Area 20 Horse Trials Qualifier, Berriewood, Sunday 16th June

Well, mixed fortunes this year for the ECCTG teams at the area horse trials, but at least the rain that softened the ground slightly earlier in the week stayed away on the day and there were smiles all round.

The two individuals in the 80cm class were Rachel Large with Poppy and Sally Vickers with Tockas Treasure. Rachel had a great start to the day with a fab dressage and clear show jumping, but unfortunately Poppy was not so keen on the cross country. We’ll put that round down to experience I think. Sally fared better with a solid double clear to finish in 6th – well done.

Two teams went forward to challenge for the novice 90cm crown; Catriona Henderson, Hannah Mulliner, Libby Richards and Sue O’Leary and then Zoe Beresford, Sally Filby and Hannah Mulliner again. Having cleared both the trakehner and corner in style, Catriona sadly had to take a second run up at the brush into the wood at the end of the course (a fence that caught many competitors out) but a great performance by Hannah on her first ride Sophie gave her a 3rd placing individually and clear cross country rounds from both Libby and Sue helped the team to a 3rd placing too. Just missing out on a qualification, but a very happy team who had thoroughly enjoyed the day by all accounts.

Hannah’s second ride Hugo and Zoe Beresford’s both had fences down in the show jumping but went on to post clear’s across the country. Unfortunately Sally Filby’s luck ran the other way – all the coloured poles stayed up and instead the penalties came over the solid obstacles. I saw a smile on her face as she crossed the line though!

In the 100cm intermediate class, our team of Nicki Toomer, Lucy Filby and I (stand-in Chef d’Equipe for the day) got off to a great start with some very competitive dressage scores, however Lucy and Barney took a dislike to the 3rd fence in the show jumping and I added 12 penalties to my scorecard by forgetting that no matter how good your new bit is, you still have to ride! Nicki and I went on to go clear cross country without time penalties and Nicki moved up from 6th to 2nd place. We’re waiting for confirmation from the powers that be but as the winner in Nicki’s section was in the winning team it looks like Nicki and Rascal will be heading down to the championships at Swalcliffe in a few weeks time. Congratulations Nicki (pictured here with me, because I couldn’t get myself photoshopped out)!

Our one individual in the 100+ open section, Rebecca Bush, had a last minute change of horse so was perhaps not as prepared as she would have liked and although she got off to a good start was not able to complete on this occasion.

So thank you to Area 20 for organising the day – not a small feat and it ran pretty smoothly. Thank you to Gemma and our team of helpers who kept the show jumping running well all day and thank you to Lisa for putting the teams together and getting us all there in the first place, even though you were unable to join us on the day itself.

I look forward to seeing you all at the team fundraiser Quiz Night on Saturday next week!

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