New Forest pony takes BE80(T) Technical Merit award

Last weekend was another action packed weekend for BE80(T) level riders with multiple sections of the Airowear sponsored BE80(T) class at both Ascott Under Wychwood (Oxfordshire) and Berriewood (Shropshire).

One of this year’s main aims for British Eventing and Airowear was to reward good cross country riding at this level by introducing the Airowear BE80(T) Technical Merit Award. This award is given to the competitor who finishes nearest the Optimum Time for the cross country phase and who has not picked up any jumping penalties.

Last weekend Jane Haskell, a mortgage broker from Nottinghamshire achieved the Merit with her 138cm* New Forest Pony, Furzley Fanfaire at Ascott Under Wychwood, in what was the five year old mare’s first ever BE event. It was also Jane’s first BE outing since 2009 which was when she competed Fanfaire’s dam, Furzley Serenade.

Last weekend Jane and Fanfaire finished in 12th place overall on their dressage score of 42.5 as well as achieving the Technical Merit. Jane said of the mare, who was bred by her Aunt Sandra Kilford in the New Forest: “She was a very generous 21st birthday present from my Aunt who has bred a lot of successful New Forests. I am extremely lucky to have her as she is from a line that just love to work; I competed her mother in BD and BS competitions as well as Eventing and her five siblings all have gone on to great things in the showing world including several of them going to Horse of The Year Show.”

Of the Airowear BE80(T) series Jane said: “It was a great way to try out the sport for this mare as I know she enjoyed jumping from taking her arena eventing in the winter as well as some unaffiliated competitions when she was four. She really enjoyed herself at Ascott Under Wychwood last weekend – I heard that the Fence Judges all called her the ‘pocket rocket’ over the radios!’

“The BE80(T) Coaches on hand were really helpful on giving me tips to get her concentrating on slowing herself down ahead of our dressage test and were also really encouraging for everyone leaving the Start Box.

On winning the Technical Merit Jane commented: “She is so speedy and rushed in the dressage that it is great to be rewarded for clear jumping rounds. I will be bringing her out probably another six times at BE80 level this season so I will definitely try and aim to achieve the Merit again.”

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