Georgia Dixon Reports …
The start of the 2017 event season is now underway with the first week on January proving busy with Arena Eventing and JAS competitions going on up and down the country. Houghton Hall had their first fixture last Saturday, the 7th January; putting on the first competition of the Arena Eventing Series. Houghton Hall is set in Cambridgeshire.
15-year-old Summer Nicholls won the AE100 class with her 7-year-old Skewbald gelding, Alfie XXVI. Summer has been trained by John Bowen since she was 9 years old and the combination completed their first Novice class together at the end of last year. Summer told us; “We finished the 2016 eventing season on a high, completing out first novice together at Oasby, this year we are continuing on the Pony Programme and aiming to compete in our first Pony Trial in March, with the goal of being invited to ride at Brand Hall in June.” Winning the AE100 class at Houghton is a very good start to their 2017 campaign and they are a combination in which we are sure to keep an eye on as the year rolls on.
Beth Norman and Welham Mile High took 2nd place in the AE100 class, with Sophie Hyde and Shannondale Oso coming in at 3rd. James Foxton had a good day in the AE100 class after placing 4th and 5th. James came 4th aboard Tambourine Man II and 5th riding Selected For Me.
Maddy Young took the win on Boris Bradley in an extremely large AE90 class. There were 50 entries altogether for this class with only 13 of the riders jumping clear. Maddy also won the AE80 class on Aughnacliffe Patchy.
Sarah Jane Blackhouse and Clea Louella took 2nd place in the AE90 class. Jade Mills has started her second affiliated year off to a good start with Wodan IV after placing 4th in the AE90.
As well as coming 2nd in the AE100 class, Beth Norman and Welham Mile High also took 5th place in the AE90 class. Sophie Hyde and Shannondale Oso who came 3rd in the AE100 class also placed in the AE90, coming 8th.
There were 36 combinations in the AE80 class altogether, however there was only one winner, who was Maddy Young and Aughnacliffe Patchy as mentioned above. Oliver Kidner took 3rd and 4th place in the AE80 class, 3rd riding Rush On and 4th on Frenchfort Daisy. Both are new rides for Oliver, with Rush On being only 13.2hh and Frenchfort Daisy being a 2011 14.2hh mare.
The 2017 season has gotten off to a flying start with entries for the first events now only days away, the Arena Eventing season is a great way to prepare. Well done to all of the riders who competed at Houghton Hall.