Rika Nile reports ….

Despite a cold start which delayed competition slightly due to a frozen arena, the Onley Grounds Arena Eventing competition finished successfully with a good entry at all three heights. Full time event rider Emma Forsyth partnered Chateau De Versailles M2S to a win in the 40-strong 100 class, completing on a zero penalty score. Finishing ahead of Juliet White and Bungowla Captain Sam, and Morgan Shelley with Cavandjos Silver Fox, this was Emma’s first round of jumps since last year having her baby by cesarean nine weeks ago.

Emma said of the gelding, who is aimed at Rockingham CIC* this season: “I bought Chateau from the Monart Sale as an unbroken 3 year old, to produce and sell. He’s rising 6 now. He did 2 novices last year with my good friend Jodie on board. He’s a cracking horse who is super talented, I am sure this horse will be flying round the big tracks in the future.”

Emma, who is aiming for Burghley in September with her top horse Soltair Justice, also added: “These events are really useful at this time of the year. It’s nice to practice over some xc jumps. It’s super convenient to have an allotted time slot too.”

The success for Team Forsyth also came in the 90 class when Emma’s nanny, Mia Allison, kicked off her season with a win riding Laherkeen Jack. The 19-year-old, who shares the ride on Jack with her Mum, has produced the gelding slowly and is using the events to get him ready for the upcoming event season. Mia commented:

“He’s a really keen jumper and loves to please! We’re aiming this season to get Jack’s flat work established and crack on starting at BE90 and see how he takes to it. I also had my other young horse, Fine, at Onley who had an unfortunate pole and was placed 10th. He started off with the Lands Arena Eventing last year which gave him a good introduction to eventing.”

Mia and Jack’s round placed them ahead of Emma Thomas and The Buzz Factor, and Sally-Anne Hicks riding Vent De Bise De Mahy Faux, who were 2nd and 3rd respectively after fault free rounds. The 80 class saw Sophia Marston and Meiklekims Secret continue their winning streak after also winning the Jump Training at Hartpury the weekend before. The combination finished on a zero penalty score to go ahead of Katie Frost and Poirot, with Megan Elphick and Commons Delight in 3rd.

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