Report by Suzi Stanner
Held at The College Equestrian Centre near Bedford competitors were treated to some new fences on the cross country as well as the chance to watch the show jumping from the sunny veranda, while Badminton was on the television in the café.
Saturday started with BE90 and it was a win in section A for Megan Ephick and [emember_protected custom_msg=’This content is only available to Members, to read more of this article please Join HERE or if you are a member please LOGIN‘]the 10 year old mare Miss Lara who completed on their dressage score of 31.3 ahead of Kate Dodd and Voxx Trot Oscar in second and Max Gordon riding my Kilbeg Cloud in third.
In BE90 open section Daisy Proctor and Johnny Cash completed on 31.5 with Margo Sly and Little Newmarket Bob in second. Third place in this section went to Bravo Bellissimo ridden by Julia Dungworth.
Philippa Cross posted two sub 30 dressage scores on her two rides in BE90 section C and took the top two spots. Corrnafest Charlie, a 15h 8 year old gelding, beating the Billy be Cool 5 year old mare, Cool Blue by just .8 of a penalty. Clare Surl and Grafelles finished in third, in 5 year old mares first BE event.
Elise Howard’s mare Just Dilly has been steadily improving in her placings in her first season BE and, having been fourth at Oasby, third and Great Witchingham (1) and second at Norton Disney (1), she finished 5 penalties clear at the top of BE90 section D. Natalie Biggin and the five year old Dark Emperor finished in second ahead of Anthony Clark and Casterly Contender.
Competing in her first event of 2016 Tamsin Malone, who juggles eventing around her two young children and running her own business, was ‘thrilled’ with Gems Dixie who finished at the top of BE90 section E. A super dressage score of 25.3 (including Tamsin’s first ever 9 and 10 marks) was followed by a pole in the show jumping and a clear round cross country just one second over the optimum time. The combination now have two regional final qualifications and will try to qualify for the 2017 Mitsubishi Motors Cup. Second place in this section went to Fiona Lundy and Castielle with Georgina Brown and Coolatuder Buck in third.
In the first of the BE100 sections, section F, Hannah Norvill and Castletown Clover finished just two seconds over the optimum time to complete on a score of 24.60 ahead of Helen Wilson and National Dilema, who have finished in the top four at each of their events this season. Third place went to Castledown Connorm, a 6 year old gelding ridden by Tottie Jones.
Sarah Arrowsmith and Brother Bertie, headed BE100 section G completing on their dressage score of 27 ahead of Isabel White and Quite Something. Phoebe Buckley and the 6 year old gelding, Tiger Mail, rolled one pole in the showjumping pushing them from second to third.
It was close at the top of BE100 open section H with just 0.5 penalties separating Becky Morrish and Kilsallagh Cathal who took the top spot and Tina Canton’s Just a Game in second, both horses participating in their first events of the 2016 season. Emma Littmoden and Tradesman finished third.
Saturday concluded with four sections of Novice competition which were dominated by Andrew James and Matthew Wright who each picked up three top three placings. Section I was won by Andrew James and Lady Donnerhall, with Matthew Wright and MHS Twenty Twenty in second. Joe Wise and the 7 year old Frangelico finished third.
Section J was won by Mary Edmundson and the 6 year old gelding DG Maradona, ahead of A Sunny Bay, providing Matthew Wright with his second top three finish of the day. Having won section I, Andrew James completed in third place with Francesca’s Rock.
Section K, the Open Novice, was won by Imogen Gloag and Brendonhill Doublet who came to Keysoe following a run in the OIu21 at Hambeleden International in April. Second place went to Andrew James and Lapdancer, with Kazuma Tomoto in third with Tacoma Dhorset.
Just seven competitors contested section K1, the Novice Regional Final and Steve Garrod posted the only sub 30 dressage score to win with Ufonzo. Matthew Wright finished in second with DHI Okey Cokey ahead of Ian Wills and Fallulah.
Sunday was a similarly busy day with competition at all levels from BE80(t) to BE100 across eight sections.
In the first of four BE90 level sections Maxine Smith and Astra Millers Dream completed on their dressage score of 25.8 to top the leaderboard. Scott Wallace and Dycho also completed on their dressage score in second, while Lilly Sturmey added penalties for being too quick across country to finish in third with Silvano Dazzling Diamond.
Jemma Cradock and Princess Razelle posted an impressive dressage score of 16.5 in BE90 open section M and jumped double clear, just one second over the optimum time to head the section. Caroline Bridge and Eldyno finished in second, ahead of Chloe Pearson and Switched On, taking part in their first event of 2016.
BE90 section N was won by Cheryl Hunt and the 7 year old mare Kas Silvana, with Nicole Mills and Fearless W, a 6 year old gelding in his first BE season, in second. Alex Mersh took third place, with the 14h 6 year old gelding, Blackwood Breeze, another in his first season BE.
Daisy Dollar achieved the best dressage score of the weekend, 14.3 in BE90 section O but 2.8 too fast time penalties across country pushed Brosna King to second, with the section win going to Kate Dorney and Cocu who completed on 16.8. Tina Canton and All Wrapped Up, competing in their first event of 2016, finished third.
It was a first BE win for Sarah Colgan and Machno Radience in BE100 section P, completing on their dressage score of 24. Sam Jennings and Indian Van Het Maarlo finished in second place, with Hannah Savage picking up third place by just 0.1 penalties on Ella Carthiloma.
Sam Jennings went one better in BE100 section Q to win with Monbeg Iguassu with Sophie Byford and the 14.1h gelding, The Texas Ranger, in second place. Anthony Clark took the third spot with Romeo IX, a 6 year old gelding who came to Keysoe on the back of two Novice runs at Norton Disney (1) and Hambleden International.
The weekend concluded with two sections of BE80(t) and in section R it was Iona Sutton and Kilcobben Edward who produced one of only 6 double clears to win ahead of Lisa Allen and Cesar Romeo. Jane Haskell and the 13.2 mare Furzley Fanfare picked up their highest BE placing in third.
Caroline Smith and Christina Heggs both completed on dressage scores of 30 in the final BE80(t) section S, riding Milo X and Toblerone III respectively, but the former finished 10 seconds closer to the optimum time. Tily Nutman and Charlies Riddle, who finished third in the pre-season Jump Training 80 Final at Bury Farm, completed with just 1 show jumping time fault to add to their dressage of 30.3 to finish third in the section.
Photographs courtesy of Lorraine Porter