Swalcliffe Park Horse Trials

Report by Sarah Carless….

Howe makes it a treble at Swalcliffe Park

Two days of competition at Swalcliffe Park attracted more than 500 combinations to contest its P1420914grassroots classes.

Despite the chill, The popular Oxfordshire event offered perfect going underfoot for the competitors taking part in its BE80(T), BE90 and BE100 classes – with 14 sections being held.

Ginny Howe, a relative local to Swalcliffe Park, [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‘]took three wins over the course of the weekend, dominating the BE100 classes. In BE100 Section G, Ginny took the win on Echo P in the horses’ first affiliated competition. It was a convincing win with a dressage of 27.8 and clear rounds in both the show jumping and cross country. The pair had a 2.9 margin over second placed Ben Way and Direct Contender.

Ginny’s second win came with Cruise on Inny in BE100 Open Section J. Ginny scored another sub 30 dressage of 27.3 and added nothing to this score in the show jumping and cross country. Her last win came in the BE100 Open Section K with Knights Escapade, a horse which has had major surgery twice. The pair last completed an event last May, at Rockingham Castle, but returned in winning style with a 28.3 dressage and a double clear.

A Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 finalist was the winner in BE90 Section A. Cirencester-based Bex Greenwood and Cannabel have started their season in winning style, taking the win at Swalcliffe to follow up their victory at Aston Le Walls two weeks ago. Bex has competed 14 year old Cannabel since 2013, and this year will be their first visit to the grassroots championships at Badminton. Bex bought the horse off the hunting field and it was only then she discovered he was bred by the famous stallion Kannan and as Bex describes it ‘he was a real find’. She trains with Richard Waygood, Cara Waygood, Marie Kent and her husband Ben.

Bex comments: “I’m very pleased to win, and it has given me a real lift and confidence to move forward. The wins are a great reward for the years of hard work and hours of training with Cannabel – he’s not the most straightforward horse but he has taught me a completely different way of riding. I wouldn’t change him or the way we have found form for anything as I feel he’s taught me a great deal about the correct way of going.

I’m looking forward to Badminton but it’s an entirely different ball game with the atmosphere. I’ll ask Cannon to do his very best and I will arrive as prepared as possible – hopefully we will have a great experience and it is a bucket list goal ticked. The thought of coming home with a ribbon would be fantastic but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

BE90 Section B winner was Zara Brewer with Fervent, another combination who will be competing in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 final. The pair started their season at Moreton, where they were seventh, before heading to Swalcliffe where they won with a score of 22.2.

Zara told Eventing Worldwide: “I have owned Ferdi for a four years and as a partnership we have gone from strength to strength. It took me a little while to get used to the step up from ponies but he has been the most genuine horse to help me. He proved this last year when we had three consecutive wins at BE90 and 100 level as well as winning the RoR BE90 championships. We qualified for Badminton Mitsubishi Cup 2016 at Solihull Regional Final last August, which we are currently in preparation for. I couldn’t be happier with his start to the season at Moreton with a seventh in the 90 with a fab double clear and then following this with a win at Swalcliffe with a 21 dressage. The event was extra friendly and all the volunteers were incredibly helpful and efficient. The course was beautifully designed and rode really well with a few questions. We hope our next outing to be Larkhill and Bovington in the 100 then off to Badminton. After badminton he will sadly be for sale as I have A-levels and then I’m going to University so he needs to go and give someone else as much fun as he’s given me.”

In BE100 Under 18 Section L, Sasha Hargreaves took a one-two, winning on Llanarth The Blues, and second with Carnny Volt with the same score with the finishing places decided by which was closest to the optimum time. It is her first season eventing the winner, Arthur, whilst she has produced Brian from a youngster.

Sasha told Eventing Worldwide: “Arthur evented up to novice with a different owner until 2011 then took a break and hunted for 5 years. We bought him a few days before Christmas last year with the idea that he could take me to novice and to get him back to eventing. We’ve done lots of training over the last few months reminding him what eventing is and he seems to be loving it.  I have produced Brian from a youngster. It was amazing taking the top two spots at the first event of the season as I definitely was not expecting it, but it has given a lot of hope that this season will be a good one. It is my first year properly running two horses next to each other and my aims are to take one of them to the BE100 U18 Frickley Park Championships and to get them both established at Novice.”

Section results: BE90 Section C Georgina Joynson, Gorfelyn Persian Price; BE90Open Section D Tom McEwen, The Magician; BE100 Section E Lottie Kennedy, May Day; BE100 Section F Sammi Birch, Alvescot Moneymaker; BE100 Section H Amy Crear, Sankro; BE100 Section I Kathryn Robinson, Calling Card; BE80(T) Section M Alex Mersh Blackwoodland Breeze; BE80(T) Section N Diana Cook, Jaycoozie.

Photography courtesy of TB Photographic

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