Ruth Gregory reports …
Bank holiday weekends’ glorious sunshine was a stark difference from that endured at The Warwick Hall Cumbria Horse Trials on the 22nd and 23rd May. Despite battling continual rain fall, the organisers did a sterling job to keep the competition on the road with sections from Novice to BE80(T).
Winner of Novice section J was Storm Straker with Victoria Straker’s Vsplesk. It is the stallion’s third season eventing and his first win at Novice level. Storm piloted the seven-year-old to a foot perfect double clear to finish on their dressage score of 24.3.
Storm told Eventing Worldwide;
“I was extremely pleased; he’s come out a different horse this year after hunting over the winter and really gave me everything yesterday in all three phases- gives me lots of confidence for the future with him.”
Storm had a great weekend, as she also took the runners up spot in the Open Novice section N with her own The Duke of Darlington. The gelding’s second place at Warwick Hall follows on from his win at fellow Cumbrian based event Frenchfield earlier in the month.
“His dressage still needs lots of work, but he concentrates so hard for me. Jumping he has all the scope, and he seems to be finding Novice a little too easy cross country! I’m looking forward to moving him up the levels this year!”
Pipping Storm to first place in section N was Holly Woodhead riding Heidi Woodhead’s Jackpot DHI. Their win brings their top spot total to three already this year- notably two of those wins being at novice level despite the gelding only making his Novice debut in April.
Wills Oakden was another rider to accumulate a string of top results in Cumbria. He bagged himself a win in the Novice section K with DHI by Design. Daisy Cross handed the ride to Wills at the start of the season and they are certainly a partnership who have blossomed as they are yet to finish outside of the top five together. They now head to Belsay International to contest the CCI-S 2*.
Wills was then placed second in section M with Keep it Cooley and section J with Cooley Fun Time.
It was a worthwhile trip down from Perthshire as Wills’ wife, Steph, also claimed herself a third-place finish in section K with her own Cooley Cando. The ride has previously been shared between them, but this season Steph has got her hands firmly on the reins posting two double clears so far.
Lucinda Atkinson and Take the Stage led from start to finish in the BE100 section A to take top honours. It was a second win of the season for Jane Pybus’ gelding, as he also won at Breckenbrough back in April.
It was a glittering start to Victoria Gladwyn’s and Sonnersted’s season and they landed themselves a win in section D. The pair jumped a classy double clear to add nothing to their dressage score of 22.3.
Whilst second went to Yorkshire based rider Caroline Clarke and Night Prowler. The ‘quirky’ chestnut by Imperial Hights is full brother to Caroline’s Advanced campaigner, Touch Too Much.
Caroline told Eventing Worldwide;
“I’ve owned Weasel since he was a yearling. He has been a complete nightmare to break and produce and tried pretty hard to buck me off in the showjumping warm up.
But once he gets on with the job, he’s unstoppable. I was pleased he got placed because he really flew around the cross-country and tried his hardest. I thought Warwick was a tough track-the water was very tricky. I’m hoping to step him up to Novice shorty, so this Warwick was a good confidence boost.”
Fellow Yorkshire rider Holly Richardson accompanied Ladejo to a win in the BE90Open on the gelding’s eventing debut! The five-year-old, who’s owned by Virginia Clegg and Fi Saxby, added nothing to his dressage mark of 30.3 to seal the win and set a solid foundation for his eventing career.
BE100 Section B; Ashley Suddes, Cavanagarvan Knight; BE100 Section C; Emma Wake, Be Clear Crystal; BE100Open Section E; Arianna Finlay, Eluna; BE100u18 Section F; Samantha Potts, Hillgarth Brocade; BE100u18 Section G; Grace Botterell, Diamond Pippin; BE80(T) Section A1; Lyndsay Allan, Rath Reggie; BE80(T) Section W; Hannah Jones, Dongegreagh Odinn; BE80(T) Section X; Stephanie Lynch, Journey’s Atlas; BE80(T) Section Y; Alice Gilliland, Derradda Rummy; BE80(T) Section Z; Eve Cuthbrt, Elvis; BE90 Section O; Sean Henderson, Rebel Fran; BE90 Section P; Louise Howatson, Highland Delux, BE90 Section Q; Hannah Dennison, Deel Boy; BE90 Section R; Sarah Page, Maccaislean Mor; BE90 Section S; Stephen Rankin, Castlefobes Roscoe; BE90u18 Section U; Beth Casasola, Harry Potter II; BE90u18 Section V; Evie Smith, Ettrick Lilly; Novice Section L; Alice Davies-Cooke, Cavalier King John; Novice Section M; Andrew Downes, Safira; Open Noviceu18 Section I; Freya Gaitskell, Equador; Open Noviceu18 Section H; Finn Healy, Fathers Compromise.