Rika Nile reports….
Riders from across the country headed to Southfield House in Somerset, for the Nunney International Horse Trials.The popular South West event saw competitors tackle classes from BE100 to Intermediate over three days, as well as the Kingairloch Estate CIC**.
The 50 strong international field was headed by David Doel and Patsy Mason’s Mr Hiho. The combination finished on their dressage mark of 36.9, making David one of only four riders to get a sub-40 mark. The double clear was enough to give them the win after dressage leaders, Kitty King and Vendredi Biats, lowered a pole to add 4f to their 33.4 dressage and slip into 2nd place. Kitty also took 3rd riding Billy Bounce finishing on their dressage of 40, and was joined by Bonnieberry during their foot perfect cross country round, in support of Hannah Francis and Willberry Wonder Pony.
Gemma Tattersall and Chillis Gem finished 4th, also finishing on their 40 dressage, but ended up slightly behind Billy Bounce who was closer to the optimum time. Stella Benatti, another rider to have a sub-40 dressage with 37, and her ride Zaron just added a few time penalties cross country to put them into 5th, whilst Alexander Whewall added to an already successful weekend with a win (Novice section M) and two other placings, to finish 6th with Chakiris Star.
The youth classes at Nunney were well represented, with an ONu18, OIu21 and two BE100u18 sections. Lucy Hemmings and Duvel finished top of the leaderboard in BE100u18 section I marking their second consecutive win after taking the BE100u18 class at Pontispool a few of weeks before.
Lucy obtained a skiiing injury in the spring, which meant that Nunney was only her second event back in the saddle since. Their trainer Gubby Leech took over the ride whilst Lucy was off marking wins at Portman and Moreton Morrell making Nunney Duvel’s 4th consecutive win this season.
Lucy commented: “He is a truely awesome horse and hopefully has a lot more to come! I could not be more lucky to have Gubby train me and ride Duel whilst I was off and the improvement in both me and Duvel reflect how much of a massive influence he has been. The moment I heard my dressage score (24.3) I knew both we could do it, I just had to ride every fence as it came and hold my nerve!”
BE100u18 section J was won by Sarah Gormley and Golden Jubilee Splash, finishing on their 25.3 dressage score, ahead of Morgan Wyatt with Baylew Enigma and George Pennington with Ballymitty Mac in 2nd and 3rd. The ONu18 and OIu21 classed marked a first win this season for both Constance Champman and Chillout Baby and Alex Norris riding Minnie Moo.
Jason Hobbs picked up a double win in BE100 sections K and L with Rusticoats and Langarth Dilys. Rusticoats added just a single cross country time penalty to their dressage of 22.5, finishing just ahead of Spencer Sturmey and The Rag man, who added a single show jumping time penalty to the same dressage score.
Jason and Langarth Dilys took section L being closest to the optimum time after finishing on the same score as 2nd placed Franky Reid-Warrilow and Dolley News. Rosie Thomas was another rider to have a double win, taking Novice section H and Intermediate section S on Fly The Flag and Stellor Commet respectively.
Ffion Thomas and Allswell III had their first win together in BE100 section C after a tricky start when the Thoroughbred mare was four. Ffion said: “I almost gave up on her as a 4yr old as she was so tricky, very sharp, very hormonal and as I work on my own with my horses most of the time, thought she might be too much for me, but I got some help from a jockey friend of mine, David Turner, who just sat on her a few times for me and I’ve never looked back.
“She can be pretty grumpy at home but as soon as you get her to a competition she has her ‘game face’ on and she’s a Complete pro! She is lovely in the dressage, she tries really hard SJ and she is very natural XC, bold and brave with a huge jump.
“Unfortunately the future for Ellie (Allswell III) is that I’m going to have to sell her; she was always a project to bring on and sell and I’ve kept her longer than I intended as I’m very fond of her, but for someone I really think she could be quite special” Ffion added.
Two KBIS 5YO sections ran at the event, Sara Squires took section A on Billy Jean D finishing on their dressage score of 24.3. Gemma Tattersalls took 2nd on MHS Kilcannon and David Doel 3rd with Man About Town II. Tim Cheffings had three placings in 5YO section B, including taking the top spot with Gaston. Tim also took 5th on Memo II and 8th on Stormhill Ultima.
Gubby Leech took the honours in the Novice Regional Final on Acis, giving the combination the sought after ticket to Gatcombe in August. Leading from start to finish, a foot perfect double clear left them on their 26.8 dressage, ahead of Selina Milnes and Iron IV in second, with Selina’s other ride,Vlove D Or Ly in 5th. Helen Wilson took 3rd and 4th riding Barry Carter’s Fine Fleur and Viktor Krum, respectively to add to her successful weekend which saw her placing on all six of her rides.
Mark Todd and NZB Campino topped a very competitive Open Intermediate section finishing on 22.7, giving them two marks in hand over 2nd placed Izzy Taylor and Allercombe Ellie with 25.2 and Ludwig Svennerstal riding Win And Love who finished on 25.9 in 3rd.
Other section winners: Beanie Sturgis (Modern Society, BE100 section D), Kirsty Johnston (Lux Zen, BE100 section E), Lauren Cranham (Haddon Light Music, BE100plus section F), Clarke Johnstone (Deo Volente III, Intermediate Novice section P), Michael Winter (Dream Jewel, Novice section G), Ludwig Svennerstal (Carlzon L, Intermediate section R), Nicky Roncoroni (Mullaghmeen, Novice section V), Dani Evans (Supermario II, Novice section W).
Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee