Report by Georgia Dixon
Stafford horse trials is one of the biggest grassroots competitions in the eventing calendar, this year having a total of 21 sections over three days ranging from BE80(T) up to BE100Plus.
James and Vicky Plant are the new organisers for this event and this year have changed a lot of the course and designed many new jumps. The ground seemed to cope well with the wet weather compared to previous years. [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‘]The ground in the show jumping proved quite sticky and difficult to jump out of and this showed in the results with many combinations rolling a pole or two, but the organisers handled this well, moving jumps and rolling the ground when necessary.
All of the BE80(T) sections appeared very close, with scores between 1st and 2nd place in all of the three sections being of one penalty or less apart. Section D saw both first and second placed riders finishing on the same score of 31. Richard Evans riding Parthian Shot took the win over Brier Leahy who rode Khaleesi, meaning Richard was closer to the optimum time. Alexandra Cornwell and Under Wraps took the win in Section E, with a score of 28.8. Alyssa Snelson rode Burnock Primrose to victory in section F, finishing on a score of 31. 23 competitors in the three BE80(T) sections were eliminated or retired on course and 25 of the competitors were double clear, excluding time penalties.
There were a few low 20 dressage scores throughout the weekend, however, winner of BE90 Section I, Jack Mantel really stood out with his horse Ladies Man attaining a 19.8 dressage and cruising around double to come home with 1.2 time penalties for going too fast. This combination is set to ride at the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup in May after winning the regional final in Solihull at the end of last year. Jack commented saying: “Myself and the owner Sarah Brydon are both excited to be going to the Mitsubishi Cup.” This combination would definitely be one to watch in the lead up to the championships.
Sarah Roberts also rode her Badminton Mitsubishi cup ride; Cartier VD Ruitershoeve to third place in BE 90 Section G finishing on their dressage score of 22.5.
The third placed combination in BE100 Section L are also hoping to attempt the Badminton Course in the BE100 Championships. Rebecca Magleave and Tommy Tuckery came 3rd in the section behind Caitlyn Johnson and Sarah Caplan. Rebecca finished on a score of 29.7, with Caitlyn winning on 27.2.
15 of the 25 competitors in BE100Plus Section Q rode around the Novice height show jumping course clear. This contrast to only 8 of the 26 combinations in BE100Plus Section R who managed to get around the show jumping fault free. 4 of the 8 who did in Section R came in the top 5, with Alice Davies-Cook riding Discovery V winning the section on their dressage score of 30.3. Brier Leahy came 3rd in the section despite having a show jump down after achieving the second best dressage score in the section of 29.3, she was riding Kellen.
BE100Plus Section Q was very close with only 7 penalties between 1st and 10th place. However, Arthur Pottier took the win by a mere 0.4 penalties riding Billy Champagne. They finished on their dressage score of 24.5. Second placed rider Sarah Healy rode Izzy Squire’s Junior horse of last year, B Walt Lando Z. They also had a dressage score of 24.5, however just missed out by getting 0.4 time penalties too fast on the cross country course. Sarah described Izzy’s horse as ‘a pleasure to ride.’
The full list of results can be found HERE
Photographs courtesy of HR Photography