Sammi Stapleton reports…..
Set in a glorious part of Somerset and overlooked by the Glastonbury tor sits Millfield Prep School. Founded in 1935, it is one of the leading schools for boys and girls aged 2-18.
Millfield also hosts this fantastic British Eventing fixture once a year where horses and riders compete in very perfect setting, the dressage taking place on lush pitches, the showjumping on another manicured pitch and the cross country winding down around some galloping fields and alongside the school.
Saturday’s competition saw 8 sections take place from the Airowear sponsored BE80(T) to BE90open.
BE80(T) section F saw Alexis Symes take the win with 14yo 15.1hh gelding Glen Carter on their dressage of 29.8 Three combinations got a sub 30 dressage score in this section including Jessica Rudkin with Proper Dazzler and Jemma Bell with Shadow High Tide.
Both courses rode well with some mistakes here and there to cause some shuffling on the leaderboard and the time on the cross country seemingly easy to get with some coming in too fast and gaining penalties.
BE80(T) sec F placings: Alexis Symes Glen Carter 29.8; Emma Langfjord-clare Ath Bui Dunboy 30.8; Maggie Wilson Coshia Boy 32.3; Jenna King Oriole 35.3; Louise Lock White Mountain 35.6.
BE80(T) sec G saw fewer time faults in the showjumping and slightly fewer time faults on the cross country, the optimum time being 5 minutes and 4 seconds.
Julie Jeffes led from the start on her dressage of 23.3 riding 14.3hh Hederfeld Ash, a 9yo mare. A double clear inside the time saw them grab the win ahead of Julie Richardson, Denise West and Isabel Hallett, all of whom also scored a sub 30 in the dressage.
Julie said of her horse “Ash is a homebred Connemara x Trakehner. She has done lots of British Dressage and riding club but not much eventing as she has been a bit of a chicken until recently. I hadn’t entered Millfield as my daughter had ridden her there two years before and she hadn’t liked the wall so I dithered and didn’t enter.
However, when I checked the times for my daughter on Friday there was a spare BE80(T) place and I thought why not. The weekend before at Swalcliffe, Ash had gone double clear but the idiot rider (me) had gone too fast and lost the win. So this has made up for that.
She seems to have decided that scary plastic walls are fine and she thinks the cross country is quite exciting. Absolutely over the moon to get this win and the qualification for the championships gives us something to work towards”
BE80(T) sec G placings: Julie Jeffes Hederfeld Ash 23.3; Julie Richardson Hebbens Emmely 25.0; Denise West Emo 30.8; Isabel Hallett Backspin DS 32.3; Joanne Moores Primitive Diva 34.3.
Section H of the BE80(T) class saw Katy Sawyer and Greatest Time get the best dressage score of 22.5, but the pair sadly getting 4 faults in the showjumping, and time faults across the country put them down to 19th. Easkey Pride an 11yo 15hh gelding and ridden by Charlotte Hoare grabbed the win on a score of 30.0 even with a dressage error of course.
BE80(T) sec H placings: Charlotte Hoare Easkey Pride 30.0; Becky Wright Mustang Sally WC 30.3; Nicola Bowcott Just Henry III 31.1; Lorna Cavalier-White Ardlonan Benny 32.8; Rebecca Hamilton-Fletcher Smokin Gun 33.0
To the BE90 sections of Saturdays competition, Flora Rigby took first place in section A with Early Bird VI a 15.3hh 13yo mare. They completed on a score of 23.8, their dressage being 21.0 and getting 2.8 time faults on the cross country for coming in under the 10 second margin of the optimum time of 4 minutes and 54 seconds.
BE90 sec A placings: Flora Rigby Early Bird VI 23.8; Rhiannon Medlicott My Little Smartie 24.5; Olivia Mitchell Fintra Zebo 27.3; Ellie Clist Cloon Zaska Coin 31.8; Alisha Coombes Green Millionaire 32.3.
BE90 section B saw the showjumping a little influential with penalties being notched up here and there, but to go the double clear and grab the win was Pippa Tucker on her own homebred gelding Rambo II.
EWW spoke to Pippa after her win “Rambo is a homebred and home produced 17hh gelding. We went to the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors cup in 2017 and are hoping to get there again in 2019. The dressage is his best phase but he does enjoy the jumping.” They completed on their dressage of 31.0 and very closely followed by Stacey Martin on Ladykillers Little John by 0.5 of a penalty.
