Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Sarah Carless reports….
Little Downham’s first British Eventing fixture on the 2017 calendar gave riders of all abilities a competitive outing, with more than 700 entries across three days of competition with classes ranging from BE90 to Advanced.
The weekend’s biggest winner was Gordon Murphy who came away from the Cambridgeshire event with three victories to his name. He took the win in Novice Section H with Ion Pomes and then Novice Section I with Dark Spirit. He completed his hattrick with victory in BE100 Section N with The Hornblower – who won by 8.1 penalties on a score of 16.4. Aside from three wins, Murphy also took two second places with Monbeg After Dark (BE100 Section O) and Elmwood Czech Point (Open Novice Section K).
Amy O Conner was the winner of the Novice Regional Final (Section F) with Sankro whilst the KBIS sponsored 5-Year-Old qualifying class (Section M) was won by Georgie Strang and Monbeg Odyssey. The event’s Advanced class (Section E) was highly competitive attracting 48 entries. The class was won by Izzy Taylor and Impromptu II, with Izzy also taking third with Perfect Stanger, in only their second event together.
A host of international riders gave their younger horses runs at Little Downham, and came away with wins, including Caroline Powell (BE90 Open Section U, B Posy), Sarah Bullimore (BE100 Section O, Starbucks I) and Sharon Hunt (BE100 Section V, Ghana Spartacus).
Malcolm Holtshausen and Billy Estrella secured their second win in a row when they were victorious in BE90 Section Q with a winning score of 16.0. The pair’s previous win was at Poplar Park and on this occasion, they won the class by a clear 5.8 penalties. It was also a second win in a row for Lucy Bullas and Master Jack III in taking Open Novice Section K. Angus Smales and Ballinteskin Rado have been enjoying a successful 2017 and were victorious in Intermediate Section A – their third win of the year at this level. Paul Sims also collected a third victory of the year with Dantes Inferno in winning Section G.
Fran Oliver also collected her second win of the 2017 season with Francescas Coco, winning BE90 Section R. As well as their previous victory at Whitfield, the pairing has picked up two second places at Swalcliffe Park and Keysoe (1) to be placed in all of their British Eventing outings.
Gemma Wellings took her fifth win of the year at Little Downham, winning Novice Under 18 Section L with Drumaclan Diamond D. The pair’s previous wins came at Poplar Park (1), Great Witchingham International (1), Goring Heath and Bishops Burton (1). At Little Downham they added just two time faults to their dressage score of 28.8 to finish on a score of 30.8.
Gemma told Eventing Worldwide: “I couldn’t be happier! She’s been amazing leading from the start in the last 3 events. Little Downham made a huge effort with the ground and the whole event was beautifully ran. Secret was very over excited in her test and made numerous mistakes but her way of going was good so we were happy to see her come out at the top of the leaderboard. I told myself we would just have a canter round the cross-country as she won Bishop Burton ONu18 the week before with a double clear inside the time so didn’t feel she needed to run fast. However, we were delighted to come back with just two time penalties as I didn’t push her at all. Everyone at Little Downham was amazing and we will be back again.”
All of Saturday’s and Sunday’s start fees were donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance alongside donations given across the three days of competition.
Other section results: Intermediate Section B Indie Vaughan-Jones, Quob Dynamic; Intermediate Section C Tina Canton, Just A Game; Open Intermediate Section Emily Llewellyn, Exclusive; Intermediate Novice Section F1 Nat Dixon, Party Juice; Novice Section J Alex Portolowsky, Carrick Aldato Girl; BE100 Under 18 Section P Alice Casburn, Raediant Rubi; BE90 Section S Kate Greenhalgh, Horatio R; BE90 Section T Christina Higgs, Millers Glen; BE100 Open Section U1 Trixi Gingell, Fanfare; BE100 Plus Section W Paul Burgess, Maitresse.
Photographs courtesy of Sue Westmoor