Sarah Carless reports…..
Hartpury’s first JAS fixture of 2017 once again proved popular, attracting more than 180 entries as eventers sought to benefit from the winter indoor series.
Ard Racket ridden by Deborah Bateson took victory in the BE90 class, who she describes as an overgrown pony with a ridiculous amount of personality. Deborah is a chartered human and equine physiotherapist from Cirencester and is based at Talland School of Equitation.
Deborah commented: “Usually JAS is his favourite competition of the year and we have qualified for six finals now in the last seven years. Just a week before Hartbury he decided that he would test me at Merrist Wood JAS and we had our first ever downing tools in both classes at the wall. I was slightly worried that he’d decided that he didn’t want to do JAS anymore and had decided I’d retire him from the series if he didn’t play ball at Hartbury. Fortunately maybe I rode better, mainly having the established canter or he just decided that he preferred Hartbury and he was fabulous. I Was absolutely chuffed to bits that he went so well. The time was very tight but his show jumping background helped with the tight turns. Sadly we had a plank down in the 100 but still managed to qualify for the final in eighth place. We will be eventing at BE90 this season and hoping to get some regional final places and if we can work on our dressage then Badminton Grassroots would be just great.”
Second in the section went to Beth Norrish and Coednewydd Pendragon with Mollie Downie and Cloudy Skies in third. Boy Romeo ridden by Harry Digwood won in the BE90 Open with Georgia King and Rathcline Dun Shadow in second and Tom Searl with Flash XIII in third.
Georgia King went on to win BE100 with Mojo IV ahead of Kirsty Camm with Escobar III in second and Henrietta Horsley-Gubbins in third with Trinity Cavalier in third.
Georgia commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to start the season with such a high. I was very impressed with Truffle (Rathcline Dun Shadow) who is owned by Holly Farr. He is only five and had never been to an event with that much of an atmosphere and also it being his first BE competition I was so pleased with how he went and feel so lucky to have got the ride on him. This year I hope to compete him at BE90 and possibly BE100 by the end of the year. Mojo who is an absolute one in a million pony was awesome and jumped so well and he was very pleased to be back out from a quiet time through December. I’ve owned him for nearly three years and I never thought I would get to this level on him! This year I plan to start the season with one BE100 then step up to Pony Trials on him. As well as this I hope to do the 100 Under 18’s on him with the hope of getting to Frickley Under 18 Championships in the summer. I’m so happy to have both Mojo and Truffle going to the JAS final and I’m very thankful to my trainers for helping me get this far.”
In the BE100 Open Class, Eve Hobbs scored two top three placings with victory on Wye Valley Fabristeard and third on Fivale Indian Art. Her two rides were split by Bizzy Loffet and Starflower in second.
Eve told Eventing Worldwide;” Winning at Hartpury was a perfect start to the year. Noffy was amazing. He loved being back in action after a well-deserved break, and the JAS series is perfect for pre-season training. The win has reminded me what an amazing pony he is and I wish that I was a year younger and a little smaller so I could have another year pony trialing on him. Let’s hope I can finish my time with him by doing well at the JAS finals.”
Megan Lawrence and Killney Ranger took the win in the Novice Class. Megan has had Whippy, a 14.2hh, eight-year-old, Connemara gelding for two years and aims to qualify for the Pony Club Championships later this year.
She said: “It’s a great confidence boost to start the winter events with a win, it gives you some hope for the season to come. Luck was on our side, given that we have only attempted a class of that height once before. He’s quite a nervous character, so we’ve had to do a lot of work working through his issues, which makes it even more enjoyable to have it all comes together! This season we plan to make the step up to novice, after having a few confident runs at BE100 level and we hope to qualify for the Pony Club championships again this year.”
Second place in the Novice went to Sophie Rushton with Georgia King and Mojo picking up another top three placing with Mojo IV.
Florence Finzi and Bonnie were victorious in the Open Novice class with Alex Norris and Treffers coming second and Southerly Robert and Tinx in third.