Millie Wain reports ..
Weston Park Horse Trials hosted two days of competition with classes ranging from BE80(T) to novice level. The event incorporated the BE80 and BE90 team challenge classes, where riders from across the country competed against each other in teams of four. All of the courses were built and presented beautifully on the rolling Shropshire parkland and riders were extremely complementary of the organisers, Janet and Vicky Plant, and their team.
Jessica Nevin took the top spot in BE80 section F with Nicky Byrne. The pair led the dressage phase by more than 2 penalties with a score of 23.5 and they added nothing to that in the jumping phases. This is their first season of eventing and they have had considerable success at both BE80 and BE90 level, with Weston Park being their first win:
“We didn’t have much expectation this year, I just wanted to get out to a few events and see what Nicky Byrne (Ernie) thought of it but he seems to have taken to it really well. I bought Ernie last summer as a 9-year-old. He was meant to be a bit of a project to have a bit of fun on for a year or 2 and then to sell, but I could never part with him now. He is such a kind, loving and affectionate horse. I am not sure on his past but it was clear he hadn’t done a lot when I bought him. It’s taken a lot of work to get him to where he is now and we have had some great results this season. A couple of weeks before Weston Park we were 2nd in the 90 at Moreton Morrell. He’s in his element out on the xc course and gives such a great ride.”
Jessica hopes to compete in some of the British Eventing Winter Series events over the next few months in order to prepare for the 2021 season, with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup in the future.
The winner of BE90 section D was Charlotte Cramphorn riding Rubecula on a score of 24.8 penalties. Charlotte has had Rubecula (Robin) for just under a year and said “I’ve not actually been able to do much with him. However, being in lockdown meant I was home from University and was able to ride at home meaning I was able to build a great partnership together focusing on our dressage and jumping.” It was a close finish after Nicki Grayson and Rainstown Michael added 0.4 cross country time penalties to leave them 0.1 penalties behind Charlotte, who was also in the winning team in this section too. We spoke to Charlotte after her team and individual wins:
“It felt amazing to win at the weekend as Weston Park was only my fourth event on him so I really didn’t think we would be in with a chance. It felt very good to be back out Eventing again after what seems like such a long year of not being able to do much and definitely makes all the training over the year worth it. Weston Park was my last event of the season so heading into the winter I’m hoping to do some British Dressage and British Show Jumping ready for the start of the Eventing season next year, where I’m hoping to move up the levels with him.”
Tracey Crane was the winner of section B of the BE90 with Hugo Hunting. They were in 7th place after the first phase but added nothing to their dressage score of 31.8 penalties. Just 1.2 penalties separated the top 5 combinations in the section and Tracey was only 0.2 penalties ahead of second place, which went to Julie Jones and Lucky Pursuit. Completing the top 3 was Heather Urquhart and Rosscon Magic Mike. Eventing Worldwide spoke to Tracey following her second win of the season.
There were some very impressive dressage scores in BE80(T) section G; 7 riders achieved sub-20 dressage score, the best of which being the section’s winner, Shirley Cadwallader, with a score of 14.5 penalties. Shirley was riding the 7-year-old mare The Sauce Pot Second and achieved their second consecutive win, having taken the top spot in the BE80(T) regional final at Kelsall Hill. The pair are heading to Norton Disney for the BE80(T) Championships. Second and third place went to Rachael Ward and Emily Whysall respectively, both of whom completed on 17.8 penalties, but Rachael was closer to the optimum time of 4 minutes and 57 seconds on the cross country.
Andrew Nicholson and the talented 6-year-old Quimba won section L of the novice class. They were another pair to have a second consecutive win at Weston Park. The combination added 1.2 cross country time penalties to their leading dressage score of 27 penalties, to finish 1.6 penalties ahead of second place, which went to Dani Evans and Unique Van De Hoeveweg Z. Dani was one of just four riders in all of the novice sections to finish on their dressage score. In third place was Emily Gieron riding Mandrocks Little Tiger, who also completed on their dressage score (34 penalties).