Rika Nile reports….
Hartpury College held the first of British Eventing’s winter Jump Training series, marking the start of the year and the countdown to the 2017 season. With feedback and guidance from BE coaches Richard Evans and Anne Marie Taylor, three sections were held over 80, 90 and 100 courses to qualify for the finals next month.
Riding instructor and full time groom Steph Lynn and Crystal VII took the honours in the JT100 section, after receiving an 18.5 style mark which left them in a good enough position to stay ahead despite four faults in the jumping.
The cob cross mare has been owned by Steph for nine years, and initially started out as a project until she realised how special she was and their eventing career started with success. Steph commented: “In 2012 we had qualified for a regional final but two days before she injured herself in the field and was given a very bleak prognosis by the vet. Four years later we qualified for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Dauntsey.
“Winning the jump training was a complete shock! It was such a useful way to prepare for the upcoming season as I find show jumping my weakest phase. Being able to jump the same course twice with a trainer on the ground was so useful. Crystal is my horse of a lifetime and I am so excited about the season ahead!”
Behind Steph and Crystal VII in second place was Jess Blackford and Vieuw Point, who also took 4th in the JT90 section, with Sophie Nicole Ball and Tillamook Tristan finishing off the top three in that section.
Sophia Marston and Meiklekims Secret won the JT80 section after they were the only ones to receive and finish on a sub-20 style mark in the section. Their mark of 19 put them ahead of Hannah Hall and Jap who added nothing to their style mark of 22.5, whilst Alice Tregoning and Homer delight took equal third with Amy Sweet and Benny Banassi on 25.
The lowest style mark of the day went to JT90 section winners, Katie Thomas and Cefnpant Iolo, who made the step up and went one better on their second place in the JT80 section at Hartpury’s Jump Training event last year. Their score of 13 left them four marks ahead of Alice Tregoning and Homer Delight who picked up another placing, with Sue Greenaway finishing third with Vinnie IV on 19.5.
The remaining Jump Training events take place at Houghton Hall, Bishop Burton, Richmond, Rodbaston, Berkshire College, Golden Cross and Wellington before returning to Hartpury in February for the Championships.