Gemma Stevens wins Hickstead Eventers Challenge | An Eventful Life

Gemma Stevens wins Hickstead Eventers Challenge

Gemma Stevens and Flash Cooley            Photo: Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves

 

 

Sussex-based Gemma Stevens (nee Tattersall) won the Ashby Underwriting Eventers’ Challenge at Hickstead, in what was an extremely tight competition.

A pole down on Flash Cooley meant the pair really had to gallop to beat the time, finishing on 125.26 seconds to go just ahead of Helen Witchell and My Ernie (126.77 sec). Pippa Funnell finished third with a classy clear on the experienced Majas Hope (126.89 sec) ahead of Simon Grieve and Drumbilla Metro, who completed an all-British top four.

Olympic event rider Gemma has been competing at Hickstead for years but was yet to win the eventing showcase until today.

“As my father just told me, I’ve been trying to win this for over half my life – so at long last, I’ve finally managed to win it!” she said. “It’s like being at home here at Hickstead – I live fifteen minutes away and I come schooling here all the time, so it’s really cool to win.”

Gemma describes Flash Cooley as a ‘cool little horse’ and praised his versatility, having had a busy and successful few weeks.

“Two weeks ago he was up at Bolesworth doing a Mini Major and the ride and drive, and then last weekend he won an Advanced eventing class at Aston le Walls, and now he’s won the Eventers’ Challenge at Hickstead. He’s just so much fun and he absolutely loves the speed.”

Gemma, who recently married long-term partner Gary Stevens, does a lot of showjumping alongside her eventing career. She is planning to compete in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup with MGH Candy Girl.