Sarah Carless reports ….
With the eventing season getting ever closer, the winter series continued to attracted large entries over the last two weekends (February 4/5 and 11/12) with fixtures at Bury Farm, Epworth EC, Hartpury, Dallas Burtson Polo Club and Mendip Plains
Epworth Equestrian Centre hosted the second of its Arena Eventing competitions (4th February) with 80 entries entering across the three classes.
Melanie Sharpe took the win in the AE80 class with Clonshire Rebel being fault free and closest to the optimum time. Tillie Wilson and Foxlane Jessie were also fault free to take second with Alice Quinlain and Foxy VII in third.
Fiona Maycock and Arbitrageur M2S improved on their eighth place in the AE90 at Epworth’s previous Arena Eventing fixture by taking the win on this occasion. It was a competitive class with the top 11 combinations all being fault free. Liz Pears and Stratham Nautilus came in second with Ann Brown and Boris VIII taking third.
In the AE100 class, victory went to Elizabeth Page and Robo Bouncer ahead of Charlotte Whittle and Lowmoor Superstar and Harriette Howard and Starholme Amberleigh in third.
Bury Farm’s JAS competition (5th February) attracted nearly 200 entries.
Tilly Nutman was the winner in the BE90 Section with Charlies Riddle with a winning score of nine. This put them ahead of Anna Tapner and Miss Kocaine in second and Rosie Bates and Plain Sailing III in third. Jenna Good and Trewithian Hackeweed were victorious in the BE90 Open Class on a score of five. Southerly Roberts and Fizz IV took second ahead of Sue Eddis and Ennybegs Cloud in third.
Mitsubishi Motors Cup competitor Sasha Good has continue her good form prior to the start of the eventing season with Western King. The pair won the BE100 at Bury Farm with a score of two. This gave her a 0.1 winning margin over Kylie Roody and Shearwater Bonapart in second with Megan Ellis in third with Birchgrove Benny.
Kylie Roddy was in top form at the venue, going on to win the BE100 Open section with SRS Kan Do with a score of one. The pair also went on to take second in the Open Novice. Sue Eddis was second in the BE100 Open Section with Noble Sir Prize, with a score of three, and Southerly Roberts and Tinx also continuing their good pre-season form with third, on another low score of five.
Having taken second earlier in the day, Kylie Roddy and Shearwater Bonapart also went on to take the went on to take the win in the Novice, ahead of Annaghmore Boomlander riden by Cariad Nichol, and Joanne Foley with Georgina H in third.
Cariad Nichol turned second in to first in the Open Novice with Annaghmore Boomlander, with SRS Kan Do taking second and Francesca Baillieu in third with Watervalley Lockey Guy.
Wickstead Horseplay (5th February) made its first appearance on the British Eventing calendar, hosting a round of the new Arena Eventing series.
St George III ridden by Elaine Cochrane was the first winner of the day in the AE80. The top ten riders in this class were all fault free but Elaine took victory being closest to the optimum time. Second went to Fiona Godfrey and Evening Primrose with Kate Prendergast and Kilpatrick Cassius in third.
In the AE90 Class Kate Kearns took the win with Sportsman II. Kate Prendergast and Kilpatrick Cassius improved on their position from the previous class to take second with Annabelle Jay and Autumn Moss in third.
Eve Hodder and a new ride Rathattan Robbie were the winners in the AE100. They were followed by Holly Stephens and Morepark Helmes in second and Gill Horton with Ultor in third.
Dallas Burston (11th February) made its debut on the British Eventing calendar with an Arena Eventing competition, organised by L&S Eventing.
The AE80 Class was won by Olivia Mossman with Flintstones Pebbles with Sarah Blackmore (The Flower Moon) taking second and Sara Ridgeway (SKA Buachaill Mor) in third.
The AE90 class went to Julia Fairbank riding Mukhtar Ibn Eternity beating Kissemmie Supreme Jazzy King, ridden by Meg Tarpley into second and Sophie Martston with Meiklekims Secret in third.
Jacky Beavan and Quinquaginta were victorious in the AE100 class with B Rendle and Castlegannon in second with Julia Fairbank picking up another top three placing, this time riding Shannondale Sonoma.
Fixtures at Hartpury always prove popular with riders, and their second JAS event on February 12th was no exception, with nearly 200 entries across the classes.
Eleven-year-old Heidi Ford was the winner in the first class of the day (BE90) with Squire of Cranstoun, with an impressive final score of two. The pair have had three previous top ten finishes in the JAS series this season at Hartpury (1) and West Wilts. Second place went to Alice Tregoning and Homer Delight – just 0.1 penalties behind the winner – with Jess Blackford and Vieuw Point in third.
Heidi has two ponies which she competes, and she is an active member of the VWH Pony Club. Her mother Nicky told Eventing Worldwide; “Heidi has been riding all her life – she is very passionate about her ponies and she is very competitive! Squire of Cranstoun is a new ride for Heidi having only bought him in October. Heidi loves her SJ but had a taste of eventing when we bought a talented little New Forest in 2015 and after success with him, she decided eventing was for her! We have had to wait until the year of her twelfth birthday to join British Eventing and we thought we’d give JAS a go as an introduction. We have had 3 outings and been placed every class. We have really enjoyed the JAS series and it has been a great introduction to the world of BE for us. The courses have been superbly bu.”ilt with proper distances, the jump for joy jumps are quality and all the stewards have been so friendly, helpful and encouraging not to mention the generosity of the sponsors, Baileys. We are really looking forward to the championships at the weekend. Heidi’s goal for this coming season is to qualify Squire for Badminton grassroots 2018! We’ll crack on and see what happens.”
Izzy Rees was the winner in the BE90 Open class with a new ride Champion Owens. Alice Tregoning and Homer Delights picked up another second placing in this class – again just 0.1 penalty behind the winner – with Amy Sweet and Bennie Banassi in third.
Kirsty Camm was the victor in the BE100 Class with Escobar III. This pairing has had four top ten JAS placings this season. Alisha Coombes and Delhurens Upsey Daisy, who have qualified for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup in May, took second place with Jaymee Savill and Knockmullen Foxy in third. In the BE100 Open, victory went to Holly Bonehill with Respectable. Southerley Roberts took second and third, with Fizz IV and Wurlitzer I respectvely.
The winners of the BE90, BE100 and BE100 Open are all trained by Malmesbury-based event rider Tom Searle, who also came away with a number of placings in the BE90, BE100 and Novice classes.
Of the JAS series Tom commented: “It’s a great idea to practice through the winter months in a controlled environment. It helps with accuracy for skinnier and corners and as the coach it allows a good view of the horse and rider partnership so my feedback is clear on where things were good or areas for improvement. As a coach I think it sharpens up the horse and riders reactions.”
The Novice class was one by Amy Louise Harris and Bachelor Boy. Southerly Roberts and Wurlitzer I improved on their third place in the BE100 Open to take second with Jaymee Savill and Knockmullen Flyer in third.
Last year’s JAS Open champion Alicia Hawker took a one-two in the Open Novice. Her winning ride was her championship winner from 2016 Nankin Des Ruettes with a superb score of seven, with High Jinks IV taking second. Liane Edwards and Country Lonestar taking third.
Mendip Plains (12th February) was another new venue on the British Eventing fixture list hosting a round of the Arena Eventing competitions.
The Jump Training and JAS Finals will be hosted at Hartpury on 18th and 19th February when new champions will be crowned prior to the start of the eventing season. The final Arena Eventing qualifier will take place at Moreton Morell College on February 26th, ahead of the finals at Aston Le Walls on March 11.