Sarah Carless reports……. 

Sapey preparation for Mitsubishi Motors Cup entrants

The flurry of Easter holiday events kicked off in Herefordshire with the ever popular Sapey Horse Trials. More than 500 combinations competed in classes from BE80(T) through to BE100 Plus over the two days of the event. 

The event provided competitors bound for the forthcoming Mitsubishi Motors Cup with a great DSC09422preparation run, with three sections being won by Badminton-bound combinations. 

The first of these was Steph Lynn and Crystall VII, who were the victors in BE90 Section L. It is the second win on the trot for the pair, who also won at Swalcliffe Park in March. It was a commanding win as the pair finished on their dressage score of 23.3 – 13.6 penalties ahead of the runner up. 

Of her winning margin, Steph said: “I can’t quite believe it. Sapey was my last event before the big one. I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool until the 2nd May!”

Another Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 Championship entrant was Isabel Benbow, who rode Brynithon Scorpion to victory in BE90 Section K. Isabel is an equine student at Hartpury College and has owned Bryn since he was a foal.  Isabel’s parents own Tipton Hall Riding School and Bryn still earns his keep with selected clients riding him. 

She told Eventing Worldwide: “It was an unexpected win as I forgot my test. But I am really pleased with how well Bryn went – you don’t know how fit your horse is until you give them a run. I started riding him when he was four and I was 10, so we have learnt so much together through Pony Club over the years as well as unaffiliated and BE. I always worry about him only being 14.1 but he out performs many smart horses. I am entered for Solihull so fingers crossed that goes well, then all eyes on Badminton.”

Hilary Ponti has qualified for the BE100 Championship at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup and with Asketon Chief she won BE100 Section N. The pair had a dressage score of 24.3 and added just 0.4 of a time fault on the cross country. 

Lisa Lindsay and Hello Dolly IV were the winners in BE80(T) Section P. Their dressage score of 20.3 put them out in front and even with 1.2 time faults on the cross country they still took the win by 2.7 penalties. 

She commented: “Starting the season with a win was a massive shock and has put the pressure on for future events as things can’t get any better. Naughty Dolly as she is known at the yard is a temperamental Hanoverian mare, but we all agree to put up with her behaviour when she performs so well. I would like to say a massive thank you to Janice Allen who owns Dolly for all the time and effort she puts into the ground work. There is a very supportive team behind myself and Dolly from drivers to babysitters. We are looking to move up the classes as the season progresses – we’re competing at Mount Ballan in the BE90 in May.” 

Other section results; Novice Section A Mark Ford, Minridge Larkspur; Novice Section B Zara Tindall, Rum Expectations; Open Novice Section C Alice Pearson, Jack The Ginger; BE100 Plus Section D Bonnie Fishburn, Mr Precision; BE100 Open Section E Emma Forsyth, Vhateau De Versailles MS2; BE100 Section F Padraig McCarthy As Bagheera; BE100 Section G Tom Grant, Argyle Diamond; BE90 Section H Harriet Emma Thompson, Four Ashes Belgravia; BE90 Section I Lucy Morgan, Spot The Illusion; BE90 Section J Bernie Wharf, Ballintogher Machoman; BE100 Under 18 Section M Jaymee Savill, Knockmullen Flyer; BE80(T) Section O Paul Burgess, Harthill Louisa.

Photographs courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography 

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