Report by Vera Porter
Great Whitchingham International Horse Trials is held at Blackwater Farm, Norfolk, organised by Robert Sayer.
Once again the event was very well supported by competitors over the 3 days, ran a varied program from BE80T through to CIC*. There were several new XC jumps, which were well received by most riders.
Thursday started the proceedings on a slightly murky day weather wise, but this was brightened by the appearance of Andrew Nicholson, his second event after his fall at Gatcombe last year. He took 1st and 2nd in the Advanced Intermediate Section C with Avebury, owned by Rosemary Barlow, and Nereo owned by Deborah Sellar. Both horses are 16 years old but looked amazing and stormed round the XC with Andrew in his usual style. He had everyone excited and pleased to see him back. [emember_protected custom_msg=’This content is only available to Members, to read more of this article please Join HERE or if you are a member please LOGIN‘]
The Intermediate Section A was won by Amsterdam II ridden by Jesse Campbell and owned by Gary Harding. Second place went to Felicity Collins with Rainsdown Frost, a horse that Team Collins have produced and Felicity calls her “super boy”.
The Open Intermediate Section B saw Francis Whittington take 1st and 4th with Cavalier Venture & Hasty Imp, the latter being entered for Badminton in five weeks time.
Mary Edmundson and DG Maradonna owned by Helena Packshaw won the Novice Section E – he was one of Mary’s eight rides over the weekend!
The CIC* Section D saw Susie Berry take 1st and 3rd with Morswood who ran a double clear AND Majestic Meg. Annie Ho, with the ride back on Baxo was second. The day finished with Tatiana Beckhmelnitsjaya riding Catherston Bit of Gold
winning the BE100 Section F on their dressage score of 28.5.
Friday was a glorious sunny day and saw Alice Hallows take 1st in the BE100 Section G riding Newferry Irish Mist owned by her father Michael, who was also competing. The BE100 Section H was won by the pretty bay mare Madame Butterfly IV owned by Julia Westmoreland and ridden by Sophie Miller with a brilliant 13.5 dressage and just 0.4 XC time fault!
Phillipa Cross and the lovely 14 year old skewbald Happy Voyage won the BE100 Section I with a dressage of 26.8 BE100 Plus, whilst BE100 Plus Section J was won by Rachel Holden riding Martel. It is the pair’s second win of the season having won a BE100 class at Lincolnshire and provides them with great preparation for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, where they will compete in the BE100 Final. Novice Section K saw a win for Sam York with Oakring Dalliance.
Mark Kyle took 1st and 4th in the Open Novice Sec L with Kilronan Classic on a dressage of 33 and Just Otto on a dressage of 35.3 Nat Dixon riding the lovely stallion Hot Party Juice won the Intermediate Novice Sec M.
Saturday was extremely windy but the classes all ran well. Caroline Bridge and Eldyno won the BE90 Section N, and James Pratt with Churchside Reflection took the BE90 Section O with a 24 dressage. This was a mother combination to have their second win of the season, winning previously at Poplar Park, as they prepare for the BE90 final at the Mitsubishi Motor Cup.
Solo XII ridden by Emily Taggart had a brilliant 19.5 dressage with 1.6 XC time faults to win the BE90 Section P. It was a close call BE90 Open Section Q with Caroline Smith and the 14year old Brother Barnaby getting 35 dressage and therefore just beating 17year old News for You ridden by Jo Meningen who had 35.3. Rachel Cawley was 3rd riding the 5 year old King Louis III. Rachel was delighted saying it was the best result in a proper BE90 after 13years.
The Pony Club BE90 classes were great to watch, hopefully some future stars here. Section R was won on a 31 dressage by Rosie Lawrence riding the skewbald Cavalier Harlequin. Greta Mason had 1st and 4th in Section S with Cafre First Melody and
Tinkers Pearl, both owned by Sarah Winfrey.
Kathryn Woolley and Oberonza won the BE80T Section T on a 27 dressage, whilst BE80T Section U saw a 1st for Christina Higgs with Millers Glen, she also took 2nd in the Sec T with Toblerone III.
The event was very efficiently run, but also had a lovely relaxed feel, although several riders with 5 or more rides probably didn’t feel it. One with 5 was Claire Fielding who was over the moon with 5 double clears and results of 5th, 6th and 8th. Another with 5 rides was Susie Berry who quoted that they all went well and to come away with a win and 3rd in the International class was fantastic.
Simon Grieve said that Witchingham is a staple of his season and that the courses with their changes flowed better this time. He also said that Traveller Royale has really come into himself and tried really hard. Speaking of his spectacular dismount he said: “I’m annoyed with myself for not getting back on Rutman quick enough after our fall on the flat, as without the 2 time faults he’d have won. But a third is pretty awesome too.”
Photography courtesy of Lorraine Porter