Chance ride proves a winner for Lee

It was a long and tough day of competition at Treborough Hill (1) on Saturday (June 27) with more than 300 horse and rider combinations taking in part in the event.

The Adrian Ditcham designed cross country course proved influential with a high proportion of competitors across all classes picking up jumping penalties and an equally high number of horse and rider combinations being eliminated or retired on the course.

There were five BE90 classes, including a BE90 Open, with 156 horse and rider combinations. The most prominent winner was Saskia Layburn on Aerospace in Section D.  It was a second win on the trot for the pair, who also won at Pontispool in May. Her dressage score of 21.5 meant that even with a pole down in the show jumping and 1.2 time penalties across country the combination couldn’t be denied victory.

Other winners in the BE90 classes were Pippa Wannacott on Albecyn Charlie Boy (Section A), Maddy Taylor on Burley Dreamweaver (Section B), Susie McGeorge on Horgans Mercury (Section C) and Hannah Morgan on David’s Dilemma (Open Section E).

Winner of BE100 Section G was Lee Honeysett riding Hollismead. The pair added just 1.0 time penalty in the show jumping to their dressage score to complete on 25.30 at what was the combination’s first affiliated event together. Lee also placed in Novice Section I on Castletown Bay.

Lee had a chance ride on Hollismead when he was asked to take him to the competition by his owner by Charlie Hemsley, who has competed him at BE90, the day before the event.

Lee told Eventing Worldwide: “It’s the first time I have ridden him – I sat on him once the day before when I found out I would be taking him. Charlie wanted him to have his first run around 100 with somebody else to make sure he had a nice time and he proved himself to be very capable. The plan is that I will take him to a couple more events – we’re looking to get an entry to Tweseldown. Having gone so well Charlie asked me to continue riding him which I am really pleased about. I’ve known him since Charlie has owned him and I didn’t realise how nice he was.”

Lee’s second horse – Castletown Bay – is also owned by Charlie, who bought him for her husband to Field Master on, but Lee felt the horse was better suited to eventing when he saw his breeding.

He added: “I took Castletown Bay on at the beginning of the year – I felt he was bred for more things than the hunting field and Charlie was happy to let me have a go. He was a bit tricky to start with but he has really turned a corner. He was amazing cross country – it was quite a tough course – and rode like a pro and it was only his fourth novice event. We’ll now aim him for Bicton CIC 1* and Osberton CIC 1* at the end of the year.” 

Of the course Lee commented: “When I walked it the course I thought it was much better than two years ago. But once it got into the day and you started riding it, it didn’t ride as well as it walked. There were a few tough questions – the water was a lot to look at and the palisade ditch at 12 caused a lot of problems. So it was definitely stronger than in previous years. That said, both of the horses I rode felt very confident and I was very pleased with how they dealt with it.” 

The other BE100 class (Section F) was won by Archie Lowe on Merrywell Cavalier.

The Novice course proved to be the biggest challenge of the day with only half of those entered completing all three phases. Out of the 56 combinations A total of 17 horses were either eliminated or retired, and a further 13 combinations acquired cross country penalties for refusals (10 with 20 penalties, two with 40 penalties, one with 60 penalties) whilst a number of others called it a day in or after the show jumping.

Gloucestershire-based Jonty Evans was the winner in Open Novice Section H, riding A Chance Affair – owned by Lady Celia Vestey and Lady Victoria Rae. He also picked up another top placing with third in Novice Section I on Newmarket Dove. A Chance Affair will now be aimed for the Young Horse Drishane Castle International Horse Trials CIC at Milstreet, Ireland, in August.

He said: “Victoria bred him and her best friend Celia used to own horses such as Araki for Ian Stark. This was his second win this year and he was also 2nd at Tweseldown in the IN. I feel he can be top class in the future – he is only 6yrs now – and he has been much admired by several top riders and we have had to turn down two offers for him.” 

New Zealander Tim Prize riding Pats Jester collected the honours in Novice Section I. He took four young horses to the event and also picked up third place with Kincooley Cruising. He said: “They all benefited from the day – Treborough was a lovely event. Pats Jester was smart in all three phases and is one to watch for the future.”

Treborough Hill will hold a second British Eventing competition on August 29-30 2015 with classes range from BE 80 Training to Novice. The schedule is now available ( and entries open on July 25.

 Written by Sarah Carless. 

Photographs courtesy of Tanzy Lee

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