Sarah Wells – Gaston reports …
Moreton’s additional fixture proved popular with riders across the south, attracting more than 350 entries. The event also benefited from the addition of a Novice class, which was won by David Doel and Cobalt De Dugny.
Jessica Coombes piloted Grey Shake to victory in BE90 Section A with a winning score of 26.5. The amateur eventer is based in Dorset with a small team of horses on the family run yard. She has owned the 14-year-old Connemara cross since he was five.
She commented “To get another win BE is a massive achievement for me. Grey Shake is such a sensitive little horse who we never thought in a million years would be winning, especially in eventing. It’s his third BE win over the last three seasons so I’m really proud of him and how far he’s come and how he’s grown in confidence. He was once a very nervous horse that was incredibly strong and was frightened of his own shadow and found all three phases completely overwhelming. It just goes to show that by taking everything very slowly and back to basics with so much patience anything can be achieved. I think it’s also very important to be prepared for when it all goes wrong to pick yourself back up, focus on the positives and have confidence and belief in yourself and your horses. I think having a partnership is the most important part of the sport and that’s what I have gained with Grey Shake and our bond is unbreakable now. Preparing for Moreton we worked on our Dressage and had lots of lessons with our local trainer Amanda Edmonds. For him to be relaxed and 100% focused on me the weekend was an amazing feeling. Galloping through the cross country finishing line with a huge smile across your face is when you know the day has ended well. With Grey Shake gaining a win early in the season it’s very exciting and I plan to continue to event him at some more BE90’s and possibly step him up to BE100 towards the end of the season.”
BE90 Open Section C went to Sophie Van De Merwe, who previously worked for Matt Ryan, with Milchem Page, a horse she purchased with Davina Instone last October.
She commented: “It feels great to win. Davina previously owned a 4 star horse I competed which sadly had to be retired due to injury so it’s exciting to start the journey again and I am grateful for her support. Milchem Page is super talented this was his second ever event so I am excited for his future, my aim is the 2 star short at Bicton at the end of the season, if he is ready.”
With the lowest winning score of the weekend, and a finish on dressage score, BE100 Section G went to Jodie Loveday and Cadbury VH Reukemis Z.
Tess Townend and More Diamond last competed at the CCI2*-S in October 2019 due to the pandemic and university commitments. And they made their return to competition a winning one in BE100 Open Section H. Tess is a 22-year-old student studying archaeology and forensic science at Exeter university. She has ridden 14-year-old Basil since he was five.
She told Eventing Worldwide: “Basil hadn’t competed since Bicton 2* in 2019 – he had only really hunted and been exercised by my mum since. I couldn’t be happier with him as the win was totally unexpected. I entered just as a bit of fun and thought we both might be a bit rusty but he hadn’t forgotten a thing and felt fantastic all day. Hopefully we’ll get to a few more BE100’s over the summer and maybe move back up to Novice before I start my masters course in October.”
Other section results: BE90 Section B Freya Jones, Hisina; BE80(T) Section D Miguel Catela, Callista Diamond; BE100 Section E Fred Scalia, Corribeg Cliquot; BE100 Section F Karen Richards, Rosshaven Last Flight; BE90 Section I Elise Cadman, Honnepon; BE90 Section J Kaci-Mae Cadman, Cottage Pie.
IMAGES COURTESY OF SOPHIE ROBBINS