Tweseldown opened their account for the 2015 season with four chilly days of competition (12-15 March). The course had undergone some revamping and changes since last season, and the result was a more flowing, galloping track which made use of the old point to point course, was big and bold as you expect from Tweseldown, but included a few accuracy questions.
16 year old Grace Durkan from West Sussex has competed up to Novice level, and enjoyed the new course. She placed second in Sunday’s BE90 section R with Fredos Midas Touch and said; “I thought the course rode nicely as it was more flowing than before and was an ideal course to kick off the season!”
I attended on behalf of Eventing Worldwide for the Friday and Saturday fixtures, but super EWW tog Dave Murray covered the full four days.
Friday’s Novice action saw Pippa Funnell topping the tables in Novice Section E with Billy Walk On, who is yet to complete an event out of the top five, and with five wins to his name. This looks one to watch for the season and beyond. Nana Dalton took the second spot with Emily Roser’s Bogrant with a single showjumping pole costing them the perfect result on their first event together, just 0.8 ahead of Mike Jackson and PSH Promise Me who completed on his dressage score of 32.8.
The Open Novice section F saw EWW blogger Emily King dominate, taking first and second spots with Walitze F Vejgard and Charlemagne respectively. She completed the perfect double clears with no time to add, something only one other could match in this section. Emily said; “I was over the moon with Zara (Walitze F Vejgard), Charlie (Charlemagne) and Fozzle (Loxley)… they all performed fantastically in the ON. I was especially pleased with Zara and Charlie as it was their first events of the season and they managed to control their excitement surprisingly well! Their next event in Aldon OIu21, this Sunday – so fingers crossed!” London’s Sofia Sjoborg picked up third spot riding the lovely grey DHI Mighty Dwight, with a few time penalties added to a smart dressage of 26.8.
16.2 gelding Quickly finished last season with a win at Larkhill Novice, and Rebecca Howard made no mistake in picking up where they left off. A double clear and minor time faults saw them win Novice section G on 31.8, ahead of Wellington Riding’s David Sheerin and Jonny Irish on 32.7. Just .2 behind for third place was Jonty Evans and Alamo, who Jonty described as having ‘all the attributes of a top class horse.’
Sophie Damment, based on the edge of the New Forest, made her first run of the season a winning one, with 16.3 Irish Sport Horse gelding Lissangle Cavaletto B. This pair recently won both BD Elementary tests at Crofton Manor with some cracking scores, and a 25 dressage in Open Novice section H was testament to their recent success – a score they would complete on. Amy Martin and long term eventing partner ex-racehorse Sparkys Reflection gave a great account of themselves to complete on 29.5, ahead of Ryuzo Kitajima and Marquis De Plescop whose 6.4 time penalties cost the win
Wiltshire’s riders claimed the top three spots in Novice section I. Georgie Spence enjoyed her first 2015 event, taking the honours riding Captain Future, a horse she thinks a lot of. They completed on their dressage score of 26.5 and looked class on the cross country course. Georgie spoke of the horse affectionately, saying; “Captain was a star. He is one of those horses who was born mature and he progressed very quickly. I bought him in June 2013 just sat on and he has come on so much. I sold a half share to Molly Fisher and the other half to long time owner and supporter Lucy Fleming last year.
“Captain was brilliant in his test at Tweseldown, a couple of baby wobbles so plenty of room to improve but it was lovely to lie 5th after dressage. His SJ has really come on over the winter and he jumped fantastically well. He was foot perfect XC and was one of the first times I pushed him for the time. He is an incredibly laid back character and I hunted him a couple of times this winter and it has really made him spark up! He was just pretty faultless all day. To be honest he is pretty faultless everyday, he is a real yard favourite and is very spoilt!! I joke with the owners that one day he will make a mistake and we won’t know what to think.
“My plans are to go intermediate at Gatcombe next weekend and progress from there. I am aiming for Barbury CIC** and Camphire CCI**. And if all goes to plan I would love him to be selected for Le Lion 7yo Championships. But he is a very special horse and I think will have an very exciting future.”
This pair finished ahead of Andrew Nicholson on Liberto II on 28 in second, and his other ride Byrnesgrove First Diamond in third on 30.7 after lowering a pole.
Saturday hosted the BE100 competition, kicking off with a seriously competitive section J. Kitty King and the very smart Vendredi Biats won the section on an enviable 19.8, going one better than their second place at Aston where they completed on 22 a week before. The Kiwi contingent gave a good account of themselves with Jonelle Price finishing second on Ascona M, and Neil Spratt third on Valarchin on 22.5 and 23 respectively.
Laura Walker’s mare Andy V made a winning return to eventing after a year away. The Sussex duo won BE100 section K, tied for points with second place Lauren Obosi who was further inside the optimum time aboard First Impression. Junior Gold Medallist Anna Wilks, based with the Funnell’s, rode Billy Senora to yet another placing in third. They completed a double clear but had minor time penalties to add to their 29 dressage.
Lucinda Fredericks’ protégé Emily Young-Jamieson – whilst still based at Lucinda’s yard in Devizes – is now riding under own steam as of 2015. She started with the best possible result, winning section L with debutante Mario Cantona on their dressage score of 25.5. She commented; “After eight years of working as head girl and second rider to Lucinda Fredericks, I have now set up as EYJ Eventing. Twesledown was my first event of 2015 with Mario Cantona – a 6 year old which Nicole Pearson and I bought from the Monart Sales last November.
“After 8 years of invaluable experience from Lucinda it feels so good to be finally riding for myself and putting that experience into practise. To start the season with a win in the BE100 on Mario Cantona on his dressage score of 25.5 is amazing and fills me with confidence that everything I have worked for is paying off. Let’s hope it continues throughout the season. It’s really exciting to now build up my own team of owners and horses while still working alongside Lucinda at Rosegarth in Wiltshire.”
Kent based Adam Trew was just a point adrift with Classik Lady, ahead of Kitty King and Acis in third.
The 100 Open (Section M) was topped by Jackie Stribbling riding the very experienced Woodfalls Comet to 25.5 overall. Mollie Summerland and Blusteren followed up their second place at Aston with another second, just .5 behind the winner. Actress Katie Kneen piloted her own 17.1 gelding ‘The Last Cavalier’ to third place with a very respectable 26.3.
Ginny Howe made best use of a ‘very last minute entry’ with Knights Escapade to win BE100 Open Section N. Smart dressage, clean jumping and a super speedy cross country saw them complete on 21.5. Lizzie Brown’s Advanced / three star ride Playtime NZPH has a change of jockey with Louis Georgiadis taking the reins. The new partnership earned second place in this section on 22.4, with Laura Geary and Dinero marginally behind them for third.
Junior rider Paul Schroter rode the striking Zorro Rocco to victory in BE100 Section O, adding nothing to their dressage score of 27.5. Hampshire’s Antoinette Mckeowen led from the first phase with Sonas Boy who scored a dressage PB of 25.5, with just a few time penalties pushing them down to second place. Neil Spratt earned another third placing, this time with Ego W who completed sub 30.
Report by Nicki Strong – www.headstrongequestrian.com – kindly supported by Aubiose Horse Bedding, Horslyx, Helmet Ears, Viovet and FMBs Therapy Systems.
A huge Thank you to Dave Murray Photography, Dave spent all 4 days photographing every combination, these photos will follow shortly!
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