Sonia Chapman reports ..
Portman is a beautiful mid-week event, so it is mainly frequented by professional riders and it was definitely a case of who’s who in eventing tis time. It was the opportunity for people to catch up since last season and the dressage warm up was extremely chatty. In fact Alex Bragg and Chris Burton were so deep in conversation, that Alex did not notice that Chris was heading into arena for his test and nearly followed him! Portman is an extremely friendly event, with the most amazing going and lots of space in every phase. The dressage does have the excitement of being next to a gold course, where the golfers were nearly as keen as the eventers to be out! The showjumping is a huge flat arena, although the changes in the sunlight did cause a number of people to have some spooky rounds. It was particularly tricky going into the Novice treble when the light was shining on it and a number of people had issues here.
Portman was sadly down on entries this year and it would be a shame if this great event was lost in the future. Reasons given in the lorry park were due to the unaffiliated at Aston being a better first outing for young horses, so hopefully this was only a freak instance for this year.
Isabelle Cook and Stillbrook Ben headed an extremely competitive Open Novice section, by virtual of the good dressage and a fast double clear. Lara Chapple tapped a pole to finish 7th on Lawd of the Mill, but her other Stambrook Masterful finished second, what a great start to there 2021 season. Dressgae leader Tarka Abraham was the only one to score in the twenties for the dressage with 28.3, but a costly pole dropped her to a fourth place finish.
Chris Burton warmed by for Burnham Market 4 Star by winning the IN on Leopard’s Action and coming fourth on Jefferson 18. Leopards Action obtained an unassailable lead in the dressage with a 21.4 and won the class by just under 6 penalties. This section also saw the return of Billy Bandit and Monbeg Senna, however it was also the opportunity to see Katherine Coleman debut her partnership with the former 5 start ride of Rosa Onslow RLE Limbo Kaiser.
Killossery Karisma started 2021 with a win the open novice for Sophie Callard, who this year made the step to follow her dream of being a full-time event rider. Sophie is now based at Brookfield Equestrian and will be riding their young horses, however, is also looking for additional rides. Marcio Carvalho Jorge picked second in his first event with the classy grey Castle Howard Casanova, with Marcio thanking owners very much for purchasing this horse for him to ride.
Kirsty Chabert is “sad to have to give the ride back to Nicole in a few weeks” after winning Novice Section B with Nicole Pearson’s Hanerina SSF, a bright prospect for the next Asian games. The mares 26 dressage was never matched and with a double clear the combination won by 4 penalties.
David Doel and Reybridge River Congo headed Novice Section A, after Chris Burton and Call Me Barney picked up time penalties on the cross country, yes you did read that correctly Burto picked up cross country time penalties. This section saw
Lissa Green debut we new cross country colours of white with blue, after me owners complained that her previous navy colours did not allow them to work out where she was on the cross country!
Amy Barlow and Iwan finished top of the table in the BE100Pus, leading from the start. Followed closely behind by Kitty King and her two exciting six years old Ogue Verdi and RSH Mong Marshall respectively.
Imogen Gloag confirmed that her 2am alarm was worth it by winning the BE100 Open on Kalico, to win by nearly 10 marks with a finishing score of 18.3. Sammi Birch, Andrew Nicholoson and Gubby Leech all picked at a BE100 section a piece. Eva Carse was the sole amateur winner of a BE100 with her own Lissnafiffy who she found with the help of Chloe Perry at Brookfield Equestrian when she wanted the challenge of bringing on a young event horse.
Images Courtesy of Sophie Robins