Kc Hains reports …
The final fixture of the year at Moreton Morrell was set to be a testing one thanks to the tail end of Storm Ali bringing with it wind and some much needed rain, presenting a challenge for all competitors. Despite the heavy rain the going was excellent throughout the two days of competition thanks to the around clock maintenance by course designer and builder Lloyd Hunt of LandS Eventing.
Sixteen busy sections welcomed competitors of various levels through from BE90, BE100 and busy Novice sections. Across all levels the course was, as always, well built and inviting but with plenty of questions along the way making it influential across the board.
Friday was kicked off with 6 Novice sections, welcoming many professionals and amateurs alike, many getting their final runs in at this level on the lead up to Osberton International (September 26th – 30th). Susie Berry took the win in Section A aboard the 6 year old gelding Monbeg by Design, a special win having been trusted to take over the reins for Jonty Evans earlier this year, the pair now head to Osberton to contend the CCI* next week.
Charlotte Hatton completed as the only combination to finish on their dressage score to take the win in hot company aboard the 7 year old gelding Gambler VD Beekzijde.
“I have owned Gamble (Gambler VD Beekzijde) since he was 4, purchasing him from Mark and Tanya Kyle at Queenholme Equestrian. We have worked our way up from BE80(T) to Novice level.” Says Charlotte, who works as a vet in Loughborough.
“This was our first event after short break whilst I got married in August, so I couldn’t be happier with a win! Gamble came out on very good form, he loves to jump and is usually consistent in this phase, and luckily despite the wind he held it together for the dressage. I’m very please our hard work is paying off and we aim for intermediate level next year.”
Laura Collett fresh from Blenheim International success finished up second with Randalstown Quest adding 4.8 time to their 27 dressage, whilst Rosalind Canter – our new World Champion – finished third aboard Jamakin Faer Trial, highlighting the quality of the competition at this event.
A real success story of the Novice sections was Noah Brook, who won not one but two of the competitive novice sections.
“I am absolutely thrilled to bits that both horses won, I am still in shock!” recalls a very happy Noah Brook. Glamour Girl, the 7 year old mare owned by Bec Shenton and Rosie Skinner took the win in section B adding just 0.8 time to their 32.8 dressage.
“I’ve recently taken over the reins from Rosie Skinner as she is preoccupied with family” says Noah.
“Heidi, as she is known at home, had the worst dressage conditions but held it together in the sideways rain storm! She’s a real jumping machine so I knew she wouldn’t think twice on anything.”
Noah’s second ride So Chic Des Costieres then took the win in sections C, finishing 1.4 penalties ahead of Ibby Macpherson aboard Fread Needle.
“So Chic Des Costieres is a real favourite of mine, he’s extremely smart and flashy. He is co-owned by myself and 2 of my closest owners. He kept his cool for a 28.3 dressage – he likes to show off! The XC had a few questions which I felt were the perfect set up for his run next week in the CCI* which will be his international debut”
Then followed 7 extremely competitive BE100 sections, again Moreton Morrell welcomed many professionals throughout these sections, all making the most of the excellent going that welcomed them following a very dry summer season.
Matthew Heath took the win in section G aboard the 5 year old gelding MBF Connection adding nothing to their dressage of 31.8, finishing closer to the optimum time than John-Paul Sheffield and Wellfields Lincoln who added 0.8 time to finish on the same penalty mark. However John-Paul Sheffield then took the win in section K aboard Midnight Blues, finishing on their dressage of 27.0.
Hannah Norvill and Esko finished on their excellent dressage mark of 28.0 to win the BE100Open class. The 15 year old gelding is an ex advanced event horse owned by Jayne McGivern, a long term owner for Piggy French who Hannah works for.
“Esko did a good dressage, and obviously we are very happy with a double clear!” Says Hannah.
“He (Esko) hunts with his owner and then when he is with us he joins in on a few outings to enjoy himself, and he loved it today!”
The high level of competition continued into Saturday afternoon for the four BE90 sections. Kelly Guy won the first of the sections aboard the 10 year old gelding Dazel Razel, adding 2 time faults to their impressive dressage score of 26.8 finishing up just 0.5 penalties ahead of Holyy Palmer-Shaw and Maisey May V.
Amy Burbage, a full time coach, followed with a win in section N aboard her own Just Call Me Olive.
“I bought Olive on a total whim when my other horse did her tendon two years ago.” Says Amy.
“Although she doesn’t fit the mould of the athletic event horse she has so much heart. I’ve produced her myself and she did move up to 100 level this year but picked up a trapped nerve at the base of her neck from the hard ground, so she hasn’t run anywhere since her blip and this was to get her back into the swing of things and confident” explains Amy.
“We didn’t have a great start to the day after getting lost in Leamington Spa, giving us 7 minutes to warm up for the dressage! It’s taken her time to mature in the Show Jumping as she tends to be so brave and jump into doubles a little too keen, but she was clear this time! The XC didn’t feel rushed or chased, she just gave me a lovely round. I keep saying I’ve got to sell this mare but it would take someone very special! She has taught me so much about life and how if you have the confidence it doesn’t matter if you fit the mould!”
Laura Ridout had a very successful event finishing 4th in the BE100 with Lates Flash, followed by a win in the BE90 section O with Coolodge Sox, finishing on their dressage score of 31.0.
“I have owned Sox for 8 years and he’s a star around the BE90s” Says Laura,
“Our season has been a little interrupted with the weather. The bit of rain we had leading up to Moreton Morrell really helped ease the ground a bit for him as ideally he likes it on the soft side, he is 15 now.”
Coolodge Sox has certainly made his mark, having completed 94 British Events and only having finished outside the top 8 on 4 occasions, Moreton Morrell marked Laura and Sox’s 22nd win together, a very impressive achievement.
All Section Winners –
Novice Section A – Susie Berry / Monbeg By Design
Novice Section B – Noah Brook / Glamour Girl
Novice Section C – Noah Brook / So Chic Des Costieres
Novice Section D – Austin O’Connor / Falvaro
Novice Section E – Charlotte Agar / Gambler VD Beekzude
BE100 Section F – Michael Jackson / Brokenborough Bouncer
BE100 Section G – Matthew Heath / MBF Connection
BE100 Section H – Samantha Hobbs / Autograf
BE100 Section I – Imogen Murray / Mdsandyhill Penhills Zorro
BE100 section J – Caroline Day / I Faberges Boy
BE100 Section K – John-Paul Sheffield / Midnight Blues
BE100 Open Section L – Hannah Norvill / Esko
BE90 Section M – Kelly Guy / Dazel Razel
BE90 Section N – Amy Burbage / Just Call Me Olive
BE90 Section O – Laura Ridout / Coolodge Sox
BE90 Open Section P – Chloe Fry / Spirit Of Felix
Images courtesy of Sue Westmoor