National Horse Trials Championships, Aston-le-Walls, Aug 3-5th 2012

Whilst most BE Events all around the country succumbed to the bad weather, the British Riding Clubs Championships held at Aston Le Walls last weekend, managed to stay afloat (just!). The rain held off for the most part although we experienced heavy showers Saturday afternoon and throughout Sunday, and arrived to find firm going and hard dressage arenas!

The Novice Team (Hannah Mulliner on Ballybane Hugo, Hannah Leech on Welton Chilli Pepper, Amy Lennon on Hardy’s Well and Nicky Toomer on Daytona II) finished in 9th place – well done girls, brilliant effort.  Open individual, Jo Glover on In Vogue completed well after an uncharacteristic run out on the cross country (see below).

Jo kicked off the proceedings with a good dressage test, followed the next day by the Novice team all attaining very respectable scores.  Hannah Leech put up a great test with a score of 26.8 and went into the lead in her section.  The XC course ran right past the arenas which caused great excitement to some of the younger horses!  The Novice team all show jumped next with all except Nicky having poles down, mostly due to the slippy conditions.  However, Hannah L. retained her section lead despite 1 fence down and we finished up in 7th place overnight.  Jo then went on the Open cross country over a course that had its share of problems. She was going great guns until close to the end when In Vogue put in a very big jump into the water and some steering problems sadly meant they whizzed past the jump out of the water and had to re-present!

So… onto Sunday – XC day for the Novice team and show jumping for Jo.  Again, the Novice XC course presented some problems,  Nicky was the trailblazer and young Daytona put in a confident performance that belied his youth!  Hardy’s Well was rather green for Amy and decided to call it a day…. maybe next year?  Thankfully all our other team members jumped well-timed clear rounds!  Hannah M. gave us a heart stopping moment at the jump after the bank when Hugo decided to leave a leg behind and she did well to stay on!  Jo did the vet’s inspection and trot up in torrential rain and we were lucky that our team missed the downpours whilst doing their XC rounds.  Next it was Jo’s turn to jump the open show jumping.  She jumped a superb round rolling just 1 pole.

We finished in the top 10, in 9th place, an excellent perfomance.  Hannah L. retained her Section Lead and, as well as winning her section, was also placed 6th overall as an individual.  Nicky was placed 9th in her Section.  It was great to attend the presentation and cheer her!! Sadly Jo was unplaced in the Open competition but still put in a good performance.  Once again there was a lot of camaraderie and fun – not quite as noisey as last year (no Belgians singing!!).  Thanks to the Leech family for letting me stay in their wagon!
If you are interested in taking part in the qualifiers next year, watch out for dates on the website and contact me (
Chef D’Equipe

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