EVENT REPORTS – Belsay

Sarah Carless reports..

More than 450 entries were made for Belsay Horse Trials with horses and riders competing in 17 sections across the weekend in classes from BE90 up to Open Intermediate. 

It was a successful weekend for Eventing Worldwide supported rider Harry Mutch who won Novice Section B with HD The One, who was only competing in his third Novice. 

He told eventing Worldwide: “I had a brilliant two days at Belsay. HD The One did a nice dressage followed by a foot perfect double clear to win. I also took HD Bronze and Ramilo to do the Under 21 Intermediate. They both did good tests and jumped clear show jumping to be lying first and third. But as they are going to Bramham we decided not to run them for cross country. I also had a new ride CocoSilvano in the BE100. He did a nice dressage test and a lovely double clear to finish 11thin our first event. I’m incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic team of horses who are on top form.”

 The Novice Regional Final was won by Nicola Wilson and Elite Jaguar. The pair, won every single competition in 2017, have already made a successful step up to Intermediate being placed in the top ten in each of their runs at this level. At Belsay they won on a score of 30.9, putting them 4.3 penalties ahead of the rest of the field. 

Eilidh MacAuley made it three wins in a row when she took victory in Open Novice Under 18 Section C with Casper Z. The pair previously won at Floors Castle and Kirriemuir, and also placed third at Northallerton. Eilidh hopes to be part of the Scottish team competing at Frickley Park National Under 18 Championships in July and hopes to compete in her first one star with Casper at the end of this season.

She said: “This was our first Novice this season and only our second novice together. Casper has exceeded all expectation already so far this season by winning the 100u18 classes at both Kirriemuir and Floors Castle, so set the bar high for himself early on showing me he was ready for the step up at Belsay. My hopes for the event were to just have a happy confidence building day for us as a combination and I wasn’t planning on being competitive at all but when Casper pulled out a 22.8 dressage I decided to push him a bit and ask him some more questions than I thought I would. He pulled out a scopey clear showjumping in a fairly busy atmosphere and completely flew the cross country. After planning to give him a easier round taking wider lines and some extra time to figure out fences he became more and more confident, eating the course up like an old pro so after around fence 4 I decided to push him on forwards and he was incredible. I could really tell he was enjoying himself as he was taking bold fliers at almost every fence and never doubting anything I asked of him. We ended up finishing on our dressage score and winning by 7 points, it was one of my favourite Eventing experiences so far! I would love to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in the running of such a lovely event and I will definitely be returning next year.” 

 Charlotte Dennis had a very successful weekend at Belsay, including a win in the Open Intermediate Under 21 Section H with Darrango. Her other results including third in Novice Section B (Caunton Well Connected), third in BE100 Section O (Foxpark Poppy) and fourth in BE100 Section O (Venezuela). 

She commented: “I had such a lovely time at such a friendly and well-run event. I was so pleased with Django’s win. He was super all day which is all I wanted and to win was just the icing on the cake. I will plan on running him at intermediate and 2* this year. He is so talented and it finally all came together on the same day. All my horses were and great form and it was so lovely to have some good results.” 

 Kirsty Cordner rode Goulane Swatchey Boy to victory in BE90 Section L. Smurf was bought as a project last year and this was the pair’s second victory this year having won at Northallerton on their first affiliated outing together. 

 Kirsty said: “He was very green when I got him, so a lot of hard work has gone in and he is really becoming a fab horse. To win at Belsay was brilliant. It is very local to us and one of my favourite events. My sister Beckie who is a vet also rides Smurf and is competing him next weekend in the BE90 at Kirkley Hall.” 

Elizabeth Ostle took her first British Eventing win with Glaramara Luca in BE100 Section O. She bought Luca from her riding instructor four years ago and has bought the horse through the levels. 

She told Eventing Worldwide; “I have been bringing him on myself as my one horse of a lifetime that will take me everywhere I want to go as I work full time. I have struggled with him over the past couple of years as he gets very stressy at competitions especially in dressage and collecting rings. But finally this year he seems to be growing up and it all came together on Sunday. I can’t thank Louise Smales and Susie Gibson enough for putting up with us. Honestly it still hasn’t sunk in and I don’t know whether I’m more excited or relieved. It was my first time at Belsay and I loved it. My plan is to do a Novice by the end of the year but I will see if I’m brave enough.” 

 Jamie Atkinson took a one-two in BE100 Section J. he won with IGW, making it their second win in a row having taking victory at Warwick Hall (1), and second place with Hallo Quality Penny. He had a winning margin of 4.5 penalties and also took fifth in the class with Cooley Empire. 

Jennifer Lange won the ROR Shield having finished seventh in BE100 Section N with Desdamona whilst Pippa Nixon, winner in BE100 Section P wotj Wyndham Spring Watch also won the Mowdenian Award for the highest placed student or alumni from Mowden Hall School. 

Other section results; Novice Section A James Adams Bejewel; Intermediate Novice Section E Zoe Rymer, Bishophall Golden Beach; Intermediate Section F Sam York, Oakring Dalliance; Open Intermediate Section G Jessica McKie, Ask the Boss; BE100 Open Under 18 Section I Amy Ross, Cians Boy; BE90 Section K Rebekah Reay, Saffron IX; BE90 Section M Sebastian Roldan Olivera, Shadow Sapphire; BE100 Section N Laura Ritchie Bland, HTS Hobson Dee; Novice Section Q Sophie Wall, Primitive Pronto. 

Photographs courtesy of Emma Scott

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