Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
The sun shines on a busy weekend at Keysoe.
Bryony Skinner repots ….
The College Equestrian Centre welcomed over 650 competitors during the hot sunny weekend of 25-27th August. Riders enjoyed the glorious sunshine and praised the going and well built courses.
The BE80(T) section X was won by Christina Higgs on her own Toblerone III. Christina commented “Toby is a 15hh 10yo spotty x cob gelding, whom my family has owned for about 6yrs. He was actually bred for driving but he grew too big, so he was broken and sold to us as a 4yo. He was purchased for my mum, Sandra, who had lots of fun doing dressage, pleasure rides etc, however, Toby prefers life in the faster lane, with his favourite pastime being jumping; both of which my mum is not so keen on!! I took Toby on about 3 1/2 yrs ago, initially to get some jumping experience under his belt to then find him a new home…but he’s never left!! He successfully started BE in 2015, at BE90 level, but because of his size and breeding he finds the BE80 time much easier to achieve and has therefore done that for the last 2 seasons. In 2016/2017 he has had 3 wins and 2 seconds in just 7 outings, never being lower than 6th. Toby is such a happy horse who absolutely loves everything about life and tries his heart out in everything he does. My other horse is an ex-racehorse, who is starting to move up the BE levels & doing very well at BE90 and BE100. I feel very lucky to have 2 wonderful horses to compete, who are complete opposites but both of whom try their heart out and have given me a brilliant few seasons, with hopefully more to come. Keysoe is one of my favourite venues and both the courses I did on Sunday (BE80 and BE100) were beautifully built, inviting and educational, and rode very well.” Christine also came 5th in the BE100 section Z on Millers Glen.
First place in the 4 yo section V was taken by Noah Brook on IGW, who completed on their dressage score of 27.3. Noah also came 6th in the BE100 section Z on Fabulous Grafelass. Noah commented: “IGW is owned by Annie Bellomy who has produced him since she purchased him from Brightwells. Annie rang me last weekend to ask if I would have him for the week and take him to Keysoe, as she was going to Mill Street in Ireland, where she ended up winning the 1*. He’s a mega youngster with all the talent! So so smart. I want to keep him! However, Annie will carry on the ride.
Fabulous Grafelass is owned by Katie Brownbridge who also owns a 6yo I ride who was 8th at Burgham 1* and 8th at Gatcombe novice champs a few weeks back. Both horses are by Grafenstolz and she bred them both! He’s a super smart 5yo who normally marks better in the dressage but the judge at Keysoe obviously wasn’t keen! He’ll go up to novice soon and is already qualified for Osberton.
It was a well run event, the xc was testing enough for the youngsters but also kind. Well maintained ground and gorgeous weather!”.
Jo Hickman Dunne took the win in the BE90 section Q with Jamaica Man W, adding only 0.8 time faults to a very good dressage score of 24.3. Jo commented “Jamaica man (‘Boo’ to his friends) is a 16yo polish warmblood. I’ve had him since he was 5. He was my pony club pony (OBH North) so is fairly well versed in eventing but we have never really done BE, just unaffiliated. He hasn’t been out doing much for about 2 years as I’ve been so busy (I’m a PhD student at Loughborough uni), so I thought I better get him out whilst he still loves his job and I don’t have a real one! He is the kindest person and tries his heart out. You can always rely on him to do a good test and he is so consistent – although I made a few mistakes so was pleasantly surprised by my score! He is a little tricky to SJ as he often comes out a bit spooky and looking like he has never seen a x-pole before, but he jumped his socks off on Saturday! The XC was great – a well built course with some lovely jumps and enough questions to catch some out. He can get a bit keen and loves to gallop, so I often have to waste time setting him up for fences. At Aston a few weeks ago, the course was quite short and close together, and we got a time fault, so I thought I better kick on at Keysoe – but the course was a lot more open and I was too quick! It was great fun and nothing was a problem. Now we have our clears at BE90, I’ll move up to BE100 – I’m aiming to do the UA at Burnham Beeches at the end of Sept, and then Little Downham BE100 in Oct.
