Report by Sarah Carless
This weekend’s Pure Feeds Larkhill Horse Trials attracted entries in excess of 550 horse and rider combinations, proving once again to be a popular spring event.
The event, on Salisbury Plain, is well known for its good going, and despite heavy rain putting paid to many events running, Larkhill went ahead on good ground.
Steve Heal almost didn’t make it to[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‘] Larkhill after sitting on the hard shoulder for an hour in a broken down lorry. However the journey was worth it when he picked up a win in BE90 Section L at his first event with Mississippi II. The pair scored 25.0 in the dressage and added 2.4 time penalties for a speedy round across country to take victory. The five year old mare, who stands at 17hh, is owned by Jayne Smith and Ellie Amey.
Steve told Eventing Worldwide: “It was a very eventful day and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it there at all! She didn’t do anything last year other than a few unaffiliated jumping shows. She is a fairly new ride to me due to Ruby (Steve’s other horse) being off for the season but I’ve know the horse for a couple of years and the owners for a long time. She has a great temperament and is bred well so hopefully has the potential. She will do a mainly BE100’s this year and our aim would be to qualify for the 5 year old championships at Osberton. It’s a very positive start and I am going to try and continue that.”
Tom McEwen was kept busy over the weekend with eight horses competing. Tom, who has recently moved yards from Badgerstown to Gatcombe, had four top ten placings with the best coming in BE100 Open Section O with CHF Cooliser – a win at her first event. He also had second placings with The Magician (BE100 Section N), So Amazing (Novice Section A) and Splash of the Irish (Novice Section B). Afterwards he said he “had such a brilliant two days at Larkhill this weekend.”
Zara Brewer collected her win of the season, this time partnering Leagaun Wild Boy to victory in BE100 Section N. A double clear saw them finish on their dressage score of 32.5 – a 1.8 penalty winning margin.
Zara told Eventing Worldwide: “Jonny is an awesome pony, who has quickly excelled eventing. He started to prove this at the start of his career and end of last season, competing at 90 and quickly progressing to 100 going double clear in all but 1 event where he got four faults in the show jumping. This year he has carried on from this well and has completed all his events double clear. A win at Larkhill has been his biggest achievement by doing a lovely test followed by an awesome double clear which were over two well built and challenging jumping courses especially in the conditions.”
Georgie Spence continued her good form with new ride Calvin Z with a win in BE100 Section G. The five year old gelding was previously ridden by Sara Squires, with Georgie now co-owning the horse with Molly Fisher and Lucy Fleming.
Sharing her delight on Facebook she said: “I am so lucky to have a horse like Calvin. Only our second event together and he led the dressage on 24.0. He had a couple of spooks and some of our transitions were a little early but overall as our second test together I was delighted with how our partnership is progressing. He was then a lot more feisty in the show jumping and jumped a great if not slightly wild clear round. Then went on to jump an easy clear XC inside the time to win. He’s a dream horse, as he’s very easy to ride and makes my job a pleasure.”
It was a win apiece for New Zealand’s eventing power couple Tim and Jonelle Price. Jonelle won Novice Section D with Obos Impressive whilst Tim’s win came in BE100 Section H with Falco IV, with a score of 19.3. Another member of the New Zealand High Performance squad to score a win was Jock Paget who was victorious in Novice Section C with Zazu – their second win at this level in 2016.
Section Results: Novice Section A David Doel, Cracker Jack II; Novice Section B Fiona Breach, SVS Chile Con Cooley; BE100 Section E Coral Keen, Total Belief; BE100 Section F Sarah Bainbridge, Shalara Passion; BE90 Section I Victoria Cook, Kings Chrystal Maze; ; BE90 Section J Elizabeth Mcnamara, Oldcastle Barbey; BE90 Open Section K Sam Jennings, Killags ZorroBE90 Section M Kathy Emery, Clearly Cosmic.
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Photographs courtesy of Phil J Photos