EVENT REPORTS – Launceston (1)

Sarah Wells-Gaston reports

Launceston may be one of the most southern events in the British Eventing calendar but it always proves popular with riders in the south west, providing them with the opportunity to compete in classes from BE80(T) to Novice.
The cross country courses for this event were built by Willis Brothers and designed by Lucy McCarthy offering riders a nice inviting course for both first-timers and experienced riders alike. There were two exciting developments for the venue this year, offering a boost to local riders, This July competition marked the first of two British Eventing dates for the venue in 2019, with a second date now also scheduled for September 8th. And thanks to the exciting developments on the cross country course, they now offer Novice classes for the first time. 
One of the riders who benefited from the new additional Novice classes was Sarah Holmes, who travelled from the Isle of Wight to compete. She topped Novice Section F with Doonaveeragh Deluxe and also came third in Novice Section H with Gold Flame Guy making her long trip well worth it. 
Melissa Townsend came away from the event with two wins to her name. She topped BE100 Section D with Atomic Kitten II and BE100 Open Section E with CDS Harley D. The scoring couldn’t have been close in BE80(T) Section I as two riders tied on a score of 29. But by virtue of being closer to the optimum time on the crosss country the win went to Sophie Broster and Majestic Silver with James Ford and Hearsay Todal taking second place. The lowest winning score of the weekend went to Anna Picknett and Mo Cara Rua in BE80(T) Section J with the pair finishing on their dressage score of 19.3 and continuing their good run of results this season. 

The 22-year-old rider who is based near Newton Abbot told Eventing Worldwide:

I have had Paddy for coming up to four years and this was our first win at BE. I was amazed to get a 19.3 dressage. We have been working recently on the dressage element and a big thank you has to go to Alice. It was fantastic that everything came together on the day and we managed to finish on our dressage score. We are aiming to do some 90cm events and some dressage and see how we get on.” 

Julie Watts and Tallulah IX were the victors in BE90 Section B. Tallulah is home bred by the late Shining Spirit out of a mare Julie also bred, Wembly .

Julie told Eventing Worldwide:

“It was such an amazing venue at Launceston; such a well-run day and evey one was friendly and welcoming. I did plan to go home straight after riding on the day but was shocked to realise I was in the lead so I really had to stay just hoping we finished up with the win. It’s my first win at BE. Our next adventure is going to NAF BRC horse trials Championships representing St Austell Bay Riding Club – I’m terribly excited.” 

Sara Newton and Mulfra have not been outside of the top ten this season and capped their season so fat with a win in BE90 Open Section C. 

Sara, who works for the NHS, told Eventing Worldwide:

“I have produced the horse myself. She has been my horse of a lifetime but a difficult typical mare. She will jump clear all day every day but really struggles with the dressage aspect both mentally and physically. She came out this year a different horse, stronger and much more balanced. This is reflected in four events with four top ten placings. We came are off to Swalcliffe next week for the Riding Club Eventing Championships and I am still chasing my dream and life-long ambition though to get to Badminton.” 

After the competition, the organisers called it the best BE event to date commenting:

“We cannot believe the number of thank you messages we have had since yesterday – we are overwhelmed. A huge thank you to all competitors who came and supported us, all our amazing volunteers, fence judges, scorers, stewards, caterers, dressage judges, writers, runners we could not have done it without you. We had an amazing team. Thank you to the Willis brothers who built and dressed the fences, Lucy McCarthy for designing four great tracks and who is already looking at the September event which will be somewhat different!” 

Other section results:BE90 Section A Polly Schwerdt, Jackpot; BE80(T) Section G Emily Dinnis, Disert Joe; Novice Section H Lily De Lacy, Rainstown Jonny. 

Images courtesy of Sophie Robins

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