Tinky Morris reports

Richmond Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire hosted the weekend’s competition, but was unfortunate with the weather forecast. Showers littered Friday’s competition, and Saturday was what can only be described as a complete washout. With that, the sensible decision was made to cancel Sunday’s competition. Despite the rain, the ground held up well and showed perfect conditions for cross country despite the downpours. James Innes and Moray Nicholson did a fantastic job to design testing yet inviting tracks, making use of the huge grounds for a galloping track around the centre. Tracey Barraclough adapted well to a smaller arena, as the usual indoor warm up had to be moved and some of the main jumping ring sectioned off to allow for Covid restrictions. The twisting track in the all-weather arena was testing, needing concentration and balance to secure a clear round.

Standout winners included Holly Woodhead, back with her second win on-the-trot in BE100 Section G with Kaellja. They finished on their dressage score of 27.3 and are entered into their first Novice later this month. Kaellja is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.

23 year old Argentinian Sebastian Roldan Olivera was another red rosette winner in BE100 Section P with Fernhill Fortune. Fernhill Fortune is yet to leave the podium in three events this season – an impressive record. They finished on their dressage score of 30, and spoke to Eventing Worldwide:

“Fernhill Fortune is a 9yo bay gelding by Heritage Fortunus out of a TB mare by Pistolet Bleu owned by Martyn Johnson. He started his eventing career this season and has been a super star taking 2nd place on his first event at Breckenbrough followed by another 2nd place at Frenchfield on the BE90 and winning his first BE100 at Richmond on Saturday.
Despite the weather he did a fabulous dressage test putting us straight into the lead with a score of 30. He jumped a super clear round in the ShowJumping arena followed by an amazing clear inside the time cross country.

It was my first time at Richmond and I really enjoyed it, you could really see the work they put into the event with lovely stuff and good organisation.

The plan forward is to keep the way we’ve been going and make the most out of the season ahead of us.”
Robyn Gray and Harrison IV were victorious in Intermediate Section A, only adding 2.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 29.6. With no one in their section going inside the time, the pair did well to only be 6 seconds over the time. Robyn said:

“Harry as he’s known is only 15.2 but a little pocket rocket, bought from HK horses as a 6yr old, showjumping has always been his strong point and dressage is catching up and we’re just finding our speed at intermediate level. Our aim is 3* long at Osberton at the end of the year, with hopefully a few clear rounds along the way. Thank you to all at Richmond it is always a super event with great facilities and fab ground, and we managed to not get wet. It was sad to hear they had to abandon on the Sunday.”

Alice Davies-Cooke is aiming for Young Riders next year, and definitely didn’t do her chances any harm with a win in Novice Section F with Cavalier King John. They added 4 time penalties to an otherwise spotless run, but with only one other combination in Section F achieving a sub-30 dressage score, their superb score of 27.3 secured them the win anyway. Alice spoke to Eventing Worldwide:

“I’m 20 and I’m based with Polly Stockton and I’ve been there for over a year. I have two of my horses there including the one I won on. He is called Johnny in the stable and is the biggest joker on the yard! He’s always causing trouble! Johnny is just 7 and I got him when he was 4 so have done everything with him! Last year when he was 6 he did his first 2* and came 3rd with a 27dr and double clear out of 105! He is super talented and I’m aiming to get him out at some 3 stars at the end of the season! He was awesome on Friday and found it all very easy, which is great before he steps up to intermediate again!”

In OIu21 Section D, Molly Faulkner was just pipped to the post by Lucy Sugden. Only 1.6 penalties in the dressage separated the pair in what was otherwise an identical day. Molly (finishing on a score of 29.1 with her ride Classic Affair), spoke about her day:

 “I was thrilled with Classic Affair’s performance throughout the day! It was a lovely cross course to gain confidence around as we had an unfortunate fall at fence 2 at Cirencester Au25, so it was very nice to move forward with that behind us both! I head to Houghton 3*L next with him and my other horse Call Me Cooley, aiming for Young Rider Europeans this year! I’m very grateful for the amazing training and support I have received from Caroline Moore, Ian Woodhead and Amy Woodhead this year!”

Another name to note is Wills Oakden, who had eight horses running at Richmond. Of those horses he only had three dressage scores above 30, rolled one pole in eight show jumping rounds, and six of his horses finished in the top-10. It looks like Wills has a super string of horses to keep an eye on this season. Jumble gave him a red rosette in Novice Section E, finishing on their dressage score of 25.3.

Despite some of the wettest weather of the year, Richmond hosted yet another fabulous weekend of eventing, and it will be a fight to get entries in for their second event of the year in early September.

Other winners included:
BE100 Section H: CSF Rocky – Mrs Francesca Richardson
BE100 Section O – P – Nabajo O.H – Miss Alexandra Farrar-Fry
BE90 Section I: Cashing Shadows – Miss Hannah Broadhurst
BE90 Section J: Kate Blue – Mr Conor McMahon
BE90 Section K: Belville Clover – Mrs Sarah Falkingham
Intermediate Section B: Hamlet – Mr Alex Hua Tian
Novice Section L: Gabbana – Miss Sara Bowe
Novice Section M: Light the Fuse – Miss Willa Newton
Open Intermediate Section C: Coolparks Sarco – Mrs Nicola Wilson
OIu21 Section D: I Am Quality TN – Miss Lucy Sugden
Open Novice Section N: Kellypsa Van T Asschaut – Mrs Sammy Oliver

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