This weekend saw the opening fixture of the Baileys JAS winter series at Bury Farm (10 January, Buckinghamshire). With many former JAS Champions out in force and hoping to secure qualification, the competition was fierce with very few penalties separating those at the top of the results table.
Last year’s BE90 JAS Champion 14-year-old Heidi Coy from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire made an impressive start to her 2015 JAS campaign, taking the spoils in the BE90 level class aboard her own nine-year-old mare Riversdale Magic Heart after posting a style mark of 10.00 and a fault-free jumping round. The combination had a successful season in 2014 together, including competing at the National Saddle Centre BE100u18 Championships at Weston Park in the autumn, where they finished 16th. The pair added to this win with a second place in the BE100 level class, and Heidi also enjoyed top 20 placings in the BE90 and Novice level classes with two other rides.
Two more of last year’s finalists completed the top three in the BE90 level class, with 21-year-old Sophie Forbes from Southend-on-Sea, Essex finishing just behind Heidi after posting a style mark of 11.00 with her own eight-year-old gelding Tricky Johnie, while Grace Turberville-Smith partnered her own 15-year-old mare Indianapolis into third after adding just one time fault to their style mark of 12.00.
18-year-old Lara Sharrock from Checkendon, Oxfordshire pipped Heidi to victory in the BE100 level class aboard her own eight-year-old mare Roxanne VII, adding just one time fault to their style score of 10.00. Second and third places saw a tie in the final scores, but two time faults and a style mark of 12.00 meant that last year’s finalist 13-year-old Bizzy Loffet from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and her own nine-year-old mare Starflower finished in third behind Heidi Coy and Riversdale Magic Heart.
In the Novice level class, last year’s Champions 39-year-old Southerly Roberts from Hartley Wintney, Hampshire and her own 10-year-old mare Tinx secured their place in this year’s final after clinching the win with a style mark of 10.00 and a fault free jumping round. Last year’s finalist 21-year-old Georgina Wood from Reigate, Surrey partnered her own 10-year-old mare Symmetry into second place after picking up four faults to finish on a score of 14.00. Making the step up the levels was the combination crowned last year’s BE100 level Champion made up of Kylie Roddy from Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire and her own and Melise Blunstone’s Guzzi, who finished in third after adding a rolled pole and four time faults to their style score of 9.00.
After finishing just outside the top three in the Novice level class, 15-year-old Richard Coney from Grantham, Lincolnshire went on to be victorious in the Open class, picking up six time faults to finish on a final score of 16.00 aboard his own seven-year-old gelding Kananaskis. Two of last year’s finalists completed the top three, with 15-year-old Amy Hulls from Market Harborough, Leicestershire piloting her own nine-year-old gelding Roswat Sparrow into second, carrying on their impressive form from the 2014 season during which the combination finished in the top 20 in their first international 1* competition. 46-year-old Caroline Dyer from Ashbourne, Derbyshire and her own nine-year-old gelding Fernhill Bright Echo added four jumping and eight time faults to a style mark of 13.00 to place third.
Sarah Bullimore who formed the JAS judging duo with Di Ames commented on the standard of riders: “It was great to see that the standard of riders has improved again, it keeps on getting better year on year. The series has been running for a few years now so riders seem to know what to expect.
“Whilst there were both less experienced and more experienced combinations taking part, it was great to see all of them out and about preparing for the season ahead, and although it is very early on lots of combinations looked on song for starting the season well.
“My advice to riders heading out on the JAS circuit would be to ensure that in both phases your horse is in good balance, and to keep your upper body soft and in tune with your horse.
“I also like to see a marked difference between the showjumping and cross country phases. In the showjumping make sure you have a good rhythm and as there is no time limit make use of the space available, and then in the cross country start to think about the time aspect and make the appropriate change of pace.”
This year for the first time, both the Bailey’s JAS and Jump Training Final will take place on the same weekend at Hartpury College (Gloucestershire, 21-22ndFebruary).
Visit the JAS pages for more information on the competition and to see the full list of fixtures.
Interested in improving your show jumping technique? Take a look at the Jump Training series from British Eventing on www.britishevening.com/jumptraining or book onto a clinic in your area through www.britisheventing.com/training/courses
Upcoming Baileys JAS dates:
Saturday 17 January – Merrist Wood, Surrey
Sunday 18 January – Hartpury College, Glos
Saturday 24 January – Solihull, West Midlands
Sunday 25 January – Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire
For more information on the series sponsor visit www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk