Ruth Gregory reports …
Weston Park held its annual October event over the weekend with classes from BE80(T) to Open novice, including the exciting Rowan Barbury regional team challenge championship, the Equine 74 Central North West BE80(T) challenge final and regional final classes with that all-important qualification for Badminton Grass Roots next spring.
Janet and Vicky Plant and their team battled against the Autumn showers to make sure these competitive sections ran but unfortunately had to abandon Sunday’s competition with no let-up in rainfall Saturday night.
The Rowan Barbury regional team challenge is a new super fun class provided by British eventing this season. Regional teams made up of all ages from all-over the country, even as far as Scotland, come together to battle it out on the Shropshire soil in their bright colours, provided by Super X Country, in the aim of being named BE90 team champions.
Triumphing on this occasion were the South West team made up of Hannah Doyle, Diana Pinney, Jasmine Bigg, Janine Paterson and Emily Reddaway. The team in their lucky bright green colours bagged 3/5 double clears to fend off the second placed East team and third placed North Wales and West Midlands for the top spot.
South East team member Philippa Hendry bagged individual glory with Cloonerlara Summertime. Whilst, South West team members Hannah Doyle and Tarka IV had to settle for runners up spot by only 0.5 of a penalty. Making up the top 3 was fellow South West team member Diana Pinney riding Wexford Pimpernel.
Philippa bought the mare as a six-year old from her breeders in Ireland back in 2013 for her daughter. They went on to be successful in eventing including 5th place at the Pony Club Championships.
“Fortunately for me she lost interest just as my eventer went lame, so I thought I would go and have a bit of fun on her little one!
She has exceeded all my expectations and as well as our win at Weston Park, she qualified for Badminton Science Supplements Cup 2020 at her first attempt. She is the easiest and more consistent pony and has never had a day sick or sorry in her life.
She is by the legendry sire Templebreedy Fear Bui and everybody tells me that I must breed from her!”
Weston Park also held the final for The Equine 74 Central North West BE80(T) Challenge. It was a winning Weston Park debut for Serena Allery and Pocket of Silver as they were crowned champions after jumping a faultless double clear to finish on their dressage of 26.0.
“The ground was very deep, but he tried so hard for me. He’s a very excitable horse, to get to the dressage you had to cross the cross-country twice. We spent 10 minutes in the middle of the cross-country looking like an Arab stallion with his tail straight out whilst I convinced him that he did have a dressage first. He just loves his jumping.
I have dressage training with Anne Ratcliffee and we’ve been working on him being more relaxed in his dressage so he can work more through his back. He seems to be improving now, although I did have to calm him down first.
I was really pleased with his dressage score, the test felt really good and it was great to get such a good mark. I’ve had him for two years; he’d never done a dressage test before and couldn’t even canter!
The cross-country was longer than most but we both really enjoyed it. It was very well presented with a good mixture of fences. The prizes are wonderful and it’s very generous of Equine 74 to have sponsored the class. The navy rug looks gorgeous on him being grey!”
The section was very close with less than a penalty separating the top 3. Jayne Money and Dudley Light came a close second finishing on 26.6, third placed Anna Wills and Aiolos Reuben also jumped double clear finishing on 26.8.
During the BE90 regional final section C Vicki Ardern and Silver Cloud III bagged their ticket to Badminton by adding nothing to their dressage mark of 23.3 to top the section. Lucie Stokeo and Dolores II were leaders from dressage posting an impressive mark of 22.0. They picked up a handful of time penalties to drop them to second but still secure their grassroots ticket.
Whilst in the other BE90 regional final class Elizabeth Page riding Belville Clover also claimed their qualification by winning section D. The pairing only did their first event together last October and since have scored top results, including two wins and no placings outside the top 10 at any of their events this season.
Unfortunately with the Sunday cancellation the BE100 regional final qualification classes didn’t run but they’ve now been rerouted to Aston Le Walls on Saturday 26th October.
BE80(T) section H; Renee Holland, Spice V; BE90 section A; Daniel Titterton, Vision B; BE90 section B; Julie Jones, Lucky Pursuit; BE90Ou18 section F; Lilu Diggle, The Juggler III