Sarah Carless reports…
Staples continues winning run at Smiths Lawn
Smiths Lawn once again attracted large entries with more than 550 combinations competing over the two days of the popular event.
Kathy Staples and Foxes Castle have been having a fantastic 2016. And the he pair took another win at Smiths Lawn (BE100 Section L) to add to wins at Eridge, Brightling Park International, Rackham, and Berkshire College, and second placings at Little Downham (1) and Little Downham (2).
After her latest triumph, Kathy told Eventing Worldwide: “We have been having a fantastic season. He ran brilliantly again at Smiths Lawn producing another super dressage test. He is owned by Zoe Warren who I am very thankful to for giving me the opportunity to ride him. I expect we will keep him at grassroots level this season and potentially upgrade him to novice next season.”
Smiths Lawn provided Ben McClumpa with a brace of wins. He took BE100 Section G on Ridgeway Cross and followed this up in Section H with Guilo. Meanwhile Melissa Joannides continued her good form with a new ride, Silken Crème. The pair won BE100 Section F, to follow up a win at Rackham and a placing at Tweseldown. Finishing on their dressage score of 23.8, they had a winning margin of 5.7 penalties.
Natalie Flewitt made the trip from Ipswich worthwhile to take victory in BE100 Section K with Chester VI. They finished on their dressage score of 26.0 to take a narrow victory by a margin of 0.3 penalties.
Afterwards Natalie said: “It was his first ever 100 and he made it feel easy. He first went XC schooling last September and started his eventing career March this year. He is a lovely talented horse with a great attitude and potential to go far in eventing.”
Dannie Mortgan picked up his second win in a row with Aurora Ettiquettes in Novice Section A, having also won in a BE100 Class at Wilton. Splash of Irish, piloted by Tom McEwen also picked up a second win in as many events winning Open Novice Section D. Tom and Spalsh won the Intermediate Novice on their previous outing at Dauntsey Park, and have five other top ten placings to their name this season, with Tom saying the horse is one for the future. Caroline Powell and Flipper K were also another combination securing a second win in a row, taking the honours in Novice Section N.
It was a successful event for Austin O Conner’s yard. Not only did Austin take victory in BE100 Section M on Into The Morning, but Jack Pinkey, who rides for Austin, won BE100 Open Section L on Tomaclavin Cian at their first event together.
Jack said: “We were very pleased. He’s a cool little horse, who was sent to me for schooling as has had a few problems with his owner this season. We are playing it by ear, but I’ll probably run him alongside his owner for a while.”
Section results; Novice Section B Antoinette McKeowen, Sonas Boy; Novice Section C Kevin McNab, Menlo Park; Novice Section E Kirsty Johnston, Classic VI; BE100 Section J Rachel Harris, Manor Mayhem; Novice Section O Francesca Brough, Freshmans Minsterel.
Photographs courtesy of Lorraine Porter