Portman Horse Trials

Report by Rika Nile

Nearly 600 combinations descended on Rushmore Park in Wiltshire for the 40th anniversary of Portman Horse Trials. The midweek event, organised by Michael Yarrow and members of the Portman Hunt and DSC_4499Supporters Club, had two days of competition running classes from BE90 to Intermediate Novice.

Some impressive dressage scores were seen across both days with the best being 18, produced by BE100 section G winners Kathryn Robinson and Calling Card. This is the second win of the season for the combination, which pleased the Canadian born rider after a tricky season previously.

“It’s a great way to start the season. He was quite[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‘] naughty at the beginning of his first season it took him a bit to understand it all. By the end of his first season he got the hang of it. So I was happy that he had not forgotten anything.” Kathryn said of the horse, who she aims to step up a level this year.

Another impressive dressage mark that led from start to finish came from young rider Charlotte Bacon and Cooley Enno, who jumped a double clear just adding 0.4 of a penalty to their dressage score of 19. After only three month together and Portman being only their second run, Charlotte commented:

“He has taken to his first few events like a natural which is really exciting for the rest of the season.

“He has the best attitude to his work so makes my job a lot easier! Hopefully he will have stepped up to novice by the end of the season and be ready for a 1*, but there is no rush – he’s a special little man!”

Caroline Harris had a successful two days running six horses, picking up two wins and two further placings. Her first win was in BE100 section H with Falko TH. The combination picked up their first BE win finishing on their dressage score of 25. while Amoroso Gigi Z took BE90 section I. Caroline also picked up two 4th placings with Faere Spirit in BE100 section G and Gapolio in BE90 section J.

Gubby Leech joined Caroline also collecting a double win, taking both BE100 section M on Duvel and BE100 section N with Alvescot Waltztime, with both horses finishing on their 22 and 26.8 dressage scores. Another combination to also finish on their dressage mark was Ben Lee Liles and Jackpot VIII in BE100open section O. Finishing on 22, they were six marks ahead of their nearest rivals Katey Cuthbertson and Incognito IV.

BE100plus section P saw a bit of trouble in the show jumping for a few combinations with only four clears. The section was headed by Venetia Chamberlen and Sorrell II who jumped a double clear, finishing on a mark of 33. Now riding for fun, Venetia has previously ridden to 3* for Robin and Bunny Patrick, the same people who bred and own Sorrell II.

“I was very happy to win as she is a little trier and I have ridden her since a 3 year old. She is not the bravest and nor is her rider any more so we are just aiming to have fun!” Venetia said.

Andrew Nicholson continued to be on form after his return to eventing, taking Novice section C with his own Zacarias, while Novice sections A and B were taken by Alexander Bragg and Spypark Ferro XS and Kristina Cook and Watergate respectively.

Emily King had success in the Intermediate Novice section F on her two striking chestnut geldings, riding Dargun to victory and taking 4th on Del Piero II. David Doel won the Open Novice section D on Kiltubrid Rhapsody, just 0.2 marks ahead of Alex Kennedy and Ard Cluedo, while Chelsea Pearce and Kilnaboy Buffet won the ONu18 section E.

Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee

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