EVENT REPORTS – Keysoe (1)

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Lorna Collins reports ..

Whilst the world was glued to the thrills and spills at Badminton, a number of eventing cohorts went to 7thMay 17 325resizecompete at Keysoe (1). Most importantly, for those desperate to watch what was happening at Badminton, there was a television playing the event in the café. One rider in the cross country warm up was spotted with her eyes transfixed to a smart phone, following proceedings. “No one has yet been clear inside the time!” she said. “It’s causing carnage!”

It was excellent to be able to get updates on that event we all (secretly or not) aspire to go to, whilst trying hard to concentrate on the excellently run competition at The College Equestrian Centre. The main topic of conversation amongst the riders and owners was about the care and attention that the organisers had given to the going on the cross country course. Airovated with wide holes, plus the addition of mature mulch, the course in every class had a beautiful spring to it. One commentator even said the ground was “Better than Badminton”, having come straight from walking the course there the previous day.

Each of the different courses proved to be forward thinking, twisty, big and bold. Walking the course, it was easy to get lost on the roundabout route. Some riders accidently missed out that lucrative fence five in the Intro and Pre-Novice. 

On day one, the winner of the NRF was Nicole Gwynne riding RNH My Lord. Nocle was thrilled with her success. She told Eventing Worldwide that Keysoe put on a “really nice bold track that gave the horses plenty to think about. It rode great.” RNH My Lord is “a fiery horse that loves to go out cross country.” They stormed around the cross country at Keysoe, which was “A lot of fun to ride!”

Will Furlong hot-footed from doing the guinea pig dressage at Badders to win the Open Intermediate at Keysoe on Livingstone II, his mount at last year’s Young Rider European Championships.

Caroline Smith had an excellent event, winning two sections of the Intro on Fenomeen L and Brother Barnaby (“an absolute 90 machine”, says Caroline). Fenomeen L made light work of the track at Keysoe. He has won his last five events with Caroline, which is highly impressive.  So much to celebrate!

Lottie Kennedy was another to pick up two chicken dinners, with wins in the Pre-Intro on both Mr Cheeky Chap and Dignified Hero. These horses are owned by Joy Dawes. Lottie was thrilled with her results. As she said on her Facebook page: “So happy how they have grown in confidence each time out and are loving it.” 

The final day of Keysoe was Monday. With news of an uplifting result from Badminton (someone beat Jung! At last – go Nicholson!) on competitors’ shoulders, it was time to get back to work. Indeed, with close marks in every section Keysoe’s event brought a stiff contest. In one Intro section, P, there was just 0.5 of a penalty in the top four places, with a dead heat for second between Jessica Pope and Megan Elphick, who both finished on a dressage score of 29.8, and a cross country time of 4 minutes 37 exactly.

Novice section W was won by the Australian rider Wendy Schaeffer-Macdonald, on Numerano GT Z.  Wendy still holds the record of being the youngest woman to have won Olympic Gold in the Equestrian Team Three Day Event (at the Atlanta games in 1996). Her winning horse at Keysoe also won his last competition, at Whitfield. 

Another winner, Pip Cross was thrilled with her success in the Pre-Novice, on Corrnafest Charlie. As she said on her Facebook page, “Charlie chops is the bizness!!”

The event ended with happy riders and horses. We’re all looking forward to the next BE at Keysoe.

Section winners:

BE100 Section A: Lisa Clarke-Spence, DESERT FOX III; BE100 Section B: Lucyanna Westaway, WHITESPARKE WILLIAM; BE100 Section C: Claire Walker, QUANTICO Z; Novice Section D: Helen Witchell, SEA BREEZE VIII; Novice Section E: Paruis Gainsford, HOLLYPARK ROYALE; Open Novice Section F: Martha Craggs, GARRYBRITT COOLE PARK; NRF Section G Nicole Gwynne, RNH MY LORD; Intermediate Section H: Helen Witchell, MISS BE COOL; Open Intermediate Section I: Will Furlong, LIVINGSTONE II; BE90 Section J: Anna Taylor, IRISH ENCOUNTER; BE90 Section K: Tina Canton, SHANNONDALE SWIFTER; BE90 Section L: Caroline Smith, FENOMEEN L; BE90 Open Section M: Caroline Smith, BROTHER BARNABY; BE80(T) Section N: Lottie Kennedy, DIGNIFIED HERO; BE80(T) Section O: Lottie Kennedy, MR CHEEKY CHAP; BE100 Section P: Justine Fordham, KILCANDRA RAMBO RAY; BE100 Section Q: Andrew James, HRONY; BE100 Open Section R: Owen Cooper, JEJOKUS B; BE90 Section S: Michelle Joyce, DREAM BOY III; BE90 Section T: Aimee Stunt, TIMOLIN; BE90 Section U: Alexa Palmer, GREENHAYS POPSONG; Novice Section V: Jo Chipperfield, HYDE PARK III; Novice Section W: Wendy Schaeffer-Macdonald (AUS), NUMERANO GT Z; Open Novice Section X: Andrew James, BENELUX CASINO ROYALE; BE100 Section Y: Philippa Cross, CORRNAFEST CHARLIE; BE100 Section Z: Harry Harding, GEORGIE GIRL.

Photographs courtesy of Sally Wright 

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