2022 Warwick Hall (2) Horse Trials Wrap Up | An Eventful Life

2022 Warwick Hall (2) Horse Trials Wrap Up

 

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Emily King’s fall at Badminton Horse Trials is one no doubt she, and spectators, would wish to wipe from their memory bank.

Emily’s foot was stuck in her stirrup for longer than anyone would want when Valmy Biats tipped her out the side door.

None the worse for their experience, the partnership returned to eventing with a confidence boosting double clear at Warwick Hall (2)

While each of Emily’s three rides recorded top 10 finishes, Valmy Biats was victorious in the Open Novice Section H, finishing on their leading dressage score kept Charlotte Donald and Just the Biscuit at bay in second place.

Indeed, recently married Charlotte (nee Dennis) had to settle for being the bridesmaid three times at Warwick Hall – she also picked up second placings in the BE100 sections with My Turn Ramiro and Damorkus E.T in section A and C respectively.

BE100 Section A was headed by Emma Hobday and Montpellier Scais

“He came to me for schooling last year as a four-year-old and I was so very fortunate that my godmother, Lucy, ended up buying him for me as I think he’s going to be a real top one” says Emma

He’s more than shown his promise and was second at Belsay on his last run. 

“He was due a win, as was Jubilated Zelma, who has been in the top ten on every outing this year”

Sourced from Julie Lawson and now owned by Emma’s mum, the dressage mare has loved the switch to eventing and “She’s super smart on the flat and she loves having a job and to get stuck in” plus “She’s fun to ride and brilliant cross-country.”

Emma was also third in BE100 Section C, half a penalty behind Charlotte Donald and Ally Cope who both completed on 22.3 penalties.

 

   Ally Cope and Checkpoint Cooley

 

The win went to Ally Cope and Checkpoint Cooley, who Ally says is a “Quirky character, so my success at Warwick is a big achievement for me as I nearly gave up on him.”

Heralding Badminton Grassroots as a real turning point for the partnership, they’ve also benefitted from being stabled with Michael Owen.

“Clinging on to the side of him wasn’t what I had in mind when I bought him two years ago” Ally explains “But he thrives on being based in a competition yard and Michael helps me with everything from flatwork to jumping and I wouldn’t have half the confidence I have now without his help.”

The partnership is now hoping to return to Badminton Grassroots but at BE100 level this time

“I’ve been eventing for thirty years and this win was just as special, if not more special, than my first win. The cross-country course flowed so well and was such a pleasure to ride I actually dared to think I might go to Novice in the future.”

Tyler Cassells and KEC Moment in Time had looked in contention for a win at Warwick Hall (1) but three show jumps down put paid to that bid.

This time however, the led from start to finish to claim the final BE100 Section P – particularly pleasing perhaps as less than half the BE100 competitors managed a clear show jumping round.

 

 

The BE100 Open section was a flying victory for Vsplesk, the jet-black Russian stallion piloted by Storm Straker.

Storm and Vsplesk finished on 16.5penalties, well ahead of Kitty Taylor and DHI Jet Set who still posted a fabulous result finishing on their dressage score of 22.5 penalties.

Storm says, “Vsplesk has the best attitude and trainability but has been a bit of a slow burner and I’m hoping to sell him to go on and be successful with a Junior as I have a full-time job working for A-Plan as an account executive in rural insurance.”

The pair are now headed for Alnwick Ford International in the CCIS-2* - as are Novice Section F winners, Abby Corlett and The Real McCoy IX.

The partnership has already featured on our reports this year as they were in winning ways at Bishop Burton.

Abby says “Eventually I’m going to get to wear that tailcoat”, adding, “Well, if all goes to plan getting back of the Isle of Man”.

Ever grateful to her supporters including Country Warehouse, Epico Equestrian and IOM Steam Packet, Abby also is eternally grateful to her Mum for her support and expertise.

Yasmin Ingham extended her reputation of being on top of the dressage arena and HVL Monbeg High added nothing to their 18.3 penalty dressage score to claim Novice section E.

In posting clean sheets, Yasmin was also fifth behind Abby with Gypsie du Loir while Goliath du Loir was runner up in Novice Section G.

