Millie Wain reports..
Stafford Horse Trials took place from the 13th-15th July and with many weeks without any rain, the grounds’ team did an excellent job in ensuring that the going was as good as possible, including aerating the course and assisting with the take offs and landings in the show jumping arena. This was Stafford’s second event on the calendar and there were 21 sections with classes ranging from BE80(T) to BE100plus, including KBIS 4yo and 5yo qualifier classes.
The KBIS 4 year old section was won by Imogen Murray and Jezebel HDH II. They led from the start and were the only combination to complete on their dressage score, which was 26.8, to take the win by 6 penalties. There were only three clear showjumping rounds in the section and five clear cross country rounds. Second place went to Sophie Platt riding Penpoint Showgirl and in third were Ben Way and Annsfort Simba.
The showjumping phase proved to be influential in all classes, especially in BE100 section M. There were just two clear rounds and these combinations finished in 4th and 8th place. Despite picking up 4 faults in the showjumping, Isabella Pindur and The Red Carrig took the top spot after getting a dressage score of 23 penalties and adding no penalties on the cross country phase to complete on a score of 27.
There were some excellent dressage scores in section U of the BE90, with the best score being 15.8. The winner of this section was Nicola Johnson riding the 9-year-old Glory Boy on a score of 20.3 and it was a convincing win, being 5 penalties ahead of the rest of the section. This is the horse’s first season of eventing and the win at Stafford was the combination’s first top ten placing.
There were 14 starting combinations in the BE100open and 7 of those pairs completed with double clears. The winners of the section were Molly Phillips and Watachance, who added 0.4 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 28.3. This was their second win of the season, the first of which being in the BE100open at Kelsall Hill in April. Second place went to Christine Hooker Myles aboard Netherfields Concur with a score of 29.3 and completing the top three was Emily King riding Kings Rose, finishing with 31 penalties.
Paul Sims had two wins at Stafford; he won BE100 section B and a 5 year old section with Killinure Master and Stratosphere II respectively. Killinure Master led from the start with 23 penalties and added nothing to that to take the win. Stratosphere II was in 10th place after the dressage but the pair was one of three to add nothing to their first phase score, meaning they went up the placings to the top.
Other section winners:
BE80(T) section O – Laura Smith riding UCS Subaru
BE80(T) section P – Catherine Wooldridge riding Sonara
BE80(T) section Q – Amy Dixon riding Goodluck
BE80(T) section R – Leah Smith riding William XVIII
BE90 section H – Victoria Jones riding Garry Knight
BE90 section I – Will Crawley riding Nadiva E
BE90 section J – Kelly Turner riding Rhythm Of The Beat
BE90 section S – Abigail Clare riding Arleys Goldmine
BE90 section T – Daniel Titterton riding Vision B
BE90open section K – Jack Leese riding Carrabawn Kid
BE100 section A – John-Paul Sheffield riding Midnight Blues
BE100 section L – Laura Hanson riding Gortmore Mrs Brown
5yo section D – Alexander Tordoff riding Shadow Bear
BE100plus section – Michael Owen riding Castlecoote Seamus
Images courtesy of Cerys Macauley