Off and running at Oasby
Oliver Townend and Ececheira
An Eventful Life is filming all competitors on cross country at Oasby (1) - find out more here
After a false start at Aston-Le-Walls when bad weather and wet ground stopped play on the first weekend of the season it was a joy to see the sunshine at Oasby Horse Trials on their first day of competition
Oasby in Lincolnshire is one of the many events organised by Bede Events and runs two competitions each year in March and October. Run over flat ground in one valley and on free draining soil, it is rare for this event to be cancelled so it is a perfect venue for both the beginning and end of season and is certainly welcomed by eventers ready to rock and roll at the beginning of each year
Although the ground was a bit soggy in the days leading up to the event, a sunny day with light winds on Thursday soon dried it up and made the going good. With Bede’s head honcho Stuart Buntine (okay, we all know that the head honcho is really his wife Anna but we’ll play along) absconding to the USA to officiate at Red Hills International, Alec Lochore is in charge as TD for the mammoth four days which will see around 1,000 competitors get back into eventing in 2017
One face being welcomed back on Thursday was that of Piggy French, returning to the saddle after having her baby in 2016 (and making a bit of a splash as commentator extraordinaire at Badminton when she serenaded Michael Jung). Her face was a happy one, especially when she took home the top prize in the Novice Section C on Cooley Monsoon, adding just 3.2 time penalties to their dressage score of 24
Piggy was delighted with the eight year old gelding by Ramiro B saying on Twitter that it was her first win of 2017 with hopefully many more to come while Cooley Monsoon’s owner Jennifer Saunders (yes, the Jennifer Saunders) had a good day at Oasby watching her horse win. As Piggy was one of the winners of our cross country videos for the best score across the sections, Jennifer will get to watch it many more times!
Piggy French and Cooley Monsoon
Cooley Monsoon was ridden by Oliver Townend last year and he chased Piggy in this class, finishing in second place riding menlo Park, one of many rides as usual for Oliver. He scored a win in the Open Novice Section B (and a cross country video) on Ececheira, second on Coldplay in the Open Novice A behind Sophie Brown riding Wil and fourth on Attractive Proposition in the Novice C – and that’s just on Thursday!
It was lovely to see Bill Levett pick up a ribbon at the first start of the season with the full thoroughbred Mighty Tara who won the BE100 Section E1, adding nothing to their dressage score of 33.3 and this is a horse that Bill thinks has lots of promise. It wasn’t all plain sailing for Bill with one of the youngsters taking a particular dislike to a corner with scary hay bales – Bill says on his blog that some hay bale training is coming up before they return with more young ones on Sunday ....
Another winner last week at Epworth, Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin finished third in the Novice Section D at Oasby
North Yorkshire’s Sara Bowe continued her winning ways on Kingsley Park Panther. They won the BE100 Section C at the new event in South Yorkshire, Epworth, last weekend and on Thursday won the BE100 Section G at Oasby. They started with a good dressage score of 24 and added just 1.2 time penalties on cross country to win our cross country video for the best score at this level
We’ll be back after the weekend with a full wrap up and photo galleries from Oasby – in the meantime you can follow the live scoring here (if you are on a mobile hit the green button on the side of screen to see classes) and watch some snippets of video