Rika Nile reports

Cheshire’s Somerford Park Horse Trials enjoyed a strong field of entries for Grassroots classes in their first fixture of the year. Organised by Simon and Debbie King, the popular event also supported the North West Air Ambulance.

Programme cover star Amy Lennon took the top spot in BE100Plus section M riding Abu Darius. The newly formed partnership led the section from start to finish after producing a 24 AVW_0008dressage and foot perfect double clear to finish ahead of Georgie Rockingham (September Song) and Julie Penny (Out of the Blue).

Amy, who is based at Somerford Park Farm and also collected 5th in BE90 section D on Bertie Bear, commented: [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‘]“This was only my second event on Abu Darius, and to win was amazing, especially after a tough week due to my mum being in hospital. He [Abu Darius] will be aimed at 1* later in the season after we have done a few Novices, along with my other horse Gortmore Rosebud”

“To be on the front of the programme was also really special and lovely of the King family; a big thanks must also go to my sister Vanessa for helping on the yard!” she added.

The Airowear sponsored BE80(T) class had a good turnout with nearly 120 runners over three sections. Section F was won by Kate Collier and Scottsway Dark Secret picking up their first win of the season. The combination’s double clear left them on their dressage of 27.3, and put them ahead of Niamh Hawkins (Noble Phantom) and Carla Hemsley (Moortown Miracle), who also both jumped double clear.

Despite collecting a few time penalties, Harry Moran and Leanes Rock The Night, dressage of 25 still gave them the win in BE80(T) section G finishing on 27.8; marginally ahead of Aimee Hulme and My Best Bet who finished on their 28 dressage. BE80(T) section H was won by Lisa Cadman and Pentaran Easter Gold with Georgia Butler (Albern Moon Buzz) and Lucy Peters (Burren Steed) in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The BE90 sections were also hotly contested with six sections over the weekend. The show jumping in BE90 section A proved influential with only three clears in the top ten – two of which went to 9th and 10th place. Rebecca Halliwell and Moorhey Pow Wow jumped the only show jumping clear in the top eight which gave them 5.5 penalty margin to finish on 21.5, ahead of 2nd placed Lisa Hansford and Daid ‘O’ Diamonds who finished on 27.

Kirsty Clarkson and Oliedunit won BE90 section C, their first win of the season and also their first BE event after jumping double clear at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup earlier in the month. Finishing on their dressage of 28.9, the took the section ahead of Kristina Hall-Jackson and CMS Google and Estelle Eccleston and Top Its Ambitious.

All other BE90 section winners finished on their dressage scores: section B was won by Robyn Gray and Gelukkig (28.3 pens) and section D was taken by Boogie Shoes ridden by Catherine Rose (30.3 pens). Section N was won on 24.3 by Robert Gilsenan and Landis Rocket Man whilst section O went to Natalie McDonald and Assisi Gilmo (25.5 pens).

BE90Open section E was the smallest section of the weekend with only 13 runners. Bonnie Fishburn took the top spot on Direct Flo, ahead of Becky Hartley (Diamond Spectical) and Emma Silman (KEC Kimberley).

All three BE100 section winners finished on a sub 30 mark and jumped double clears. Section I was won by Carlos Parro and Goliath III who’s 23.5 dressage gave them a good margin ahead of 2nd placed Emma Silman and KEC Quality King who finished on 27.8 – contributing to Emma’s 3 top ten placings.

BE100 section J winner Tyler Cassells was another rider to pick up multiple top ten placings; winning the section on J Adore Salsa, he also took 6th and 9th in BE100 section I with Serenade III and Currabawn Minx respectively.

Joshua King finished top of BE100 section K with Silvercroft Kenny, also posting the best dressage across the weekend with 20.3. Jumping a double clear, he finished ahead of Michael Owen (Jay Vee), Lindsay Middleton (Aaragon) and Aimee Penny (Gredington Wildfire) who made up the top four, finishing within a penalty of each other on 23.3, 23.5 and 23.8 respectively.

BE100Open section L was headed by Tori Brown and Cruise Around on a score of 25 after jumping a double clear. Tori and Cruise Around just pipped Victoria Mitchell and Coolgrange Pixie, who also finished on 25, into 2nd after they finished closer to the optimum time.

Previously a police officer, Tori had a career change and went into working with horses full time and has now had Tip (Cruise Around) for six years. Of the gelding, Tori said: “He [Tip] is a sweet horse who is totally tuned into me and is very sensitive to my feelings. I find him easy but he often pushes me by pretending he can’t possibly do what I’m asking him to do! He is only as brave as me-which doesn’t help when I’m a little worried but he often helps me feel brave once I’m sat on him.

When I first got him he was quite tricky and was terrible at dressage! We got 25 at the weekend, we practiced and trained at dressage until we were comfortable doing medium movements.”

“I now feel we are ready for the step up to Novice at Skipton at the end of June. The aim for this year is to become confident and aim for a 1* competition once we are.” she added.

Photographs courtesy of Vincent Whitehead



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