EVENT REPORTS – Launceston

Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners 

Sarah Carless reports..

Entries for one of the country’s most Southern British Event fixtures at Launceston were the best in the five years the event has been on the BE calendar, with more than 250 horses and riders taking part. 

Lizzie Luxton came away from the Cornish event with two wins to her name. She took BE80(T) Section D with the Winter Soldier and BE100 Section G2 with Hunros Tolketna – a horse which has been placed in the top ten four times this year. 

Helen Pavey scored her second win of the year in BE90 Section A with Knockenpower Rory. Another rider enjoying a successful season was Michelle Harris who took her third win in 2017 in BE100 Section F with Elina St, having previously won at Bovington and Bicton Arena at BE90. 

Tina Wallace was the winner in BE90 Section C1 with Banksy III. Their winning margin was 4.3 with the pair finishing on their dressage score of 22.8 for their first affiliated win. The Service Team leader has owned the 10-year-old skewbald Irish Sports Horse for three years, and whilst it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Tina and Banksy, who were part of the Blue Chip All Star Academy, she says he has the most adorable character. 

Tina told Eventing Worldwide: “The training and advice given from Pammy and her team whilst filming at Talland certainly gave us a great foundation for the season ahead. We’ve only been eventing for the last two seasons, with the cross country being by far our favourite part, thankfully proven by his faultless jumping record in that phase. The Dressage however has fluctuated rather a lot! I think I am still in shock as prior to Launceston our personal best was 32 and personal worst 42.3. We have been training hard over the past few weeks with my trainer Annabel, but to improve by almost a whole 10 marks and win on a 22.8 with room for a pole is just surreal. 

“Banksy certainly is super talented and I was determined to up my game to bring out the best in him this season. He’s naturally got lovely paces and a fab jump but up until recently I have never enjoyed the dressage phase – I have struggled to relax and trust him when within the white boards. Jumping is a different ball game, he knows his job and as soon as he clocks a jump we both just go with the flow and enjoy it! I told myself I must achieve a sub-30 dressage score before stepping up to BE100 and now the time has come, so will be entering Treborough Hill. Winning just one event certainly isn’t the end of BE90 for us though. I was fortunate enough to go to the Grassroots Championship at Badminton this year as groom for my best friend Emily, therefore I have seen those fences!! We are certainly nowhere near ready to attempt the BE100 there, so will continue to focus on the dressage training with the hope of perfecting it enough to qualify at our BE90 Regional Final next year for the Mitsubishi Motor’s Cup, surely every Grassroots riders dream!”

After the event, organisers said: “We are so pleased that the weather was kind to us, there was such a lovely atmosphere, with so many smiling faces and kind words. So much work has gone into this event over the last few months and we are very grateful to Lucy McCarthy for designing such a great course and the expertise of Alan & James Willis in putting it together. The whole event could not have gone ahead without the many volunteers who offered their services and all had such a long day.”

Other section results; B90 Section B Sur Burnell, Or Apples; BE90 Section C2 Sara Newton, Mulfara; BE80(T) Section E Kirsty Dunkin, Walter VIII; BE100 Section G1 Emily Wiegersma, MGH Oat Cake. 

Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee

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