EVENT REPORTS – Smiths Lawn

Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners

Bryony Skinner reports…

Cross country time proves influential at Smiths Lawn Horse Trials.

A busy couple of days saw over 480 competitors contending the BE100 and Novice classes at Smiths Lawn on Monday 7th – Tuesday 8th August. The recent weather and ground preparations meant that riders competed across the beautiful parkland over perfect going.

Alyson Parker was thrilled to take first place in the owner rider section J in the BE100 class and commented “JJ Malone is known as Joe at home, he is German bred 14 yrs old and I’ve had him 10 yrs (bought as a just backed 4yo from Peder Damgaard).   He is a horse of a lifetime, not a traditional event horse stamp being more like a giraffe really, but is genuine and honest and will try his hardest to get between those flags.  We love going to Smiths Lawn, its a very special event and I’ve been going there since 2002.   The course is much improved this side of the road (not quite so many places for me to get lost) and rode very well.   We were very honoured to receive the Ian White Memorial Trophy donated by his widow Kathryn in his memory, for my owner/rider section, and a marvellous haul of prizes including a lesson with Gill Watson, lots of lovely Protexin and Equilibrium products and all sorts of other goodies!    Joe will be aiming at Regional Finals for next years Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton (he has been 4 times already we love it there) and then for the BE100 3DE at Aldon at the end of October for which he needs a lot of fitness training!  Many thanks to Tissie Reason and all her team at Smiths Lawn.”

The BE100 section K was won by Fiona Breach and Edelweiss IV who completed on a dressage score of 28.5.  Fiona said “Edelweiss belongs to one of my liveries who has been doing her A levels and just had a break with her family so she asked me to event her. I took her to Rackham a few months ago where she was very sticky in the showjumping and xc, so I was slightly worried about stepping her up at Smiths Lawn. However, she was a star from start to finish. She produced a solid test followed by a great showjumping round (she is a very clean and scopey jumper) and flew around the xc as if she was an old pro. I was chuffed to bits with her. The owner will finish off the season with her. But is going to university in September so I might get another spin if I am lucky!”

The BE100 section H was won by Jesse Campbell on Morning Fawlty; Jesse also took 5th position on new ride Shadow Fearless. Jesse commented “Morning Fawlty (owned by Wendy Watherstone) is one of Chilli Morning’s offspring. He is a very big horse that is maturing slowly. I have very high hopes for him as he is very talented but he won’t be rushed and will step up to novice when he is more ready. Shadow Fearless is a new horse that I only recently purchased from my good friend Ben Hobday. He is an extremely exciting horse who I rate very highly.

The courses were really educational and rode really well. The ground was absolutely perfect”

The owner rider section B of the Novice class saw many combinations finding unexpected challenges on the x country and many with time penalties adding to their scores.  This was not the case however for Alycia Port and her mare Flower Faerie, who completed on their dressage score of 26.5 to take the win. Alycia, who is sponsored by Oldwick Saddlery, commented: “We bred Flower Faerie, a little chestnut mare, out of my first horse who was by Jumbo. Flower faerie is by Ben’s Affaere (Ben Faerie’s son). She has always been talented but very fragile, I have had so many problems and niggles with her, but when she is on form she is great. I backed and broke her in and have done everything myself. I am an amateur rider now, having ridden through uni full time and now work in London in equine underwriting and am very kindly sponsored by my employer XL Catlin. I have 5 horses in work (somehow!!) so it’s a bit of a juggling act but It was so good to get the result she deserved and all the effort of keeping them all going pays off when that happens. She suffered with harder ground earlier on in the year so great credit to my vet and farrier to help us through that. I might aim her at a NRF next year and 1* later this year but take every day as it comes with her! The course rode great, I knew I had to post a quick time which is fine on her as she is 7/8s thoroughbred and I went early but although it walked kindly, it actually caused quite a few problems and she was really straight through the skinny combinations so I was thrilled with her. She deserved the good dressage score as she did a lovely test, which was a bit of a surprise as she can sometimes get quite hot!”

Nici Wilson added two time penalties to an excellent dressage score of 25.8 to win the Novice section C. Nici reported: “Gazelle is a KWPN Gelding by Bernini. He is 6 this year and this was his second run at Novice, so it’s very exiting he led from start to finish! The course rode beautifully and the ground was second to none. Hopefully he will be aimed for a CIC* towards the end of the season.”

Shane Rose was the winner of the Novice section N on Sam Griffiths’ gelding Graphene. Shane had a successful event on his horses and it was reported on his team eventing facebook page: “A good day for Shane’s youngster Easy Turn yesterday, completing her first BE100 event at Smith’s Lawn. She was fabulous in all phases, finishing on her dressage score of 34, and in ninth place. Shane also rode a couple of Sam’s horses, taking a win in the Novice with Graphene and having a solid run with Bloomfield Bantry.”

The ON section was won by Chelsea Pearce on Dakota EB completing on their dressage score of 24.8. Chelsea also came 5th in this section and commented on her facebook page: “Fab to be back Eventing today at the beautiful Smiths Lawn Horse Trials after a mid-season break. A great run from both grey boys! Djakota EB did a stunning test of 24.8 followed by a double clear to take the win in the ON! Kilnaboy Buffet also did a super test and double clear to finish 5th! So pleased with both boys, blowing the cobwebs away ready for their CIC* & CIC** at Bicton Arena in two weeks.”

Other winners: BE100 section G- Sarah Parkes, MBF Dassett Legacy; BE100 section I – Tamsin Miall, Gloria III; BE100 section M – Victoria Smith, Classicals Cash Back; BE100open – Katy Jones, Step Smartly; BE Novice section N – Tom McEwen, Nasdaq High; Novice section D – Caroline Powell, Stracathro Solitary Mistral; Novice section E – Tim Price, Hester; Novice section O – Emily King, Quintana Z

Photographs courtesy of Gary Horner 

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