It was all change at Tweseldown for their third event of 2015, with Rachael Faulkner taking the helm at her first event as the new management of the Hampshire venue. There were other familiar faces sadly missing following the recent passing of eventing stalwarts Bill Allen and Peter Lamont who will be remembered fondly for their efforts at this, as well as many other venues.
The team worked hard against the recent dry weather, preparing the ground as far as possible across both the showjumping and cross country tracks. Additionally the cross country saw an assortment of new fences and a change in position of the start/finish from that seen at the earlier events of the season and a new approach to the water which was jumped in the opposite direction.
Three days of competition were started by 7 sections of BE90 on Sunday, which included a small section of 4 year old competitors. It was clear from the start that both show jumping and cross country required some jumping with each causing their fair share of problems throughout the day and which set the scene for the whole three days of competition.
In Section A it was Beth Riddle and Mulsane who took the top spot, adding just 0.4 of a penalty to their dressage score of 31.3 to finish clear of Adam Harvey and Swatch and Hope, a five year old gelding competing in his first BE event. The 14.3hh mare Patchy Moll, ridden by Evie Bramham finished third, picking up their highest ever position and first BE foundation points in the process.
Julie Middleton-Reid and the 10 year old mare Lady Jessicka topped section B completing on their dressage score of 29.8. Second place went to the eight year old Master Imp gelding Maudlin Imp ridden by Amber Broadhead who were just 0.2 penalties ahead of Sophie Ewen and her own mare Traa Dy Looar.
Paris Gainsford and Ghost Town GT were the winners of Section C in what was the 17.2h gelding’s first BE event. They completed on their dressage score of 28.0 ahead of Jeremy Samuels and Rock DJ II. In third place was Joanna Bushell and Master Class Two.
Section D was won by Claire Hunt with her own Juba who has not finished outside the top 10 this season. Rachel Harris and Manor Mayhem were second, despite a pole in the showjumping, and Daisie Wallace riding Surf N Turf complete the top three.
The 4 year old class, Section E, was contested by 9 combinations and Catherine Burrell finished in the lead with Golden Mary. Second place went to Paul Corfield and Shutterfly Flip with Nici Wilson taking third on one of her two rides in the section, Gazelle.
Nicola Bevan finished over 6 penalties clear of second place to head up Section F with Rhineroe Hero, a six year old gelding who did his first BE event at Tweseldown (2) in May this year. Cheryl Free and Derwins Blue finished in second place, 0.8 penalties ahead of Sarah Davy and Alexi in third.
The final section of the day, Section G, was won by Pippa Dixon and Loughway Alert, despite the addition of one penalty for being too fast across the country. Erin Angel finished in second with Sandiego Skyline while Lily De Lacy finished third with her 14hh 8 year old gelding Caspers Midnight Dream.
On Monday it was the turn of the BE100 competitors and Caroline Harris lead from start to finish to win section H on her dressage score of 27.5 with Bravissimos Bianca, the combinations first BE win. Second place went to Emma Mills with Sarabande, with Kevin McNab completing the top three aboard Catch Me 51.
Kevin went one better in section I, finishing in second with Horseheath Diamond Lad, just 0.6 penalties behind Elisabethe Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z in the 7 year old gelding’s second BE event. Tricia Price finished third with Croft Herman.
In the BE100 open, section J, Claira Miesegaes with Bruce II finished at the top of the leaderboard, having added just 2.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 23.5. Helena Pope and Cruising Home finished second and Hadi Al-Marri finished third with Circus.
In section K it was Hannah Bakewell and Gelsomino who denied Kevin McNab a win on Brookfield Quality, Kevin’s third placing in the first four BE 100 sections. Katie Vincent and Shaw Smartie finished in third, the geldings highest ever BE placing.
The gelding Donau VDL, finished at the top of section L with Esme Mitchell, 5.3 penalties ahead of Claire Matheson and Martime, a 7 year old gelding who took part in his first BE event at Ascott Under Wychwood in June. Caroline Turner and Findon Final Fling followed up a second place at Berkshire College of Agriculture with third in this section.
