I think very highly of him so it’s nice he’s settling down and getting stronger and the results are coming now.”
Her other ride, Fonbherna Lancer, came a close second, also jumping double clear to finish on his dressage of 30.9. The gelding, who’s owned by The Lancer Stud, has produced a string of top results already this season, finishing 2nd in the Advanced at Weston Park and winning an Intermediate section at Gatcombe.
Making up the top 3 in the AI was Paul Sims, with Fred and Roselle Willis’, Last Secret. The pairing added nothing to their dressage score of 33.2 to secure 3rd place.
Rising young star, Xanthe Goldsack, put in an eye-catching performance to finish 6th on a score of 40.9, on board her own Hi Tech. “Snip, was feeling great in each phase yesterday and really had his head in the game now he’s run a couple of events this season.” Xanthe, who juggles her studies at Newcastle University, alongside eventing, has produced Snip up the levels from BE100.
“Kelsall AI has always been an aspiration of mine, and for Hi Tech, to jump such a classy show jumping round after such a twisty cross-country course makes me even more excited for the rest of the season.”
The pairing are now setting their focuses on the CCI4* at Chatsworth International next month.
“After we are going to the British Championships at Houghton, during my exams, for the CCI-YR3*-L. But today, a well-deserved day in the field is all he’s got to worry about!”
Oliver Townend followed on from his victorious weekend at Burnham Market International, to scoop two wins. He piloted Peter John Windus’, Newmarket Caro to another Intermediate top spot, finishing on a score of 31.8. The gelding is on a great run of form having also won an intermediate section at Weston Park, 3rd at Gatcombe and 1st at Oasby in March.
Posting a near perfect dressage mark of 17.0, Oliver, also won the BE100 Section S with Paul W Ridgeon’s, Ballylaffin Ricki.
Triumphing in the OIu21 Section was Douglas Crawford, riding Geoff and Elspeth Adam’s, Shadow Lad. “I thought it was a super event, my first time there. Big thank you to organisers and British Eventing for putting it on. We made the trip from Melrose, Scottish borders (200 miles) with Shadow Lad.”
Their travel was made worthwhile as the pair only picked up a handful of times penalties to finish on a final score of 39.6 to take the win.
“The course was big and technical, and the hot weather played a big part in how hot and sweaty the horses got. The show jumping was also a good track, with lots of crowd around due to the trade stands.”
Douglas’ next plan for the horse is Floors CCI3*-S before aiming to do intermediate u21 classes for the season with either Houghton u21 championships CCI3*-L or Tattersalls u25 CCI3*-L. “I’m still to decide,” said Douglas, “but in the meantime I have young horses and ex racehorses all owned by Geoff and Elspeth Adam, to take out so they will be at Frenchfield and Floors in the 90 and 100 classes.”
Lucy Watson and Rafiki Yango had a perfect last run before Badminton Grassroots by heading the BE100 Open Section.
“I didn’t expect to win the BE100 open knowing how competitive Kelsall and the section was, so I’m still in the midst of not believing it has quite happened!” Said Lucy, “The best part was having my 84-year-old grandmother, who owns the horse, there to support me as she adores the horse and has recently recovered from a heart attack. So, I know how happy this made her and me just for her to be there.”
It was Deja vu for Lucy as the combination were also winners here last year in the BE100 class. “Badminton didn’t turn out quite so well last year with 3 fences down but hoping to improve this year as it is the last chance, I get on Rafiki. We’ll be supported by our next-door neighbour Verity Catterall, who also won the BE100 section Q. Along with Sarah Spearing, who finished 5th in BE100 section R. The trio (Sarah, verity and I), are all off to Badders so wish us luck!”
Winners in the BE 90 section G were Corrine Metcalfe, and Grace III. They occurred only 0.4 cross country time penalties to finish on 28.2, pipping second place Bethany Humphries, and Brians Best with a score of 28.3.
It was the mare’s first season back eventing since 2013 as Corrine had taken a break to have her two children. “I was delighted to win.” Said Corrine, “We also won a 90 at Breckenborough a fortnight ago so she definitely seems in form and glad to be back out competing!”
The mare is now 17 but Corrine has no plans for her to stop eventing just yet, “Due to her age my plans are to stay at 90 this year and contest the regional finals later in the season.”
I Section N; Victoria Wilson, Don’t You Know; OI Section O; Wills Oakden, Akd Cooley Lockdown; ON Section W; Elizabeth Power, Hhs Comporta Beach; N Section U; Hannah Bate, Tremanton; N Section V; Martyn Johnson, Patrickswell Scorpion; N Section X; Hayden Hankey, Fools In Love; BE100 Section R; Dani Cuomo, Milestone Wulf; BE90 Section E; Gemma Colburn, Free Jump; BE90 Section F; Isabella Jackson, Talos II; BE90 Section I; Emma Hayton-Lee, Jaspers Pedal; BE90 Section J; Maddie Maher, Willoway Chicago; BE90 Section K; Susie King, Celynnen Sundown; BE90Open Section H; Jeanette Brakewell, Davinci I; BE80(T) Section A; Louise Snelson, Ceasurs Delight; BE80(T) Section B; Grace Smythe, Roxlan Jade; BE80(T) Section C; Lauren Burgess, Knavesash Divine; BE80(T) Section D; Lillie Moores, Glanhirin Seimon.
Images courtesy of FRW Photography