Report by Sarah Carless
Norton Disney provided grassroots riders headed to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup with warm up results they will hope to repeat at the Championships in May.
Having won her class at the Norton Disney event at the end of last season, Marie Graham and Cyono Ter Dolen repeated their victory in BE90 Section C. The combination are entered for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 class in May, and their win, on a score of 25, provided them with [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‘]great preparation for the final. Marie has owned Henry for three years, and ridden him for four having previously loaned him.
Marie told Eventing Worldwide: “As you can imagine it is absolutely fantastic to get off to a winning start- we finished last season at Norton Disney with a win and so to return and win again was absolutely amazing. This weekend’s run was a great confidence boost for both of us. I believe he scored the highest dressage mark out of all of the 90 sections which makes it even more pleasing as the ground wasn’t particularly to his liking although credit should be given to the organisers for doing such an outstanding job considering the awful weather which proceeded the event. Badminton has always been the goal since having my son three years ago. We just missed out on qualifying last year by one place. We had 3 qualifying rounds for this year but managed to qualify on our first attempt. We have one more event at Northallerton before heading down to badminton 8 days later.”
Another section winner heading for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup was Michelle Sampson and Rocket VII. They were the winners in BE100 Section J, and will compete in the BE90 Final.
Eventing Worldwide’s blogger Laura Jane Hayward continued her warm up for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, coming third in BE100 Section I with Stanhopes Travelling Man. Laura had three horses competing at Norton Disney and all were in the placings. She was third in BE100 Section J with Cover and fourth with Rockmills in BE100 Section H.
Clare Horton Smith continued her good form with Vidi Vici with a win in BE90 Section E. The pair have had three runs and collected a win at Oasby and sixth in the BE90 Open at Stafford. Clare bought Stanley as a three year old and has been enjoying bringing him on slowly over the last couple of years.
Clare said: “I work full time in a hospital and couldn’t leave early on Friday and so sweet talked the entries secretary into swapping me on at the end of the section to give me time to wash. I’m sure the better job I’ve done washing him gets me better marks – he is an eye catching blue and white. It’s my 3rd run this season having won Oasby and coming sixth at Stafford so my plan is to try to qualify for Badminton next spring. I’m very much an amateur and eventing is my hobby so having a championship to aim for is great.”
The winner in Novice Section M was Annie Bellamy riding Grafik III, a six year old mare which was homebred by her husband by the sire Grafenstolz. The pair won on a score of 33.4, having added 1.6 time penalties to their dressage score. The win follows a second place at Great Witchingham in a BE100 class in March.
Annie said: “It was her first novice and only her second run of the season. She now heads to Belton Novice and then I would like to run her in a few 1* before doing an intermediate before the end of the season. Ultimately I would love to get chosen to take her to Le Lion young horse championships at the end of the season. I have very high hopes for her – she is incredibly brave and careful and her dressage is improving all the time as is her rideability, although she can be rather sharp sometimes particularly warming up at an event. I would like to say what a fabulous job the organisers did at Norton Disney. The course was lovely and the ground conditions were as good as you could get anywhere with the amount of rain we have had. I am very lucky to have it as my local event.”
Section results: BE90 Section A Caro Hammond, Killaney Surprise; BE90 Section B Sean Mitchell, Major Combo; BE90 Section D Jemima Morris, Dohulla Boy; BE80 Section F Jo Wiper, Darrews Joy; BE80 Section G Charlotte Agar, Gambler VD Beekzijde; BE100 Section H Daniel Anderson, Thornhill Echo; BE100 Section I Emile Chandler, Poppys Law; BE100 Open Section K Peter Mellow, Waithside De Rebus; Novice Section L Lauren Shannon, Priorspark Passionate; Novice Section N Sam York, Oakring Dalliance; Novice Section 0 Jane Burton, Le Petit Diablotin.
Photographs courtesy of Tim Wilkinson – Eventing Images