Sarah Carless reports
British Eventing’s Arena Eventing continued last weekend with Wellington Riding hosting its first ever arena eventing competition, attracting more than 70 combinations across the three classes.
The competition was run in the venue’s new Waterloo Arena which covers 8000 square meters making it ideal for arena eventing.
Bea Shepherd and Galloon Jackpot were the winners in the BE90 section with Bea also coming seventh with Burley Mystic. In this class only three combinations kept a clean sheet with 19-year-old Bea coming out on top. Bea only took up eventing last year having previously ridden in showing classes. But after entering a local hunter trial she loved it so much that she became a BE member.
Bea told Eventing Worldwide: “I had an amazing time at Wellington – what an incredible arena! The was the first-time arena eventing for both me and my ponies so I was just aiming for two clears and they came home with first and seventh! It’s been my first year doing BE and the same for the ponies, my mum wanted us to do six BE80s before going on to the 90s so we finished the season with a 90. Unbelievably I’ve had a win and two seconds on Burley Mystic, it was just meant to be a training year.
“The arena eventing seemed like a perfect chance to get my eye in on the 90 tracks and build confidence with them. It’s good because the jumps come up quite slowly and give them a chance to think about it, I’ll definitely try to do as many as possible over winter to keep them ticking over. Jack loves it. He’s struggled getting his head around the dressage but hopefully over winter we can sort that, but he loves his jumping. I’m hoping to try to qualify for the Badminton Grassroots championships next year and maybe towards the end of the year start him on BE100s – he’s got so much scope. I’ve always been a show rider competing at Hoys and the Royal International in the workers on another pony, I think this has really helped when I started eventing as a lot of the ground work was there already. It’s been a learning curb and I’ve made lots of mistakes but I’m getting the hang of it! It’s a really nice change and it’s given the ponies lots of confidence.”
The BE80 class was won by Willian Stam and Izzy III whilst the BE100 Class was won by Davie James and Wild Fire.
Open to both BE members and non-members competitors first complete a round of show jumps immediately followed by a cross country course, finishing over a joker fence set at 10cms higher than the rest of the course. Along with the top 10% in each qualifier, the top three from the BE90 and BE100 JAS Championship will be invited to take part in the Arena Eventing Championships at Aston-Le-Walls at the end of February. The next qualifiers take place this weekend at Keysoe (November 18 ) and Bold Heath (November 19).