British Eventing Winter Series January Round-Up Part 4

Sarah Carless reports….
 
Ian Start EC – Jump Training 
 
Competitors in Scotland were put through their paces at the Jump Training competition at Ian Stark EC. Katy McFayden and Hawkmoon Lady Luck topped the JT90 class. The JT90 class was won by Sarah Mills Brown and Balhagarty Perfection – their first affiliated outing, whilst Jemima Cross and Ebony were the victors in the 100cm class. 
 
Keysoe – JAS
 
Katie Cameron came away from Keysoe with a double of wins on board Call Me Kev, with the pair winning both the BE90 and BE100 classes. Katie Wrennall made it a winning start to a new partnership on board Teachmor Joey, winning the BE90 Open and also coming third in the BE100. 
 
Daisy Bathe and Alfie XI were victorious in the BE100 Open section. Daisy, who is aiming to do Pony Trials in the season ahead told Eventing Worlwide: “I have always enjoyed the JAS competitions and to win on Alfie was amazing. We only got Alfie just before Christmas so it was a really good class to get to know him before the event season.”
 
Laura Watson and Gotcha PSS were victorious in the Novice class. Laura has had a number of injuries over the past 12 months but now she has fully recovered she hopes to be competitive in 2018. 
 
Laura told Eventing Worldwide: “My friend Kerry Smith and I bought Gotcha from New Priory Stud. She had been ridden for them as a four-year-old by my friend Laura Mantel and she is now rising seven. In the 18 months we have had her she has done very little competitively as first I smashed my collarbone, then seven days after I had it repaired had a fall off my bike in the French Alps so bent the metal – my surgeon wasn’t impressed at the fact I was riding anything so soon after the first fix. So, had to have all the metal out a few months later. Then just as I thought it was full steam ahead, I tore ligaments in my knee. So, it’s been a steady time playing about and training which hasn’t done Gotcha any harm. She is so much stronger and her brain is more settled and with me! Her brain used to spend a lot of time away with the fairies. This year we aim to be as competitive as we can be Novice and One star. I like the series as its great education for the less experienced horse before the season starts. Always helps with the winter blues to be out and eventing in January.”
 
The Open Novice was won by Daisy Minter and Another Island. 
 
Mendip Plains – Arena Eventing 
 
Sue Barr and Chilli Ocean were the winners in the 80cm class. This was the home-bred Nemo’s first affiliated event. Sired by Chilli Morning, Nemo is now eight years old and stands at an impressive 17.2hh. 
 
Sue told Eventing Worldwide: “I started breeding event horses about nine years ago, after realising I couldn’t afford a made horse. I had met Chilli Morning at Nick Gauntlett’s yard and with his striking good looks I was smitten – he reminded me of a horse I had been fortunate to loan in my teens. As Nemo looks very like him, I finally had my dream horse. I now have a full brother at home (Oceans Edge) and his sister (Pentires Chilli Edge) was the highest ever scoring youngster at Futurity whilst his dam (Heligan) is top of the breeding ranks.  I am an amateur, with a full-time job and family and have produced the horse from scratch, so I am incredibly proud. I thought the arena eventing series was a great way to introduce us both back in to affiliated competing, after a long break to have my son. I wanted to be competitive and do the best job I could for him, but as he is so big and has been super spooky, I suspected the time would be tight. I had an amazing ride in the howling wind and rain, he was firing on all four cylinders. I came out of the ring delighted with him.  It was one of those rides we all hope for. We were so cold and wet we didn’t stay until the end of the class but I popped back later in the day as we had lent another competitor a bib, which was left at reception. When I saw the results, I was blown away to see he had won, just so incredibly proud of how far we have come in all of our eight years.  We are looking forward to a fun season eventing and the championship later in the month, although I hope we don’t let the nerves get the better of us.  We are hopefully heading to Moreton and after a frustrating few years of not being out between the flags, I am really looking forward to a fun season enjoying a horse I have waited a very long time for.”
 
