West Wilts marks landmark event
West Wilts celebrated its 50th affiliated horse trials in style with a host of international eventing stars in attendance
The second British Eventing competition of the year at West Wilts attracted entries from Pippa Funnell, Jonelle and Tim Price, Padraig McCarthy, Mark Todd, Izzy Taylor, William Fox Pitt, Mary King, Lucinda Fredericks, Tom McEwan, Francis Whittington and Kitty King, with nearly 600 combinations taking part.
West Wilts first affiliated competition took place on Wednesday 18 June 1997. Under British Eventing, it is one of the most popular events in the south west and boasts three fixtures a year.
Ireland’s Jonty Evans had a successful event at the Wiltshire venue, picking up a brace of wins. His first came in Novice on Newmarket Dove, the mare’s second win of the year. His second win was with A Chance Affair, owned by Lady Celia Vesty and Lady Victoria Reay, making it the combinations fourth victory of the year.
Jonty told Eventing Worldwide: “I was extremely pleased with the double win. Both the horses are six year olds and they are both very good horses. They’re moving up the grades now – both are going to the Drishane Castle International Horse Trials at Millstreet in Ireland for the CIC Young Horse 1* – this will be Chance Affair’s last event of the season as we feel he has done enough this year but Newmarket Dove would be a contender for Le Lion. A Chance affair is a real prospect for the future and I would like to think Lady Vesty would keep him and see how good he is for the future.” 
In the KBIS 5 Year Old Section C Khia Cadney-Moon and Curraghgraigue Du Carel took the honours to follow up their win at Calmsden in the BE90 class whilst the KBIS 4 Year Old Section was won by Vicky Tuffs on Goldwin.
In BE100 Open Section D, it was a first win for Iain Greer and Coumroe Patch with a dressage score of 25 penalties and a double clear. This section was made extra special with the appearance of Jane Holderness-Roddam. Jane was the first British woman to compete in an Olympic 3 Day Event, winning a Team Gold Medal at Mexico in 1968. She came out of retirement to compete to raise money for two equine charities – the Brooke and World Horse Welfare, of which Jane is a trustee of both. Riding her veteran eventer Tiger’s Eye II, who has completed both Badminton and Burghley, Jane scored 23.8 in the dressage (the highest score in the section) and jumped a double clear adding a handful of time penalties to finish just out of the placings.
Before coming out of retirement, Jane’s last competitive appearance in a British Eventing competition was in 2002 at Moreton Morrell, and she has never ridden Bill competitively. She said: “Horses have been a part of my life since childhood and I can’t think of a better way to give something back to these wonderful animals than by supporting two charities that I am so proud to be involved with.”
To date, Jane has raised more nearly £12,000. To donate visit Jane’s fundraising page – http://bit.ly/1KQ258u
In BE90 Section L Georgie Silvey continued her run of good form with a win on Rudgeway Spanish Guinea. The combination have not been out of the top 10 this season, with their results including a win at Mount Ballen in May. Georgie, who is an Equine Veterinary Nurse at B&W Equine Group, started eventing Jimmy last year. She says: “Jimmy was bought by chance after my mother saw an advert for him – he is full brother to our much loved fantastic event pony Rudgeway Toreador who is now retired. After a season hunting with the Berkeley it transformed him and he has been placed everytime out this season. Our aim is to qualify for Badminton Grassroots next spring. It has been one of my best seasons as I have also won on my other horse Choc Ice. West Wilts is a fantastic event and one of our favourites – every effort is made to ensure you and horse have an enjoyable day out.”
Other winners from the landmark West Wilts event were: BE100 Section A Pippa Funnell, Court Jester; BE100 Section B Alana Sparrow, Fashion Rocks; Novice Section F Nick Nott, Domingo 594; Novice Section G Ugolotti Giovanni, Zilana; BE90 Section I Katy Sawyer, Dainamyth; BE90 Section J Sophie Lavender, Padasion: BE90 Section K Olivia Hoyland, Crystal; BE90 Open Section M Sara Squires, Bolt; BE100 Section O Eleanor Barrett, Purdies Daffodilly; BE100 Section P Jack Pinkney, Roxanne VII.
The next British Eventing competition at West Wilts will be held on September 12 and 13, with classes for BE80 (T), BE90, BE100, BE100 Open, Novice and Intermediate Novice.
Sarah Carless
Photography Courtesy of Tanzy Lee

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