BE90 sec B placings: Pippa Tucker Rambo II 31.0; Stacey Martin Ladykillers Little John 31.5; Poppy Burner Witchcombe Music Man 32.8; Jessica Withers Violet VI 33.8; Laurel Cooke Rappa Boy 34.9.
Helen Pavey and Knockenpower Rory, a 18.1hh 11yo gelding, took the top spot in BE90 section C with a dressage of 26.0, rolling a pole in the showjumping to finish and win on 30.0. 0.8 of a penalty behind them finished Victoria Vatcher and 15hh 7yo gelding HYWI King Arthur, finishing on their dressage score and putting in a double clear in the time.
BE90 sec C placings: Helen Pavey Knockenpower Rory 30.0; Victoria Vatcher HYWI King Arthur 30.8; Lottie Gunter Rohan III 31.7; Rebecca Churchill Mind Over Matter 31.9; Christopher Roberts Greylands Paddys Star 32.5.
BE90 section D and completing on their dressage of 30.5 was Charlie Piper with Colwills Flint, a 14.2hh gelding by Silverbridge Nemo. The 8yo gelding put in a good double clear in the time for Charlie to secure their win followed by Rebecca Bailey and Konkapot on a score of 31.4.
BE90 sec D placings: Charlie Piper Colwills Flint 30.5; Rebecca Bailey Konkapot 31.4; Lynda Hill Aberllanerch Flash 33.3; Charles Matthews Woolaston Shadow Dancer 33.5; Aloysia Daros Spirit Of Equites 33.8.
The BE90open section E was a small section with only 17 entrants and 3 withdrawing, two after the dressage and one after the showjumping.
Caroline Harris took the early lead of this section of 30.3 with Lates Eclipse, a 16.2hh gelding by Chinook Eclipse. The 5 year old gelding put in a good double clear with 2.0 showjumping time penalties. “His owner bought him over a year ago as an unbroken 4yo. I have broken him in and produced him since. This was his first ever event which made it even more special”
Following them into second was Tim Cheffings on SES Hurricane, the 17hh 5yo gelding putting in a double clean in the time to finish on their dressage of 33.3.
BE90open section E placings: Caroline Harris Lates Eclipse 30.3; Tim Cheffings SES Hurricane 33.3; Victoria Webbon Castleside Waylon 34.3; Sophie Rainbow Simon Porloe 34.4; Millie Dumas Iminnus W 35.0.
Going into Sunday’s competition, the sun was still shining for the remaining BE90 sections and the BE100 competition.
BE90 section M was won by Laura Clayton riding Captain Buster on their dressage of 26.8. Captain Buster, a 16.1hh 18yo gelding went double clear inside the time to clinch the win.
BE90 sec M placings: Laura Clayton Captain Buster 26.8; Lee Honeysett Diamantano UK 30.7; Jill Holt Silk Suds 31.9; Verity Roberts Icons Diamond 32.8; Katie Mathias Llwynfron Rachel 37.1.
Anne Marie Hart and her grey pony Arkmire Mr Slipper took a good lead after the dressage on a score of 23.0 in the BE90 section N. They completed double clear inside the time to win their section pipping Jodie Day and Xfactor Hero to the topspot by being closer to the optimum time of 4 minutes and 54 seconds.
Anne said of her win “Myself and my pony Arkmire Mr Slipper won section N of the BE90 on Sunday at Millfield. We finished on our dressage score of 23! It’s my first BE season and I am stoked to be doing it as I had a car accident in 2015 which resulted in spinal damage and me having to have spinal surgery on my neck. I have been left with permanent nerve damage so cant grip or feel properly with my hands and I have weakness in my right leg. I didn’t think I would ride again let alone event but my disability made me even more determined to try!
To win our section at the weekend was a dream come true and we are aiming to try and qualify for the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors cup 2019. My ride is an awesome, plucky and brave 14.1hh grey pony who never says no to any jump you put in front of him. He is the perfect partner for me as he is safe and doesn’t take advantage when I am a bit unbalanced or loose my reins!He did a super calm dressage test and the flew around the showjumping which was causing it’s fair share of problems! Cross country he was a machine as usual and ate up the course to come home three seconds inside the time which gave us first place! It was a great day out at a fantastic venue”
BE90 sec N placings: Anne Marie Hart Arkmire Mr Slipper 23.0; Jodie Day Xfactor Hero 23.0; Katie Mathias Lodor Carl 25.8; Zandra Letts Mr Majenka 26.3; Saffron Cresswell Fairlight Mickey Finn 27.5.
