Keysoe (1) kicked off their 2015 eventing season on 09 May 2015, running 24 sections, over 5 courses over 3 days!! Saturday 09 May saw 3 sections of 100’s, 1 section of 90’s, 1 Novice and 1 open Novice section. The dressage was mainly on surface, with 4 arenas being run on the new dressage arena’s that Keysoe put in a couple of years ago. The warm up is on grass, and the arenas are well out of the way of the show jumping and cross country to provide a quiet, peaceful environment to hopefully get a relaxed horse and a good score!
The SJ is held on the massive outdoor surfaced arena, creating a show jumping course that flows beautifully and has lots of space. The BE90 course consisted of only 8 numbered fences but with 2 doubles and some curving lines, which sometimes caught both horse and rider out, which resulted in a fair few rails being rolled. The one stride double at fence 4 walked incredibly long, with many horses chipping in another short stride. Fence 7 was proving influential, a brightly coloured oxer dressed with flowers & foliage that moved with the breeze, causing horses to look and spook. In addition, fence 8 was a flimsy upright which fell often! The 4 strides between 7 & 8 caused its fair share of problems.
A lot of work has been done on ground of the cross country course over winter, and it paid off! The ground was possibly the best it has ever been at Keysoe, and lots of competitors commented on how well the ground held up. The cross country course was great mix of technical fences and single up to height fences with clusters of jumps for the heights along the 5 courses. All the courses have been ‘toned down’ a little from last year, where the new course was big, bold & technical! A splattering of time faults were found over all courses this time, and no one fence caused problems in particular, but the BE90 house on the mound at 10 seemed to catch some out!
With it being Badminton weekend, not many of the top event riders attended Keysoe (1) however multiple riders Simon Grieve received two top ten placings, and Matthew Wright grabbing two wins, a 2nd and a 7th. Anthony Clark was the star of the show, taking 8 rides, 7 of those all in the top 6!
The is no real busy, large show atmosphere at Keysoe, the café & onsite shop are alongside the show jumping arena, with a delightful terrace to sit and watch a few show jumping rounds. Tigga’s Sadderly were in attendance in the lorry park, along with another small trade stand. Rider Videos also came to Keysoe for the first time, and their cameras could be seen dotted round the XC course. If anyone wants to purchase their round, go to http://www.ridervideo.com.
Barry Meningen, local event rider at Meadow Lane Equestrian stated about the BE90 ‘whilst it seemed to offer some questions, there were a good lot of clears. There was a fairly substantial corner but due to its location and dressing rode very well, which I thought was nice to give the younger/inexperienced horses the opportunity to jump a decent corner and get it right. The final combination (fence 14ab) of open rail, up a slope to another open rail on a slight curving line seemed to cause some issues when the first rail was occasionally over jumped causing a bulging line to the second part which encouraged the odd run out’
First timer to Keysoe Sarah Ginn stated ‘We were super impressed with how friendly, efficient and organised the entire event was. Everything was run to time and the atmosphere was so relaxed.Loved how spacious the warmups were and how close everything was to the lorry park. The xc flowed really well and had a great mix of technical fences and single up to height fences, the ground had been well maintained and rode really well. A great venue, superbly run, we will definitely be back!’
Franki Jarvis, who won BE100 section M said ‘The course rode very well, very flowing and educational for the younger horses like Baloo who are still learning their job! The fences were very well presented, all smart with attention to detail, with good, well treated ground! All in all a lovely day’
Report by Rachel Cabson
Photography Courtesy of Lorraine Porter