Georgia Dixon reports…
Set in Colchester, Essex, Stratford Hills put on two exciting days of eventing, featuring classes from BE80(T) up to Intermediate Novice (IN). The event also featured youth sections at 100, Novice and Pony level.
The weather has been uncharacteristically dry and warm over the past few weeks and has meant that the ground has gone from being a bog to now extremely dry. However, Stratford Hills have been praised by the way they have handled the ground and competitors were extremely impressed, given the recent weather. There was good grass coverage and ground had been consistently watered and aerovated by course builder, David Carpenter and his team.
There were three sections of BE80(T), sponsored by Airowear; O, P and Q. Sally Witts and Banagher Gwennic Ohio were the winners in Section O, despite adding 5.2 time penalties from the cross country section. Their dressage score of 25 was good enough to allow them the leeway and take the win on a final score of 30.2. Sally beat Charlotte Farrow who rode Wisdom IV to second place after going too fast across country, adding two time penalties to leave them on a score just behind Sally; 30.3.
Ruth Hole had the best dressage score in Section P, however, show jumping and time penalties pushed Ruth and Easy VZ out of the top spot, meaning Jane Bettles’ foot perfect jumping phases left her and her ride, Eeyore at the top of the leaderboard on the next best dressage score of 31.3.
Hettie Meadows and Buckland Firework impressed the dressage judges in Section Q for a dressage mark of 28.5. The combination then followed through with a clean sweep to win the section on their dressage score. Second placed combination, Celia Stone and Puddingbag Lane also finished on their dressage score of 30, being their first event since 2016 and their second affiliated event.
Kelly Gorman and Morning Star V lead from start to finish in BE90 Section J with a dressage score of 23.3. The combination added nothing to this score, leaving them at the top of the section by over penalties. Ruth Armstrong and Oxhill Rio finished in second place on their dressage score of 27.5.
BE90 Section M saw two under 20 dressage scores from the top two combinations who were battling it out for the crown. Corrine Roberts and Phoebe Prideaux both scored impressive dressage scores, however, Corrine and Fourstar Struck held onto their lead after achieving a dressage mark of 18.3 by adding nothing to their score. Phoebe and Clontumpher Dream managed a dressage score of 19.8, they then added 0.4 time penalties to finish on a score of 20.2 respectively.
Young rider, Charlotte Roberts rode Recession to victory in the BE100 Under 18 section, their first win of the season. Charlotte added no extra penalties to a dressage score of 26.8. However, second placed rider, Summer Nicholls and Alfie XXVI also finished on 26.8, however, they were further away from the optimum time in the cross country, meaning they were forced to take the silver spot.
Harry Horton, who was the winner of the Intermediate Novice section with Maybe This Time II also came third in BE100, Section A with Darc Silver. The winner of Section A was Jasmine Wilks and Harestone who finished on their dressage score of 26.5, winning by nearly 5 penalties.
Joanne Watts and Darc Legend won BE100 Open Section D after leading the dressage on a score of 23.5. The combination then added nothing to their dressage mark to remain at the top of the leaderboard. Joanne beat Jenny James and Avoca OXO who finished in second place on a dressage score of 26.3.
The Open Novice U18 section saw 11 starting combinations, however, Henry Stott was the one to beat after posting the best dressage score of 27.5 onboard Windy Miller. Henry picked up four penalties in the show jumping, however, managed to retain his lead and win the section on a final score of 31.5. Chloe De Uphaugh and RCA Romeo finished second, finishing on a dressage score of 32.
Tom Jackson stood out in Novice Section H, winning the section with No Limit II and placing second on Forrest Gump 124. Tom went double clear on both, however added 1.2 time penalties across country on his second placed horse, leaving them on a total of 28.7, No Limit II won the section with a score of 24.3.
Novice Section G was won by Mary Edmundson and Lionel II. The combination were the only combination to achieve a dressage score in the 20s, and they did it with style, attaining an impressive score of 25.8. Mary then went on to jump double clear, however, 3.2 time penalties meant that they finished on 29.
Mary Edmundson also had an impressive run in the Novice Regional Final with Clonmore Lily, finishing in second place, ending on their dressage score of 34.6. Laura Jayne Casbolt was the victor with Chincalease Cowboy after wowing the judges during their dressage test to score them 25.7. They then went on to add only 2 time penalties to their score, leaving them at the top of the leaderboard and with a ticket to the Championships at Gatcombe Park later in the year.
Photographs courtesy of Sue Westmoor
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