The final section of the day, was section M the 100 plus which was won by Melissandre Avallone and Venise De Ventarin, a six year old mare who has amassed 40 foundation points across 5 events in her first BE season. In second was Melanie Darling and Malakie Imp who complete 0.3 penalties ahead of Annie Ho and Version Louvo in third.
Tuesday, the final day of competition, saw competitors tackle classes at Novice, Open Novice, Intermediate Novice, Intermediate and Open Intermediate levels in a total of 10 sections of competition.
In the first of three Novice sections, section N, Louisa Lockwood and Pao Des Aucels finished 11 penalties ahead of Tim Rogers and Blackthorne II, the former being the only combination to finished on their dressage score in this section. Michael Jackson and Hilldown Prophet finished in third, with the second quickest cross country round of the section.
Section O was another section where only the winner came in inside the cross country time, and it was Oliver Townend with Shearwater Sportsfield who took the honours. Second place went to Ken Spencer and Freshmans Pink Floyd and Kristina Cook and Watergate finished third.
After a number of placings on Monday, Kevin McNab secured his first win of the weekend in Section P with Danceing Fox, a 7 year old gelding who has completed four novice events in 2015, his first BE season. Oliver Townend was second with Harthill Diamond, these two being the only two combinations to get inside the cross country time. Charlotte Faulkner was third with Diamond Lulu.
Again, the time proved tricky in the Open Novice section Q with only one rider (Sarah Holmes on Dunganstown Fleur in fifth) meeting the optimum time. The section was won by David Doel and Ricoshea, who finished 0.2 penalties ahead of Thomas Hawke and Irish Jester. Jackie Stribbling and Woodfalls Comet finished in third.
Section R, the Intermediate Novice, was won by Jo Clarke and her own Frankly, a nine year old gelding that Jo started at BE80(T) level in 2011. Amy Crerar and Finsceal Nefarious finished in second, with Harriet Dickin and Mr Mackenzie NJ in third.
Section S, the first of three Intermediate sections saw a win for Oliver Townend and Peruising who were the only combination in the section to finish on their dressage score. Toshiyuki Tanaka picked up 5.6 cross country time penalties to take second place on Kelecyn Pirate ahead of Pippa Dixon and Belcarras Boy who moved up the order thanks to a quick double clear adding only 0.8 penalties across the country.
Andrew Nicholson lead section T from start to finish adding just 1 showjumping time fault to a dressage score of 26.6 to finish nearly 13 penalties clear of second place riding Byrnesgrove First Diamon. Amy Tough jumped double clear and inside the time to take second place on Colimbo Nimbus and Panda Christie and Little Leo finished third.
Section U, one of two Open Intermediate sections, provided another win for Andrew Nicholson on Ulises who finished 0.2 penalties ahead of Austin O’Connor and Kilpatrick Knight. Louis Gerrgiadis finished in third with Playtime NZPH.
Section V was the final Intermediate section of the day and was again won by the sole competitor to complete on their dressage score, this time Simon Grieve with The Loudest Whisper who finished clear of Libby Seed and Tullamore Dew II in second. Oli Townend picked up another top three finish with Treboy completing just 0.2 penalties behind Libby.
Section W was the final section of the day and the second of the Open Intermediate sections. Ian Wills and Hartpury Sky is the Limit completed on the same penalty score as Camilla Kruger and Biarritz II but finished ahead by virtue of being closer to the optimum time. Andrew Nicholson and Liberto II finished third, one of only two combinations to finish on their dressage score in this section.
Across the three days of competition it was fair to say that both jumping phases provided a degree of influence and it was good to see some new fences and changes to the course to provide some added interest. Although not helped by the weather the team worked hard and it will be interesting to see what further developments have been made come the start of next season.
Report Courtesy of Suzi Stanner
Photographs Courtesy of Dave Murray