Tinky Morris reports ..
Kelsall Hill hosted it’s first – and the UK’s second – international event of 2021 at Kelsall Hill EC, Cheshire. It hosted competition from BE90 to AI nationally, and CCI-S 2* and 3* international classes. They released a statement on their Facebook page (Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre), following the event:
“So many people to thank you for making the event a HUGE success. Organiser Jane, as she is known on radio check, has done the job of pulling the event together, from the FEI rules through to the Covid rules, that’s some set of rules to manage. Our in house team for prepping the ground, the fences & ensuring the site was in top class order…
…The army of volunteers, some of who gave us 4 days of support. Thank you very much.
Reaseheath College, Empire Coach Builders, Equine 74 Gastric & Equilatte for being section sponsors…
…The riders, owners & trainers, thank you for your wonderful comments about our improved facility & for providing 4 great days of competition.”
Sally James And Regal Mix took victory in the CCI-S2*, leading from start to finish with their dressage – and finishing – score of 30.1. Sally said:
“I had a great 3 days and was pleased with all the horses. The courses rode really well and the new facilities at Kelsall are stunning. Obviously the highlight was winning the 2* with Regal Mix. I honestly can’t thank Millie Heffernan, Andy Heffernan and Debbie King enough for the opportunity of riding this incredible horse and all the help they have given me along the way.”
It was Tom Jackson who took the top podium spot in the CCI-S 3* section aboard HH Moonwalk. Despite a couple of time faults, the pair secured an easy 1.5 point victory after an impressive dressage score of 21.3. Victory was over HH Moonwalk’s stablemate Forrest Gump 124, who was also steered by Tom to second place with a finishing score of 24.4. Tom said he was “very pleased with both horses. They are both very talented horses that with have high hopes for going forward. Both of them will aim for a spring 3*L.”
Franky Reid-Warrilow had a successful weekend with four of her horses competing there. All four posted double clears and Dolley Phantom took victory in Intermediate Section J. When speaking to Eventing Worldwide, Franky said she has had the mare from a five year-old and is one of the most talented on her yard, albeit “terrified of everything”. Despite this, the duo have managed to turn this nervous energy into a winning concoction as the quick mare only added 2.8 time faults to an incredible 20.2 dressage score.
Holly Woodhead was another rider in the prizes, posting 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 12th place scores across the weekend’s sections. Her winner was in BE100 Section N with Kaellja. They finished on their dressage score of 22.5. Holly spoke to Eventing Worldwide about her weekend at Kelsall Hill:
“I was really pleased with all my horses performances last weekend at Kelsall. I last competed there when I was 15 doing the JRN class. It was great to be back again as it’s such a fantastic venue and the cross country course is big and bold and really educational for all level of horses.
I feel all my horses really enjoyed themselves xc the younger ones would have learnt a lot. It was great to come home with some good results which will hopefully set them each up for there up and coming events. Kaellja is a 6 yo and I hope to aim her for the 6yo championships. Benica B and handsome DHI will head to Houghton Hall 2*L. Jackpot DHI will do a 2*L later in the year and DHI Lupison I hope will aim for a 4*s in the autumn.
My highlights were Kaellja winning her 2nd ever event. I have had her since an unbacked 3 yo- and jackpot DHI after a 20 dressage and clear sj, he had a green moment out of the water but gave me such an incredible feeling for being a top horse in the future.”
Despite the successes of the weekend, it cannot be avoided that the final day of competition was abandoned following a fall on the cross-country. Sam Ecroyd sustained multiple fractures after he fell from Langford Take The Biscuit. Sam was airlifted to Aintree Hospital (source: Instagram – @emilykingofficial) but is in a stable condition.
Amongst those that had to understandably abandon the final day’s competition was French team member Victor Burtin, who is based with the weekend’s 5* Kentucky winner, Oliver Townend. He completed his first Intermediate with Dali Bougaux, but his two BE100 rides, Finch Hatton and Foster Borgaux had to abandon competition before the cross country. He spoke to Eventing Worldwide about his weekend:
“Kelsall is always an event I like to go, always a nice XC course, and the team is very nice.
Dali Bougaux is a horse my parents breed at Haras de Bougaux, she is a 8yo now and was doing her first intermediate at Kelsall. She was a bit fresh like always at the beginning of the season, but she’s been flying XC. I think, if I do a good job on her, she can be a very good horse. The 2 others horses Finch Hatton and Foster Bougaux, didn’t run the XC on Sunday, but have a good work. I wish the best recovery to my friend Sam Ecroyd.”
Eventing Worldwide echoes Victor’s words in wishing Sam a speedy recovery, and thank Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre for once again hosting a fantastic event.
Other winners include:
AI Section L: Zenshera – Miss Rosalind Canter
BE100 Section G: Brookfield Future News – Miss Piggy March
BE100 Section H: Blackthwaite Midnight Challenge – Mr Ben Hobday
BE100 Section M: Destiny’s Daughter – Mr Tyler Cassells
BE90 Section B: Farrellys Bar Carrigallen – Mrs Sue Jackson
BE90 Section C: Casanova Duke – Miss Becky Hartley
BE90 Section D: Annagh Little Rosey – Miss Charlotte Clewlow
BE90 Section F: Buachaill Beag – Miss Nia-Wyn Williams
BE90Open Section E: M C Zephyr – Mr Tyler Cassells
Intermediate Section I: Hawk Eye – Mrs Nicola Wilson
Novice Section P: Chapel House – Mr Sam Ecroyd
Novice Section Q: Jumble – Mr Wills Oakden
Novice Section R: Ballyric – Miss Cathrine Taylor
OI Section K: Gideon II – Mr Andrew Heffernan
ON Section S: Donau VDL – Miss Fiona Denton
IMAGES COURTESY OF FRW PHOTOGRAPHY