Sarah Carless reports….
McGoldrick takes two titles at JAS Finals
It was another action-packed schedule at Hartpury College for the Championship events of the British Eventing winter series Jump Training and Jumping & Style (JAS), sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds.
Rebecca Brady’s trip down from West Yorkshire proved to be worthwhile when she won the JT80 Championship after a last-minute decision. Rebecca and her own five-year-old Hawallie VDL were last into the arena and added nothing to their impressive style score of 10.5 to take a huge win over second placed Tegan Wood and Knockmanus Dusty. The pair finished on their style score of 16 with Sophia Marston and Meiklekims Secret completing the top three on a very close score of 16.5.
Rebecca said: “I wasn’t sure whether to come, but he’s been mega, it was worth it. He’s home produced and I wanted to improve with BE knowledge as he is a young horse.”
The JT90 Championship went to the first rider into the arena, 14-year-old Kate Prendergast and her own 14-year-old Kilpatrick Cassius. Kate put her 16.5 style score down to a lucky charm in the form of Emily King’s jodhpurs which she got from her after the rider demonstration hosted by Baileys the evening before the Championships. Second in the JT90 went to Katie Stephens Grandy with Mr Music with Anna Bunce and Huckleberry I finishing third.
Kate said: “I’m very proud, he’s so honest. I got all double clears at BE last year, I find the winter training really useful and it’s great here to get help in the warm up and feedback between your rounds.”
The JT100 Championship was won by Jane Bettles and Claudia Nacke’s 12-year-old Gold Rush IV, who is known as Bubbles at home. A style score of 12.5 kept them just 0.5 penalties ahead of Jenna Good and Trewithian Hawkeweed who despite a very low style score of just nine added four show jumping penalties to finish on a total of 13. Emma Dainty and Sun City II secured their third spot with a style score of 14.5.
Jane told Eventing Worldwide: “I was reasonably confident that Bubbles would be up to the challenge of jumping a couple of clear rounds at the finals. However, she is a little opinionated at times, which isn’t always helpful in a competition judged on style. Overall, the tightness of the score shows just how high the standard of riding was, and in the end, it was down to an unlucky pole to decide between first and second.
For the forthcoming season, Jane plans to establish Bubbles at Novice level with the aim of competing 1* towards the end of the year. She told Eventing Worldwide: “Both judges were very helpful. Nick Gauntlett only tweaked a little bit in the warm-up to ensure the mare is focused and balanced with a good canter coming out of the corners. Jonathan Chapman had given very good advice in the course-walk, especially regarding the double, which really helped in negotiating the course. His main advice for my second round was not to override and take too much action on the approach of the smallest fence on course, a little up-right going towards the exit. These inconspicuous up-rights are my personal nemesis and his advice was gratefully received. To say I am delighted with the result would be an understatement.”
Jumping and Style
More than 250 combinations took on the 2017 JAS Championships across six levels of competition – BE90 to Open Novice.
It was a bountiful weekend for Natalie McGoldrick as she was victorious in both the BE100 Open and Novice Championships on her own Tricky Johnie. Clearly not living up to his name Natalie, who is a full time equine vet running her own practice in Hampshire, piloted the 10-year old-gelding who she has owned since last September to a style score of just eight penalties in the BE100 Open and went four penalties better in the Novice Championships to win on an incredible style score of four. Natalie’s second horse Galant IV also placed tenth and fifth in the BE90 Open and BE100 finals.
Natalie competed at two of the JAS series qualifying rounds – Wellington and Merrist Wood with Tricke Johnie and Galant IV and was placed each time out, with a total of eight placings.
Natalie told Eventing Worldwide; “I’m over the moon. He’s a very talented, yet very easy, horse. You don’t have to touch his mouth, so he’s always in a lovely rhythm. To win the 100 Open was very special, but to win the Novice on my style mark of four, will take a while to sink in! I can’t wait to get out eventing now.”
Behind Natalie in the BE100 Open, Eve Hobbs rode into second and third places with Wye Valley Fabristeard and Fivale Indian Art respectively. In the Novice, Georgina Horseley Gubbins and Ellas Melody took second with Amy Louise Harris taking third with Bachelor Boy.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Insley lifted the title in the BE90 Championship on her own six-year-old Doire Mhianaigh Rocky, also known as Bob, thanks to their style score of just seven penalties. Flora qualified for the finals at Wellington.
Flora told Eventing Worldwide: “I was delighted to win the 90 class – I was not expecting to do so well against so many other competitive combinations. I really enjoyed competing at the finals, it was a great experience and also a good way to prepare for the upcoming season. I have had the now six-year-old Bob since a four-year-old and have had the pleasure of producing him. He is an immensely talented little pony; he just has springs in his feet and jumps for fun. This season I hope to crack on with some more 100s and hopefully step him up to Novice soon. He’s definitely one to watch for the future.”
Jenna Good and Trewithian Hawkeweed enjoyed a successful weekend adding the BE90 Open JAS Championship to their runner up prizes from the Jump Training 100 the day before. Jenna, 14, and her own eight-year-old gelding finished on their style score of just seven penalties, some five penalties ahead of their closest competitors. Eleanor McFarlane ride Monbeg Hero to second with Emily Finston and Comanche Colours taking third.
Charlotte Whitmarsh and Crannagh Lad finished second to Flora with Izzy Hall finishing third with Uncle Monty, who then went on to win the BE100 Championship ahead of BE90 Open Champion Jenna and Trewithian Hawkeweed in second and Beth Norman and Wellham Mile High in third.
Laura Walkden rode her own Cointreau WV to victory in the Open Novice. The Chorley based rider has owned Cointreau since he was a five year old, and the pair added just one time penalty to their style score to take the win, with Saffie Osborne (Little Indian Feather) and Southerly Roberts (Tinx) in second and third.
Laura told Eventing Worldwide: “I smiled all the way home last night and am still smiling now. I didn’t have any expectations going into the finals. Cointreau has a great jump but it was our first time doing the open novice class and I would have been happy with a clear round but to win is fantastic. The very generous training voucher should really help us progress this season to hopefully do a few intermediates and possibly a CCI*. I am planning to start the season at Burgham at the end of March and work towards some intermediate runs during the season.”