Lily Good reports..
Over the weekend competitors battled the forces of Storm Hannah in true eventers style, at the ever-popular Withington Horse Trials. With sections ranging from Novice to Advanced, including a CCI-SP2* class.
On Saturday, the Intermediate and Advanced sections ran, with the OIu21 kicking off alongside the other Intermediate sections at 8am. The OIu21 was won by Felicity Collins and Glasker Sweet Clover, adding just 2 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 23.2, to finish on 25.2. Felicity commented to Eventing Worldwide “There’s always enough to jump at Withington and the courses are up to height and galloping, bold horses that are quick across the ground are usually rewarded. The time was tight as it always is but Glasker Sweet clover aka Shane is a good smooth galloper and very brave, and because the ground is so good I could let the handbrake off a little in between. He’s recently stepped up to 4* level feeling confident but gets quite buzzy in the big atmospheres at the big events, so we thought bringing him back to a quieter atmosphere (although the winds weren’t exactly relaxing!) for a nice run. It really worked as he was much calmer and more rideable in all 3 phases and felt pretty much perfect the whole day. He’s the biggest trier and has a heart of gold, we’ll be aiming to consolidate him at 4*-S. With the view to move him up to 4*-L later in the year, it would be great to take him to Blenheim. His owner lovely Caroline Crowther and I both adore him and are excited for his future!”. Last year’s Junior Individual Silver Medallists Heidi Coy and Royal Fury took 2nd place finishing on 26.9 just adding 0.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score.
Intermediate Section B was headed up by Jesse Campbell aboard Diachello II who added 4 cross country time faults to their dressage score of 25.2. Tom Rowland finished in 2nd place riding Carver Doone, finishing on a score of 32.5. Emily King achieved an elusive double clear inside the time on Kings River to finish in 3rd place, finishing on their dressage score of 33.9. Rosie Fry and Aunt Augusta were victorious in Intermediate Section C who with a quick cross country round adding just 0.8 time penalties still held their lead even with 4 faults show jumping to finish on 33.7. Craig Barr finished 2nd aboard MBF Dassett Legacy adding 4.4 cross country time penalties to leave them with a score of 35.1, and Grace Taylor and Game Changer finished in 3rd on 35.4.
The Open Intermediate sections proved hugely competitive as always. Gemma Tattersall posted an incredible dressage score aboard Quicklook V of 15.5 which allowed her room for 10.8 cross country time penalties to still take the win in Open Intermediate Section D. Alex Bragg took a close 2nd place finishing on 27 riding Hester, whilst Kylie Roddy and SRS Kan Do finished 3rd, just adding 3.2 cross country time faults to their dressage score of 25. Open Intermediate Section E was won by Pippa Funnell and Billy Beware who added 5.2 cross country time penalties to an impressive 20 dressage. Laura Collett finished in 2nd on a score of 27.5 aboard Calmaro, and Gemma Tattersall had another successful result finishing 3rd, this time aboard Jalapeno III.
Two Advanced sections ran in the afternoon, one combining the Au25 qualifier, this was headed by the hugely successful young rider Bubby Upton and Fernhill Rockstar. Bubby commented to Eventing Worldwide “Every time I compete Fernhill Rockstar he never fails to put the biggest smile on my face and he did exactly that at Withington! He really is just so special to me and I don’t think I’ll ever ride a horse again who tries as hard as he does for me. He’s only a tiny horse and Withington is a very big and tough Advanced but he always goes out and gives his all. I was delighted to win the U25 class especially after he showed his very cheeky side in the dressage!! I always love competing at Withington as you know that the XC is going to really test all your training but the course rode amazingly and all 3 of my horses gave me a great feel around the track and although they were tested by the track they still always felt so confident”. Bubby also took 4th place overall with another ride Cannavaro and Richard Coney finished 5th on Kananaskis. Vittoria Panizzon was victorious overall riding Borough Pennyz, with a clear win, 10 penalties ahead of 2nd place on 35.7. Vittoria also finished 3rd in the other Advanced section, aboard Super Cillious with a finishing score of 51.1. Attington based Austin O’Connor was victorious in this Advanced Section riding the talented Colorado Blue, adding 10.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 34.
Sunday saw the Novice sections run, first up, the hotly contested ONu18 which was won by Tom O’Bryan aboard DHI Du Rouet, they were the only combination in the section to finish on their dressage score of 25.8 and led from start to finish. Tom commented to Eventing Worldwide “My aims with Merlin is to get him confident at intermediate so I’m going to Aston then Rockingham in the coming weeks to do the OIu21 there. My main aim for the end of the season is to get a 3* done. I really enjoyed doing Withington as it is my local event and over the years I’ve driven past it and always wanted to compete there so to finally get that chance and to win was unreal. Merlin performed really well yesterday giving me an amazing xc round to come home inside the time to end the day on a high”. Amelia James finished in 2nd place riding Couraguneen Jennie, adding just 1.2 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 28.5. Izzy Hall and Greenvale Altered Image were close behind in 3rd finishing on 31.8.
Open Novice Section I was headed up by Giovanni Ugolotti aboard Obos Cooley who finished on their dressage score of 27. Laura Collett finished in 2nd on a new ride Sober Up, adding 3.6 cross country time penalties to her fantastic dressage score of 23.8. Laura also finished 3rd in Novice Section J on another new ride Moonlight Charmer. Imogen Gloag finished on her dressage score of 29 to land 3rd place aboard Quitus De Louan. Novice section I was won by Will Rawlin, who piloted Ballycoog Breaker Boy to finish on their dressage score of 24.5, just ahead of Andrew Nicholson and Damaso who added 5.6 cross time penalties to an impressive 21.3 dressage to finish in 2nd on 26.9.
Novice Section K proved particularly competitive with the top 3 all finishing on their sub 30 dressage scores. Izzy Taylor came out on top with Ballyfore Oh Man with a score of 22, followed by Jesse Campbell and Appalachia on 25.3. Izzy also won Novice Section M riding Kalypso Du Buisson Z finishing on 25.3, closely followed by Michael Jackson aboard PSH Surprise who finished on his dressage score of 27.8.
The second Open Novice Section of the day was headed up by Alice Pearson riding Word on the Street who completed on their dressage score of 28.8. Lucy Jackson was 2nd aboard Celus D Ermac Z who finished just behind on their dressage score of 29.5.
The final section of the day was the annual CCI-SP2*, which always proves a tough competition. This year Ibble Watson was victorious riding Bookhamlodge Pennylane who just added a 4.4 time penalties combined, across the show jumping and cross country to take the win on 32.5. Ibble commented to Eventing Worldwide “I was thrilled with her she was class, she performed amazingly and just keeps fighting”. Finn Healy was 2nd aboard his sister’s previous European Pony Team Gold Medallist 2018 ride Midnight Dancer II, just adding 1.6 penalties to his dressage score of 32, to finish on 33.6. Freya Partridge finished 3rd with Master Macky on 33.8 after 4 faults in the show jumping and 2.4 cross country time penalties.
Once again Withington proved to be a fantastic event, with equally good ground and brilliant organisation.
Images courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography