Upton House ran another immaculately organised event which was heavily praised across all the sections, from BE90 to the BE Novice class. Various fence dressings were scattered around the course to add to the atmosphere, a favourite being a lifesize wooden owl complete with dinner in addition to hatching ducklings at the water fence.

Animal management student Roxanne Britnell and Newmiln Jamestown won the BE100 Under 18 class after they added nothing to their dressage score of 32.3 . “I’m hoping to move up to Novice later this season and am really excited about going to Weston Park for the young rider championships” commented Roxanne “we’ve had him for four years and I’m optimistic about the future”.

Top honours in Novice Section A went to Diani Western-Kaye and the aptly named Speedilicious who finished on 31.5 after adding just one pole to her dressage score of 27.5. Although the novice cross country course did cause several combinations to mar their scoresheets with time penalties, Diani and Speedilicious completed inside the optimum time of 4 minutes 12 seconds. “He has turned into a cross country machine since moving up to Novice recently… we had a blip when he fell in the trekahner at BCA so we were so proud that he went over the one here with no problems”.

Novice section B was won by Ibby Macpherson riding 6 year old Evantos K. Upton was their first run at Novice level and such a win is surely an encouraging sign for the future. “I would not usually go so quick on their first run at this level but he covers the ground very well and felt very confident” commented Ibby, “he may do a CIC* at the end of the year. I am very lucky to have loyal owners and a lovely yard of horses”.

Section E went to Sarah Pinfield riding Wellshead Fare Enough, a 9 year old mare by Fleetwater Opposition who she has ridden for 5 years. Wellshead Fare Enough (stable name Fairy) was originally lent out to Sarah by owner Sue Lanz but Fairy was gifted to Sarah as an eighteenth birthday present. “She had been broken and done one mini unaffiliated event before we got her. We have kept her ever since and she is part of the family now – it was a dream come true for her to be my eighteenth birthday present and she is the best horse anyone could have wished for”.

Sara Squires, previously a special needs teacher before turning to eventing full time, took first place in the hotly contested 5 Year old section on board Calvin II. Calvin was originally bought from the Hanoverian Auctions. “He only started eventing in May and has already qualified for the BYEH finals as well as the YH champs” commented rider Sara Squires, “I am now aiming Calvin at the Young Horse championships and then maybe a nice novice”.

Full time graphic designer Hannah Darvas and six year old I Fly took top honours in BE100 section L after adding nothing to their dressage of 20.8. “We bought her as an unbroken three year old from Tom Searle during the awful weather a few years back as a project. When we went to see her, she actually jumped the five bar gate out of the arena within two minutes of us being there, at which point we said we’d have her”.  Whilst Hannah works full time, she credits her mother as a major force in keeping the show on the road

Pumbaa Goess won the BE100 Open section on the 11 year warmblood Scotfree who she is now aiming to move up to Novice level. “I was completely bowled over by the course” commented Pumbaa “it was an absolute pleasure to ride around. I love the fact that all the fences were up to height as they really encouraged bold, forward riding”.  

Sadly, dressage leader and Eventing WorldWide reporter Sophie Rothbarth fell foul of the cross country time after the excitement of their dressage score, which led to them complete the course with 7 too fast time penalties taking them from a leading position down to 7th place.   They are now recalibrating their speedometer!

Report by Sophie Rothbarth

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