Twelve-year-old Heidi Ford had been planning on taking Squire of Cranstoun to Mendip Plains. But it was a last-minute substitution ride with Contessa III that gave her a win in the 90cm class, as well as taking second place. 
 
Heidi’s mother Nicky told Eventing Worldwide: “We travelled with a last-minute substitute entry for Squire as he saw the chiropractor Friday and couldn’t go. Heidi twisted my arm to let her compete my mare, Contessa III whom she has never jumped a cross country fence on before. She jumped her double clear and was the only one inside the time to win the class. She also rode her new Irish pony of four weeks, Clonaltra Acorn, who also did a double clear with 0.8 time fault into 2nd place behind Contessa! It was another great day thanks to organisers, helpers, sponsors & BE.”
 
Camilla Drewett was the winner of the 100cm class with Do I Don’t I. 
 
Rodbaston – Jump Training 
 
Thirteen-year-old Lucy Bednall piloyed 12-year-old My Grey Melody to victory in the JT90, and also came third in the JT100. Lucy has ridden Mylo for three years and this year they will be heading to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup final in May. 
 
Her mother Joanne said: “Lucy was so happy to win, she has been trying to qualify for the championships for a while. The jump training is so good, the feedback from the trainers was so helpful. Mylo can be quite spooky but the trainers put Lucy at ease and I think that helped Mylo stay calm as well.”
 
Camilla Hardie piloted Kellythorpes Adonis G to victory in the 100cm class. Bailey will be six this year and is by Amour G. Having won the 80cm class at the same venue last year, it proved to be a lucky venue for Camilla as shw was also second in the 90cm class. The pair are aiming to compete at BE100 by the end of the season. 
 
She commented: “It was great to track our progression by returning at the next levels. It’s a great competition for getting not only guidance in the warm up, but feedback on jumping rounds. I did find it really hard to break my bad habits in my second round and sit up more as was Jeanette’s advice.”
 
Katie Stephens Grandy and Cheeky Bandit were the winners in the 80cm class. 
 
Bishop Burton – JAS 
 
It was a family affair at the JAS fixture at Bishop Burton as mother and son took a victory a piece. 
 
Sixteen-year-old Edward Bradley and Little Jimmey topped the field in the BE100 whilst Elise Bradley won the Open Novice with Finnigans Gold. 
 
Elise told Eventing Worldwide: “We had a great day. We love the series as it gets us back out there and in the arena in front of people and jumping before the season starts. We both set out to jump nicely and don’t go for speed but keep turning and riding nice lines. My sons pony is fantastic but can take a dislike to a fence so we use this to make sure Edward is riding and in charge and not taking anything for granted. My horse is just so willing and honest and I use it to make sure I am switched on and get back into jumping. It’s also a good measure of where winter training is. As always it feels good to win but more importantly felt good as the horses went so well.” 
 
Wiz Warde-Aldham piloted Lux II to victory in the Novice, having come second in the BE100 earlier in the day. The pair predominantly show jump but Wiz dabbles in eventing alongside her sisters, whilst her parents own Frickley Hall which hosts Frickley Park Horse Trials. In fact, the combination won a BE100 section at the event in 2016. 
 
Wiz commented: “I’ve had Lux for 3 years. I did the JAS just for a bit of fun so it was great to win. He’s fantastic at cross country and is very speedy so it seemed like the perfect combination for him. This year I’m aiming to qualify for the Bronze league at Horse of the year Show and the Winter Novice at Hickstead on him and more than likely do the event at home.”
 
Elicia Race and Cho Cho Pio were the winners in the BE90 Open Section whilst Freya Kendrew and Easter VII scored another victory in the BE90. The BE100 Open was won by Connie Gill and Movie Star II. 
 
Wellington – Arena Eventing 
 
Natalie Blake and The Irish Archer were victorious in the 90cm class at Wellington. Claire Lewis and Beckham II were the winners in the 80cm class whilst the 100cm class was topped by Eve Trainor and Jarhetts Gold.