The 5yo section K was won by Jessica Watts on A Sportsfield Cayenne, who completed on their dressage score of 27.3. Jessica said “Sportsfield Cayenne is a 5yo by Porsch, this was his first BE100 and we think a lot of him and hope he is a very special horse for the future. The course rode really well, was inviting for the baby horses but with some educational questions for them. The ground was fantastic. He will do one more BE100 before heading to Osberton for the Young Horse Championships at the end of September”.
Many riders were kept busy over the weekend competing on many rides across classes from BE90-Intermediate. Piggy French had a busy and successful weekend, taking first place in the 5yo section L on Emerald Jonny and also first in the Novice section O on Templepatrick Cooley, completing on a dressage score of 26.3. Piggy went on to take 4 other top ten placings.
Having just returned from her successful trip to the Europeans, where she took individual 5th place and was part of the UK winning team, Ros Canter had another successful weekend at Keysoe. Ros commented on her facebook page on both days: “Well it’s back to reality with 12 horses out eventing this weekend, but what a day we have had at Keysoe to kick it off. 4 wins from 4 horses, all posting double clears! Spring Ambition won the OI with a 25 dressage, and then Mermus R Diamonds and Monarchs Little Imp both won their Intermediate sections. Not to be outdone, 5yo Lordhsips Graffalo won his 100 section. Back to Keysoe tomorrow for some more great courses and fantastic ground!……..Another successful day at Keysoe…Jamakin Faer Trial qualified for the 5 year old championships with a 3rd place, Rehy Royal Diamond continued his great form with a 2nd in the Novice, and Grafics and Shannondale Nadia came 5th and 6th in their 100 sections. Sunshine, lovely courses and time with my supportive owners makes for a happy day all round!”
The BE100 section Z was won by Max Warburton, riding The Rag Man and finishing on a very good dressage score of 20.8. Max commented on Facebook, “ The Rag Man was a star today winning the BE100 with a classy double clear and a dressage score of 20.8. Massive thanks to the team. Pro trainer, groom and driver Spencer Sturmey. Assistant trainer Katharine Lowe”. Max also took 2nd place in the ON on Samarkand.
Andrew James was another rider to have multiple placings throughout the weekend, taking 1st place in the Novice section A on Celtic Morning Star, 3rd place in the Intermediate section D on Cool Chica and 3 other top ten placings. Andrew commented: “We had a great time at Keysoe which is our local haunt. We had 6 out of 6 in the top 10!
Celtic Morning Star is owned by Michele Harris and I used to event his mother up to Intermediate level before she became a brood mare. After Nick Gauntlett won Blair on Chilli Morning I thought he was special and asked if we could use him.
Joey was naughty as a baby so I’ve had him since he was 2, he is now 6 and is aiming for Osberton 6yr old champs.
Cool Chica is our own horse and he’s heading for Waregem for the 3* later this month.
Angus Smales has done a great job turning Keysoe around. The courses flow and the ground is great now. Everyone else must think the same as the popularity of the event seems to be growing.”
Other winners: BE80(T) section W – Rachel Ovens, Ice Breaker III; BE80(T) section Y – Samantha Gray, Homeleigh Wildchild; BE90 Section R – Ella Caton, Escobar II; BE90 section S – Issy Sykes, Sir Bingo; BE90 section T – Sarah Hildebrand, Cooley Rubble; BE90Open section U – Lucy Haycock, Silver Viking; BE100 section G – Ros Canter, Lordships Graffalo; BE100 section H – Dag Albert, Tattygare Never Let Me Go; BE100 section J – Julia Davis, Freetime IV; BE100 section I – Owen Cooper, Dora The Explorer II; BE100Open section Z1 – Victoria Povey, Coogee Storm; BE100oU18 Section M – Sophie Byford, Hyde Park III; Novice section B – Owen Cooper, Cash Casino; Novice section N – Simon Grieve, Wallstreet VB; Novice under 18 – Iona Sclater, Foxtown Cufflynx; ON section C – Gemma Wellings, Drumaclan Diamond D; ON section P – Hannah Norvill, Magic Roundabout IV.
Photographs courtesy of Jessica Phipps