Finishing on their dressage score of 25.5 to take the win in BE90 section O was Olivia Patterson and Loughnatousa JD. The 16.1hh 14yo gelding put in a good double clear in the time on a somewhat troublesome course to come in. Pasodoble ridden by Danielle Storer finished on 29.2, after getting a 28.8 dressage they were over the time on the cross country by just 0.4 to put them into second.
BE90 sec O placings: Olivia Patterson Loughnatousa JD 25.5; Danielle Storer Pasodoble 29.2; Sophie Howells CLS Almero 29.8; Joan Bessex Kevin P 31.0; Annie Robertson Llwyngwilym Frankie 33.1.
The three BE100 sections showed various troubles, the scoreboards showing several penalties racking up over the cross country, the optimum time being 4 minutes and 38 seconds.
BE100 section I was won by Taggy Forester-Bennett on 16.1hh 11yo gelding Corville De Haar on their dressage of 30.5. Taggy spoke of her horse “We are a new partnership, Cisco (Corville De Haar) was bought by Miss Tilly Hopcraft Jones and her family last month. He’s now based on my yard in East Devon where I am setting up TagEventing, my own business for schooling, selling and competing horses.
Cisco has been ridden up to BE100 with his previous owner. We went straight out at BE100 on our last run at Bicton where he jumped a lovely double clear. Since then I’ve been working hard on the flatwork with my trainer Ben Van Sommeren and Im happy to say it’s paid off!
It was such a relief to do well out BE eventing this season as I retired my top horse last year after we were longlisted for the GB Young Rider team. I am hoping to secure another top ride, but being without a horse of that level has meant I’ve been able to focus on the business, my young horses and the ones at lower levels. I’ve even had time to ride in my first Point to Point, finishing 2nd in my second race just last week!
I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season with Cisco, we’ve just entered his first novice which is super exciting!”
BE100 sec I placings: Taggy Forester-Bennett Corville De Haar 30.5; Wendy Welch Veronique 30.8; Padraig McCarthy Ajax H Z 31.0; Amy Barlow One Cool King 33.3; Lily-Mae Richardson My Cinnabar Fox 34.2
Some top names headed the scoreboard in BE100 section J including recent 8th placed Badminton competitor Padraig McCarthy and another Badminton competitor Ashley Edmond. Lots of dressage score in the 20’s were seen, the best being 23.0 by Vicky Tuffs and the 5yo 16.2hh gelding Quarrycrest Illusion. Vicky also claimed 3th place on another 5yo gelding Max Mcinerney.
The top final four placed all completed on their dressage inside the time.
BE100 sec J placings: Vicky Tuffs Quarrycrest Illusion 23.0; Padraig McCarthy Beavers Extra Cool 25.3; Vicky Tuffs Max Mcinerney 27.8; Ellie Fredericks Joubert 29.0; Ashley Edmond Mauro Donaldson 29.7.
BE100 section K also shown sub 30 scores but it was Holly Forty taking top spot on a dressage of 23.8 on board Cutton Bentley, a 8yo 16.1hh gelding by No Limit.
The final top six placings all completed on their dressage scores, double clear in the optimum time.
BE100 sec K placings: Holly Forty Cutton Bentley 23.8; Charlotte Reardon Ruthstown Ricky 25.5; Caroline Harris Total De Lux 27.0; Lisa Baker Spirit Of The Irish Clover 27.8; Ellie Fredericks Mandorior 30.5.
Imo Brooke riding 16.1hh 9yo San Solo won the BE100open section L on their dressage of 27.8. The gelding by San Amour went double clear inside the time to grab the win just 0.2 of a penalty ahead of Susan Rogers-Coltman and Zibor.
BE100open section L placings: Imo Brook San Solo 27.8; Susan Rogers-Coltman Zibor 28.0; Jo Rimmer Killahurler Connect 28.9; Ella Matravers Ballymitty Mac 29.5; Margaret Best Bodieve Ballyclare 29.7.
Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee – all image enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org