Ruth Gregory reports ..
The hugely popular event at Kelsall Hill, hosted it final event of the season running from Friday to Sunday. The event saw mammoth entries of over one-thousand competitors, across BE80T to OI sections. The organisers, ran by Phil Latham and Jane Whitaker, worked tiredly to ensure; despite the challenging weather conditions, that the weekend lived up to expectations and that the Captain Mark Phillips designed course ran smoothly.
Triumphing in the OI section, sponsored by Equine 74, were Yasmin Ingham and Buckle End Bertie. “Bertie was fantastic from start to finish,” said Yasmin. “He produced a lovely accurate test, where he scored 24.0.” The pair then went on to just double clear to finish best in their section on score of 40.0. “I have been working really hard on his showjumping recently, so I was delighted when he jumped clear as it had been causing a few problems.” The meaty cross-country track also caused a few issues, but Yasmin and Bertie stormed around, incurring 15.2 time penalties, “He flew around the cross country, the ground was really good and the course was fun to ride around!” It was only their fifth event together as Yasmin gained the ride on the ten-year-old gelding in May. Her next plan is to run the gelding at Oasby as a last run of the season before he has a short break, “I hope to step him up to 3* next year, which is exciting!”
Lucy Robinson had an exceptional weekend taking the top spot in two intermediate sections, “I can’t put into words how amazing it is! To have my first intermediate win and then two in one day is pretty surreal.” She piloted her own, Red Jazz to victory in the Graham Heath Equestrian sponsored, section P on a score of 39.5. “I have had him since an unbroken five-year-old so to have produced him myself to this level,” said Lucy. “The win definitely makes all the hard work pay off from the very beginning.” Their win follows a good run of form from the 15.1hh gelding this season as they finished second in the OIu21 at Aston-Le-Walls, and fourth at Catton Park earlier in the year.
Kelsall hill based, Michael Owen, and Metropolitom, came a close second with a score of 39.8. Whilst the newly crowned World Champion, Rosalind Canter finished fourth on board Rehy Royal Diamond.
Lucy’s other ride Rle French Clover, owned by Allen Bell, took the Graham Heath Equestrian sponsored, section O title with a final score of 39.4. “He’s stepped up from BE90 to intermediate in our first season together, so to have a win is incredible!” The pair only picked up 4 show jumping faults and 2.0 cross country time penalties to add to their score, leaving them 6 penalties in front of second placed Hannah Bate and Galvinised. “He is a cross country machine!” Said Lucy.
Bonnie Fishburn and Mr Precision, won the novice section F, adding only 0.8 cross country time penalties to finish on a score of 31.3. Close behind her was Oliver Townend, who finished second and third in the section with Arklow Puissance and K Gondolat.
The open novice section H title was claimed by Emma Lawton and Mantra. “I’m absolutely over the moon that we won,” said Emma, “especially as Kelsall and considering all the extreme weather that we had.” They put in an almost faultless performance adding only 0.8-time penalties to their dressage of 32.0. “He was faultless all day and was a pleasure to ride!” The pairing have had a good run of results this season, including a third place in the CIC* at Brand Hall, and seventh last weekend in the u21s 1* CT at Blenheim. “It means so much to have produced him myself as a 5yo to 2* level,” says Emma, “we only decided to do the open novice as a nice last play out of the season!”. Emma is hopeful for next season having recently gained the combination’s 3* qualification, “I’d love to get him back out to do some 2*s next year, maybe even go abroad and aim for a 3*!”
It was another successful weekend for Robyn Gray, who won the BE100 section K with the five-year-old gelding, Boleybawn Cedric, owned by Martin Richards. “This horse has a lot of potential to win all season,” says Robyn, “but today was the first time he felt relaxed enough to let me ride him in all three phases, so got the best out of him on the day.” The combination lead from start to finish with a faultless performance to add nothing to their dressage of 23.8.
The BE100Ou18 was won by Jessica Smith and Muliebrile, with a faultless double clear to finish on 34.3. Whilst local rider Abbey Rimmer, claimed both second and sixth place. “I’m extremely pleased with them!” Abbey finished second on board My Knockilree Conquistador, a horse she’d only briefly sat on the week before, the pair only added 3.6 cross country time penalties to finish on 34.9. It was also only her second event on Grenanstown Covers. They jumped a foot perfect double clear with a handful of time faults to finish on a score of 42.0 for an eventual sixth placing. “Both are new rides for me,” said Abbey, “so we were hoping for two nice rounds, to come away with double clears and placings really topped it off!” It’s not quite the end of the season for Abbey and horses yet though, “I’m now aiming to step them both up to Novice before the end of the season as they found it so easy!”
Images courtesy of FRW Photography