Three days of top eventing at Great Witchingham
More than 500 horse and rider combinations descended on Great Witchingham over the weekend for the first of the popular Norfolk venues international fixtures.
Three days of competition saw riders compete at most levels of British Eventing, from BE80(T) through to Advanced Intermediate, including a competitive CIC*.
Emily Young Jamieson was victorious in the CIC* riding Gortime Tommy T. This success follows on from their seventh place in the CIC* at Aldon the previous weekend. A dressage score of 44.5 put the pairing in contention as as did a clear round show jumping. In the cross-country only three riders made the optimum time of five minutes, but with just 3.6 time penalties it was enough for Emily, who set up EYJ Eventing three years ago and is based at Rabson Manor near Marlborough, to take the win by 0.3 penalties on a score of 48.10. Hannah Bates came in second with Cooley Mexico (48.4) with Christina Henricksen taking third with Cayr Della Caccia (48.5).
Emily, who previously worked for Lucinda Fredericks, told Eventing Worldwide; “The win at Great Witchingham was a great start and I aim to keep working hard to try to deliver this result consistently. I now have a very secure training programme in place with all my horses with Andrew Fletcher, Jeremy Scott and Jon Pitts, which I feel is the key to achieving and improving. To come out at the beginning of the season with an international win, after a good winter of training hard with these top coaches, really gives me the confidence to put everything I can back into the training programme. This I feel, is the key to a good performance. I have an exciting team of young horses, which all have a tailored competition plan that is suited to their individual needs with some exciting international fixtures this year.”
Lindsey Fraser and Beekdales Chaos took their first affiliated eventing win in taking victory in BE90 Section P. Lindsey, who is studying to become a veterinary nurse, only started competing at BE events last year and she has owned Coco for five years. Unfortunately, lameness had prevented them from eventing but the pair are now enjoying being competitive. The pair were lying third after the dressage with a score of 29.3 and a double clear boosted them to take first.
Lindsey told Eventing Worldwide: “I was so pleased with how Coco went at Great Witchingham – she performed a beautiful test in the dressage to pull off one of our best scores yet. I couldn’t have asked for any more from her to finish on our dressage score. My goal is to ride at Badminton grassroots, and having come first at Great Witchingham we are one step closer to our goal.”
Seventeen-year-old Gemma Wellings continued her fine start to the season, with a win in BE100 Plus Section K with Drumaclan Diamond D. This was their second win of the season, having taken victory at Poplar Park in the BE100 Under 18 Class. With a double clear at Great Witchingham and a dressage score of 25.8 the pair secured victory by 5.5 penalties.
Gemma told Eventing Worldwide: “It has been a fab start and feels amazing to have all the winter training pay off. I am planning to give Secret confidence at Novice and successfully step up to CCI*/CIC* and intermediate.”
Mitsubishi Motors Cup finalists continued their preparation for the Grassroots championships with wins at Great Witchingham. Whilst James Pratt took his second win of the year with Churchside Reflection in BE100 Section F, Daisy Dollar and Bronsa King started their 2017 campaign where they left off last year by winning BE100 PC Section J.
Caroline Smith had a successful weekend at the event. Not only did she won BE80(T) Section U with Fenomeen L and BE100 Open Section G with Toces Bright Lass, but she also picked up a fourth in BE90 Open Section S and a fifth in Intermediate Novice Section O (Brother Barnaby and Cundlegreen Birthday Girl).
Tom Jackson also took home two wins – in Novice Section M with Court Casper and in Open Novice Section N with Fizz V. Fellow British riders Sarah Bullimore and Ros Canter also took a win a piece – Bullimire with Corouet in Novice Section L and Canter in Open intermediate Section B with Pencos Crown Jewel.
Meanwhile Irish Olympic team member Mark Kyle have his Rio mount Jemilla her first run since last summer, to win Advanced Intermediate Section C. Emily Baldwin piloted Uppercourt Cooley to a dressage score of 16.1 – nearly nine penalties ahead of other combinations – in Intermediate Section A before a steady double clear on their way to victory.
The organisers thanked all those who helped put on the three days of competition adding: “what a great pleasure and relief to pull off three sunny dry days of great competition on really super spring going.”
Other section results; Novice Section D Phoebe Buckley, Tiger Mail; BE100 Section H Lisa Clarke Spence, Eyebrook Cosmos; BE100 Open Section I Nicole Mills, Arden RI; Intermediate Novice Section O Tina Canton, Owe Two; BE90 Section Q Emma Lee Smith, Barnys Diamond Smuggler; BE90 Section R Mollie Harris, Bannview Black Bess; BE90 Open Section S Katie Barber, Diamond Mine; BE90 PC Section T Charlotte Roberts, Fourstar Buck; BE80 Section V Vicky Watts, SGT Roberts.
Photographs Courtesy of Sue Westmoor