Laura Phipps reports …
Tweseldown International sponsored by the Lucinda Green XC Academy on 20th-23rd May 2021.
Despite inclement weather causing cancellations around the country Tweseldown managed to beat the odds and provide two days of jam packed action with classes ranging from BE90 to 3*. Lots of effort was made for this event as a new look XC was revealed with new fences and routes along with both waters having been resurfaced.
Despite a dressage test that was, by his own concession less than magic, Hocus Pocus and Alex Holman still managed to swoop to victory in Intermediate Section A. Alex only added 1.2 XCT around jumping courses that caused chaos in the main. Alex conceded that Hugo was ‘slightly naughty’ in the dressage to score a 35 however commented on his Facebook page: I am unbelievably proud of Hugo jumping clear around the strongest and biggest Intermediate I have ever seen. Winning really was an added bonus when the horse has just given you everything. I am over the moon.’
Aaron Millar had a stellar Tweseldown winning CCI-S 3* Section D with KEC Deakon who led from start to finish only adding 2.4 XCT to a dressage of 27.6. Aaron stated on his Facebook page that he is looking to step the gelding up to 4* in June. He also completed in 3rd place with Jem Rose in this section. Aaron added to his haul winning Novice Section G on Tomatillo who finished on his dressage score of 33.5. Aaron commented that Tomatillo was just ‘getting better and better.’
Jesse Campbell was another who collected a successful haul of placings to add to his win in CCI-S 2* Section L with Shadow Sister. The pair could afford to add one pole to their dressage of 24.7 and still win. The mare was competing at this level for only the second time and the first time this season having gained two top 10 placings at Novice level in preparation.
Phoebe Locke welcomed back a familiar face to her stable in style as Union Fortunus added nothing to a dressage score of 26.1 to win CCI-S 2* Section E. This pair are old acquaintances as Phoebe successfully competed the diminutive gelding from 2016-2019. He had only been back with Phoebe for 2 weeks however that did not show as they completed nearly 4 penalties ahead of second placed Charlotte Bull and Cyber Rocket. Phoebe simply commented on her Facebook page ‘no words needed for this horse’. Union Fortunus is for sale.
Fiona Kashel beat some well known names to land a win in CCI-S 3* Section M adding nothing to their dressage of 35. To add extra lustre Fiona and her mount Kildalton Harry were the only ones inside the time across country which was the difference between winning and losing as the first 3 in this section were covered by only 0.4 of a penalty. Fiona commented on her Facebook page ‘Harry is a quirky horse who holds a lot of opinions at times but he has great talent and bravery. Two years ago he was standing up on his back legs at 90cm in the dressage and today he has managed to pull off a win at his first 3*.’ Indeed that is an impressive feat.
Nicola Holehouse would have been delighted to see that Tweseldown managed to go ahead as it is a happy hunting ground and self-confessed ‘favourite event’. Nicola, who is a small animal vet based in Farnham, had managed to win at Tweseldown a couple of times on her last horse who has now signed up for a slower pace of life. The lucky Tweseldown streak cast its spell on Nicola once again as she and her own Millfield Catapult stormed to victory in BE90 Section Section E adding nothing to a dressage of 24.8 and completing nearly a full 6 penalties ahead of their nearest pursuer. Nicola commented ‘I got Craig as he is known to his friends from a SJ stud in 2018. He had never seen a XC fence or done a dressage test so eventing is very new to him. He still finds the XC fences a bit scary still!’ It seems this win was not purely down to luck and latent talent as she concedes she has been inspiring Craig with some story time. Nicola comments ‘Craig is by the same sire as several Advanced horses so I show him pictures of them in Horse and Hound and tell him he has a lot to live up to!’ Nicola has a different aim for the summer as she hopes to be allowed to get married in July so her 17.1hh, 8 year old Oldenburg gelding will do a few more 90s followed by a little break although the ultimate aim is to step up to BE100 this year.
A lot of successful partnerships start out after the rider admits to ‘not actually looking for a horse’ but love conquers all and pulls at the purse strings. Charlotte and ‘the sweetest mare I’ve ever come across’ produced a silky performance in the dressage to score a fixture topping 17.5 which afforded them the luxury of a pole down to still win BE90 Section N.
Charlotte who juggles being a BHSI performance, UKCC Level 3 coach and an assessor for the BHS and The Pony Club along with eventing takes up the story ‘I wasn’t actually looking for a horse but my good friend Carolyne Allen who owns ‘Evies’ half-sister showed me a picture of Evie in the field and I knew I had to have her. Since buying her we have had to take things slowly as she has grown so much and needed time to develop but now it feels like it is starting to come together.’ Indeed a trio of 16th place finishes was their best placing to date further evidencing Charlotte’s horsemanship in allowing Evie the time she needed. It seems their trajectory is firmly on the up. ‘We will run some more at BE90 level to build consistency and confidence and then move up to BE100 if she is ready’ says Charlotte confirming her aims for the rest of the season.
IMAGES COURTESY OF SOPHIE ROBBINS