Sarah Carless reports ..
Byford makes it three in a row for Byford at Horseheath
Horseheath played host to its first British Eventing fixture last weekend attracting more than 400 entries and praise from riders.
Laura Byford and Brooklawn Figaro were the victors in BE80(T) Section G, with a winning margin of 11 penalties. It was the third win in a row for Laura and Rory, having won BE80(T) classes at Chilham Castle and Little Downham (2).
Laura told Eventing Worldwide: I bought Rory over from Ireland three years ago as a six-year-old and it hasn’t been the easiest with him picking up a few injuries along the way. He is known for being a bit of a diva. This season didn’t get off to a great start after tweaking an old injury, so we dropped back down to 80 and have won them all. We are now entered for the 90 at Goring Heath so hope that goes as well. I think that HorseHeath was a very well run event. The cross country course was a good course for taking first timers around as you could just cruise round without worrying, although Rory thought it was great fun. It was also great for spectators as you could see the majority of the course from the whole show ground.”
It was another winning outing for James Pratt and Willy Limerick, taking the win in BE100 Section B to follow up their win in a BE90 Class at Great Witchingham International (2). This takes James’ tally of British Eventing wins up to seven this season. James is a freelance rider and currently has five horses competing in addition to William.
He told Eventing Worldwide: “I brought William as a four-year-old in 2011 and started to event him in 2012. He started really well but then became nappy and have spent the last four years trying to get him going. He’s whipped in for three seasons and competed at the British novice champs last year. He is no longer nappy and is currently on great form and has won his last two events. He will sadly now be going up for sale. I felt that Horse Heath was a very well fun event and will hopefully be a continued aspect of the BE calendar. For us coming from Suffolk it was very easy to get to. They had clearly worked very hard on the ground for the xc course and the course itself was well laid out and presented with a lovely new water complex which proved quite influential. If it runs next year I will definitely be going back again.”
Esme II was guided to victory by Mary Edmundson in BE100 Open Section D, the combinations second win of the season. Mary commented: “I so enjoyed riding at the first event at Horseheath and to win on our own homebred Esme II was the icing on the cake. The organisers had put in the most tremendous amount of effort on all aspects of the event which made it a thoroughly enjoyable day for all involved and I can’t wait to go back again next year. We’ve dubbed it the Barbury of the east.”
It was a comfortable win for Dudley Thompson and Celidh III in BE90 Section K. The combination who finished on their dressage score of 26.0 had a winning margin of 7.5 penalties.
Joanne Foley was victorious in BE100 Section C on a score of 26.9 on Mr Eric Coan’s Chakir S Z. She commented: “It is only his second BE100, and his first win. We’ve kept him at BE90 to allow him to mature and he now feels really ready for the 100 tracks. He really tried his heart out and made it feel easy.”
The event also raised £628 for the late Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.
Other section results; BE100 Section A Hilary Butler, Edward Bear IV; BE80(T) Section E Nicola McClure, Zippity Doo Dah; BE80(T) Section F Martin Wright, Kondennetty Clover; BE90 Section H William Bambra, Coco Bean; BE90 Section I Lisa Clarke Sepnce, Desert Fox III; BE90 Section J Emily Bradshaw, Confetti; BE90 Open Section L Caroline Smith, Brother Barnaby; BE100 Open Section M Victoria Bax, Albertas Rose.
Photographs courtesy of Lorraine Porter