 

   Harrison Collings and Trevi Fountain

 

Half a penalty separated her from victor, Harrison Collings, who won Novice Section G with Trevi Fountain.

Harrison was based with Julie Lawson for seven years (Julie, nee Robinson, being a respected competitor, coach and young horse producer, mentioned earlier with Emma Hobday’s winning ride, Jubilated Zelma).

“I had the best time, and without the training and opportunities I received with Julie, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today” says Harrison “I continue to work with Julie who actually sourced Trevi Fountain from Ireland back in 2019 and owned him with me until the back end of last year.”

Trevi Fountain apparently hasn’t been the easiest of horses to produce and Harrison adds “I’d like to give a massive thanks to Julie for her huge amount of support and dedication.”

Harrison travelled to Warwick with Molly Oman and James Adams and, although rolled poles and time penalties put Molly out of the placings with her ride, James’s two rides both placed.

BH Gringos Legacy was fourth in Novice Section F and the five-year-old, Tullibards Mr Globetrotter, who won a BE90 Open section at Warwick Hall (1) narrowly missed taking a double with 0.4 cross country time penalties dropping him to second in the BE90 Open Section M.

That section was dominated by Sara Bowe who had a staggering seven rides at Warwick and in this section alone finished first, third and fifth with Upper Limit, Odalisque and Norma G II all finishing on their dressage scores.

Clean sheets also contributed to the wins in BE90 Section K (Caitlin Cox and Cherokee Renascent) and BE90 Section L (Jack Mantel and Haslemere Prince), the latter leading from the dressage phase.

Jack says, “He is an exciting horse and has been double clear with top ten placings every time out and has a big future ahead of him.”

Haslemere Prince is now due to step up to BE100 at Alnwick Ford.

In terms of meteoric rises, Marion Vernon’s pony, Crannard Silver Relief enjoyed a winning second BE80 outing in this, the six-year-old’s first season of eventing.

Winning BE80 Section N by adding just 0.4 time penalties to their 31.3 penalty dressage score was a far cry from the pony’s debut – he posted a 42.3 penalty dressage score at Floors Castle just five weeks earlier.

 

 

 

In BE80 Section O, Ollie Rowlands and Nimbus Blaise left nothing to chance, completing on their dressage leading score of 25 penalties, while in BE90 Section I, show jumping faults across the section enabled a shuffle of placings with Philippa Nixon and Kiljames Daybreak rising up to take the spoils with their faultless jumping rounds.

The show jumping courses did prove influential across the sections and while the flat, sandy ground was welcome in the heat, the cross-country caused widespread problems except in the BE80 were less than sixty percent had clear rounds with the majority of faults being at the first four fences.

Emma Hobday explains, “The course is a nice, fair, educational track but the most tricky bit is that after fence one, you turn left and jump into the woods and then turn right over a slightly more narrow fence and, as fences two, three and four come up quickly, it means horses have to be on the ball from the start.”

 

    Julie Gaitskell and Borris Harley

 

A surprise perhaps then that Julie Gaitskell’s ‘introverted and backwards-thinking’, Borris Harley romped around the course to win BE90 Section J.

Julie explains, “At eight years old he still won’t hack alone or go into the arena by himself but this season I have managed to nurse him around a few events”.

“At our first event I didn’t really know if we would get past fence three but he did and I think the key to riding this horse is to have no expectations – he is so unpredictable and his confidence can be knocked so very easily.”

The partnership now has a couple of regional final tickets but are staying at BE90 level, Julie adding, “At 53, the jumps look much bigger than they used to!”

Julie took a black flag alternative at one fence “That was thoughtful of the course builder as horses like Borris need extra time to assess the situation!”

“I’ve been coming to Warwick Horse Trials since it began and the team are always so helpful, well organised and polite and my daughter, Freya, and I try to volunteer when we can if we’re not on board.”

Entries were again diminished but the same number of volunteers are required and, as ever, the eventing family came to the fore for a much-appreciated event.

“I think Warwick Hall, in particular, is a great event for anyone wanting to step up a level, whichever class” adds Julie “Both show jumping and cross-country courses are built to an impeccable standard and include a mixture of both enjoyable fences and educational questions”

“How lucky am I to have such a great event on my doorstep!”

Article by Anna Bruce