Sarah Carless reports …
The final of West Wilts three British Eventing attracted more than 550 horse and rider combinations, who throughout the two days of competition spent their time dodging torrential autumnal rain showers. However, despite the rain, the ground held up perfectly thanks to the hard work of the organisers.
Nineteen-year-old Harriet Mitchell and Dusky Limit were the winners in Novice Section F having travelled from Cornwall to compete. The pairing have had a good run of form in 2017, and their win at West Wilts was their eighth top ten result.
Harriet told Eventing Worldwide: “I’ve had Dusky since she was a five year old and have slowly been progressing her through the grades – she is proving to be every bit talented as I thought she would be. I was the very last horse in the dressage arena at 5pm and she performed a great test and scored a 10 for her entry! Luckily I didn’t hear my score of 23.5 as I went Into the show jumping. She jumped a foot perfect double clear with just 2.4 time XC to win on a 25.9. It feels great to have a win,especially on Dusky as I feel she’s very special and our hard work does pay off. These days make it all worth it! I’m lucky enough to have gained some other rides and I’ve now stepped up to Intermediate. My plans for next season is to move Dusky up to Intermediate do Young rider teams and complete a 2*.”
Dr Katie Mathias came away from the event with a double of wins. Her first came in BE90 Section K with Lodor Carl – their second win of the year – and this was followed up with a win in BE80(T) Section N with Llwynfron Rachel, a new ride for Katie. In the second BE80(T) class (Section M), Sally Crane and Florence were the winners by 6.7 penalties on a score of 23.8.
Alisha Coombes and Delhurens Upsey Daisy have been in excellent form this season, with a slew of top ten placings. And at West Wilts proved a lucky venue for the pair as they their took their second win here in 2017, claiming BE100 Section O. Ali Wilkes was another rider claiming her second victory of the year as she topped the table in BE100 Section P with Tagal.
Shadow Fearless JB was piloted to a second victory of the season, but this time under new rider Jesse Campbell. On this occasion the pair were winners of Novice Section G. The horse’s previous win came in a BE100 at Warwick Hall at the start of the year with previous rider Ben Hobday.
Amy Barlow was the winner in BE100 Section B with Little Midnight Dancer. With the six year old mare, who is known as Molly at home, Amy has had a string of impressive results and this was their sixth top ten result of the season. Amy is based with William Fox-Pitt with six horses, and has previously worked for the British rider as well as Australian event rider Sam Griffiths. At West Wilts Amy was also 9th in BE90 Section I with One Cool King and just outside the top ten in the Intermediate Novice with Boris XI.
Amy told Eventing Worldwide: “Molly was bought for me to ride by my great owners Arabella Stagg, Sue Shenkman, Carolyn Fisher and Sophie Henderson. I found her last winter whilst on a hunting trip to Ireland. She had been broken in by my friend last summer. I loved her as soon as I saw her. She is a real pocket rocket that has a lot more to come. My aim one day is to represent Great Britain and ride around all the 4* possible.”
Other section results: BE100 Section A Edie Campbell, Fireball F; BE100 Section C David Doel, Jumbos Question; BE100 Open Section D Laura Smith, Upsalls Tia Maria; Intermediate Novice Section E Ferdinand II; Novice Section H Kevin McNab, Corbally Light; BE90 Section I Josh Moore, Funny Boy Fortuna; BE90 Section J Emma Godfrey, Eros IV; BE90 Section L Martin George, Lets Dance III.
Photographs courtesy of TB Photographic