Ruth Gregory reports…
Munstead horse trials held its second and final event of the season across the weekend, 15th and 16th September. The Surrey based venue put on an excellent event, with national classes from BE80T to BE100, as well as, two regionals final BE90 qualifying sections for for the Mitsubishi Motors grassroots championships, at Badminton next Spring.
Claiming the BE90RF section E, and booking their place at Badminton, were Myles West and Grand Revoluttion. “She’s a super consistent mare, but has her marish moments,” said Myles, who rides Grand Revoluttion for owner and breeder Laura Paice. The pairing gave a faultless double clear performance to lead the field from start to finish on a score of 26.0. “I actually thought we could have done the dressage a little bit better in places, but she does score well,” says Myles. “Cross country we have a habit of going too fast, and I wasn’t sure whether we had done again, but we were just inside!” It was the combination’s fifth time lucky as they’d narrowly missed out on qualifying for the championships on their previous attempts. “Laura couldn’t be there so I was keeping her updated by message all day,” said Myles, “both horse and owner really deserve it!”
Charlotte Bull and Macadam Jewel earnt their place at Badminton with another solid performance. They started as they meant to go on, taking the section win with no jumping faults to add to their dressage score of 25.0 in the BE90RF section D. Their win mirrored their victory at Munstead’s first event in March, as well as, adding to their string of top ten placings at BE90 this year.
The BE90 open section L was dominated by Melissa Joannides, picking up an impressive 1, 2 finish on board, I Dunno, and Craan Bob. The 14.2hh pony,I Dunno, owned by Alice Tregoing, started and he meant to go on, leading the section to finish on a score of 24.9. “I was really pleased with his attitude and how well he has responded to me,” said Melissa, “he was nice and relaxed, which helped to produce the best dressage.” I Dunno is a new ride to Melissa as the gelding only arrived on her yard ten days prior. “Although he is a bit anxious at times, he is very willing and bold, said Melissa, “I was delighted to have such a good first run, especially as his owner travelled from the other side of Southampton to watch him!” Melissa is aiming to squeeze in a few more events before the end of the season and hoping that the combination will carry on their form.
Melissa’s other mount Craan Bob also added nothing to his dressage of 25.0 to narrowly miss out on top spot. The super consistent gelding, owned by Melanie Gatt, added his result to his fabulous season of multiple wins and top ten placing at BE90 open level, “He is a pleasure to ride,” says Melissa, “you always know what you’re going to get with him as he has such a superb temperament.”
Munstead was a double cause for celebration for Melissa, as she also took the BE100 section G crown with Silken Crème, owned by Carolyne Allen. The pair jumped double clear to finish on their near perfect dressage of 22.3. Thus, adding yet another win to the eight-year-olds impressive BE record of eleven wins with Melissa since 2016, as well as, being placed in the top two at six events together this season.
The BE100open Section H winners were Laura Taylor and Cavalier Breeze, the partnership added nothing to their untouchable dressage mark of 22.8 to claim their victory.
Flora Harris finished third in the section with Vivendi De Vardag on an excellent dressage score of 28.0. The mare is owned by Ayesha Vardag and is part of the Vardag Equestrian Team. “I was delighted with how she went in all three phases,” said Flora. “We have focused particularly on her dressage in the last few weeks as this would be her weakest phase, it certainly paid off with her scoring the best mark of 28.” Flora has fashioned a succession of great results this season with Vivendi de Vardag, who she is producing for Ayesha’s talented daughter, Helena Vardag-Walters, who also gained an eighth place in the BE100 section G with Vardags Bucephalus. When asked about which phase Flora was particularly happiest with, she responded, “I would say I was most pleased with her improvement in the dressage, but she has improved so much this season and is developing into a really exciting horse!”
“Viva has now finished for the season and will enjoy a short rest”, says Flora, “before she aims for plenty of dressage and showjumping over the winter.” Next season Flora is hopeful to move the horse up to Novice and 1star level.
BE80(T) Section M Georgia Denton, Miami Bombshell; BE(80)T Section N Katie Grove, Don’t Be A Charlie; BE80(T) Section O Meg Adams, Forth Mountain; BE0(T) Section P Jordan Marston, Curraghkyle Silver Brumby; BE90 Section A Jessican Cross, Sable; BE90 Section B Jill Price, Hildare Clonshire Noble; BE90 Section C Natalie Anscombe, George XVI; BE90 Section I Francesca Elliot, Champagne VIP; BE90 Section J Harriet Gillam, Stonehaall Miss Russel; BE90 Section K Abby Mcgrath, C Q S Bassanio;
Images courtesy of Lansdown Photography