Bryony Skinner reports …

Tremendous efforts allow two busy days of competition at Tweseldown’s first event of the 2018 season.

Despite heavy snow just one week prior, the team at Tweseldown worked tirelessly to ensure the event ran. The ground was quite soggy once the snow had melted, and the therefore the decision was made to reroute part of the cross-country course and remove one loop. The show jumping arena was moved to the dressage side of the road and another ring was ready as a standby. 

Over 418 people competed across the two days in BE100, Novice and Intermediate classes.  Unfortunately heavy rain on Friday meant that the classes on Saturday and Sunday had to be abandoned but riders were full of praise for the hard work that had gone into making any competition possible and for the early notice of abandonment on Saturday.

Dani Evans had a good start to the season, kicking off the BE100 section A with a win, finishing on her dressage score of 16.3 on Hollywood Dancer.  Dani also took 1st place in the OI section E on Smart Time and 5th in the ON section O on Fun Time Cilla.  Dani commented on Facebook ““Well my hours of dressage training of galloping around the hunting fields seems to have paid off ! HollyWood Dancer wins the BE100 on an incredible 16.3 double clear. And super star Smart Time wins a competitive open intermediate with a 25.2 dressage double clear. What a fantastic start to the season and a great day!”  

The BE100 section B was won by Melissa Joannides on her relatively new ride Ashford Cleave Little Man, owned by Suzie Priest.  Melissa said “I took on the ride on Ashford Cleave Little Man at the end of last season. It was the first time he started BE. Tweseldown was his third ever BE event and his first BE100! Over the winter we have done a lot of work on his flat work and confidence jumping. This paid off as he scored a PB of 26.8 and a double clear jumping. The course itself rode fantastic. Tweseldown have done an amazing job of producing new and exciting fences for all the levels. On the Thursday I thought the ground rode very well, he finished full of running and seemed to skip along quite happily. Although he was a little green still in between the fences, he took on all the fences boldly! Last year we had issues taking the ‘hand brake’ off but that doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore making the time easily- I was actually trying to slow him down most of the way! I think Novice/1* would be well within his capability this year. A few more runs at BE100 so he understands the cross country 100% and I will then look to step him up. Fingers crossed his season continues as it started!”

The BE100 section C  was won by Bronia Hill on Saunderscourt Ricardo who added just 0.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 26.  Bronia said, “Saunderscourt Ricardo is a rising 8 year old ISH by RicardoZ.  He has evented for 2 years completing 3 BE Novices last year before dropping back to 100 in the Autumn following a viral infection in the summer. September 2017 he came 3rd at Goring Heath BE100 RF to qualify for this years Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup so that is the immediate aim for this year!!  After that I would like to compete him at Novice again as he is bold XC, and qualify for a 1*.   We were lucky going early at Tweseldown (because we live locally) and had the best ground after the recent snow and rain.  “Alberts” Irish blood and strength means he’s confident in wetter conditions and continues regardless!   The XC rode very well – the Tweseldown team had done a super job of producing a confidence giving early season course, open and galloping with ground that held up well for the first two days of this event.”

Austin O’Connor was another rider to enjoy a successful couple of days, taking home the win in the Novice section I on Gonzalo, finishing on a dressage score of 28.  He also took 2nd places in Novice sections J and O on Into The Morning and Falvaro respectively.

Novice section N was won by Selina Milnes on Vivendi Time after adding 2.8 time penalties to their dressage score of 31.8.  Selina also had two other horses running and commented on her facebook page: “Tweseldown did a fabulous job of keeping the show on the road, and we were lucky to give three horses a run . The lovely mare Vivendi Time got the season off to a cracking start and won her section. Morelands Casanova jumped a lovely double clear for 9th and Bentley had a steady run for 12th”.

Georgie Spence had four horses running across the two days and took two wins, with Calvin II in the ON section O and Halltown Harley in the OI section F.  Georgie said  “I’ve had Calvin for 2.5 years. He’s a super horse, the most consistent I’ve ever had in all 3 phases. He has 3 loyal and supportive owners. His aims for 2018 are to establish at intermediate and possibly aim for at a 2* at the end of the year. I think he’s only been out the top 3 placings a handful of times since I’ve had him.

Halltown Harley, I’ve had 18 months. He was bought for me by Suzy his owner when my top horse Wii Limbo needed some time off. It shows how important owners are and that we as riders would be nowhere without them. He has been a wonder horse from day one! I’m so lucky to have him. He won my First Nations Cup debut in Austria. And this year is aiming for his first 4* at badminton. He’s nicked named Barbie Pony as he looks pink and he’s the perfect girls horse. He gives you 110% everytime, He’d be the perfect husband!”

Other winners: Novice section J – Ludwig Svennerstal, NBE Dexter;  Novice section M – Tom McEwen, Dreamaway II; ON section K – Helen Witchell, Scarragh Silver; ON section L – Mary King, Kings Ginger; AI section H – Andrew Nicholson,  Swallow Springs; I section G – Louisa Lockwood, Diamond Ructions; OI section D – Charlotte East, King Albert

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