Keysoe (2) wrap up | An Eventful Life

Keysoe (2) wrap up


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The second British Eventing fixture of the year for Keysoe provided much nicer weather and a different feel to the course compared to their early May event. The course ran clock-wise this time, extending into the next field before heading into the woods via the water. Keysoe always put so much effort into the appearance of their jumps, making it a really appealing event for riders and spectators alike.

The winner of the BE100 Section A was George Hilton-Jones on Rapid Global VB owned by Christine Hudson. George explains that Rapid Global VB (Marco) is exceptionally consistent and hasn’t been out of the top four this season. George and his girlfriend Jess, run an event yard together and are sponsored by Buckingham Equine Vets, where Jess works.

BE100 Section B was won by Alison Glover on Saintfield Douglas, Section C by Grace Hull on Ahaltive Surprise and Section D by Eve Hobbs on Fivale Indian Art all of which were ridden by their owners. Bubby Upton won Section N on Zara Lye’s Challenge Z (watch their cross country ride here) and the winner of Section P was Laurence Hunt on Lakota Ghost owned by Harriet Boddy. Laurence also won the BE90 Open Section M on his own Corlanau Armani.


      Laurence Hunt and Lakota Ghost on the wonderful Keysoe show jumping arena


BE100 Section O was won on Nelson VT Dauwhof, affectionately known as Eric, owned and ridden by Amy Stone. Amy says that “Eric is my horse of a lifetime”

“We purchased him as an unbroken three-year-old, we broke him in ourselves and have slowly produced him up the levels. He is the first horse we have broken in ourselves. Keysoe was our first BE100, he’s only just turned six, and this is only his second season eventing. My aims for this season were to jump a double clear around a 100 so to complete that on our first time BE100 and then go on to take the win was unbelievable. He gave me the most amazing feel especially in the cross country, he’s matured so much this season. He won the BE80 at Keysoe (2) last year so it seems to be our lucky event!”

The Novice class included an extra loop on the course with some trickier fences for the combinations to tackle. Willa Newton won the Novice Section E on Fadeline owned by Louise Eadie. This team had come close to success in the past but they had never quite managed it all on the same day before and Willa considers her to be a very exciting horse for the future.

Section F was won by Jaymee Savill on her own Knockmullen Flyer and the Open Novice Section G was won by Piggy French on Brookfield Quality owned by Alison Swinburn, John Perry and Chloe Perry. This horse also won at Rockingham in the 3* and Chatsworth in the 2* with Piggy earlier this year and was successful under both Harry Meade and Kevin McNab prior to that.



The BE90 Section H was won by Luke Thompson on Exit Visa owned by Carl Belson, as are the other two horses Luke rode at Keysoe. Exit Visa, known as Max, is an ex-point to pointer. He was given to Luke to ride as his owner had just had a baby and they were struggling to fit everything in. Luke says “he isn’t the friendliest of horses in the stable and likes his own personal space, he has a bit of an attitude.” Apparently they have struggled at the start box with Max in the past but everything appears to have fallen into place this time out!

Luke also came third in the BE100 Section D on Conzalez M (stable name Prego) who was sent to Luke to produce and sell in 2013. Luke liked him so much that “We bought him!”

“We show jumped him from British Novice up to 1.60m level and last year he was entered for the Hickstead Derby. In our preparation we took him cross country schooling and found he loved it so converted to eventing. Last year at Keysoe we were last after dressage as he wouldn’t go past X, he was terrified of the judge’s hut, so we were delighted with his test this weekend. Thankfully we have been working hard on this phase and it’s paying off. He is a very kind horse and has a lovely personality. He’s everybody’s favourite on the yard.”

Luke’s third ride was not quite so successful but is a relatively new horse to him and they are still getting to know each other. “Fara-Diba M, stable name Bridget, is a diva and very impatient. She is very big and needs a lot of organising. We haven’t yet got her bitting correct for jumping/cross country which causes some interesting lines. She is pretty honest if I can get her to a fence but sometimes the steering fails.”

Luke runs a livery yard with his partner who is a BS and BE level 3 coach. He explains that they mainly hack their horses, as they find it gets the horses forward-thinking and is good for them in general. “We only go into the arena to jump or do pole work which we try and do a couple of times a week.”

The BE90 Section I was won by Katie Power on her own Tattygare Never Let Me Go (watch their cross country ride here) and Section J was won by Jessica Hadaway on Cynheidrefawr Ceidrych owned by Fiona Spencer. Margo Sly won the BE90 Section K on her own Gorsehill Alamo, a six-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Pointilliste out of Gorsehill Lady. Margo purchased Rupert in March 2018 on the suggestion of her trainer Nicole Mills based at Casewick Stud, near Stamford.

 “She knew I was looking for a new project to fulfil my Grassroots ambitions and that Kate Walls, a local event horse agent, had a potentially suitable horse for sale. He was an early 50th Birthday present to myself. Now a month before my big birthday we have three Grassroots Regional Final qualifications.  Who knows where the journey will lead to; but along with the Team at Casewick Stud, I am enjoying every minute of the process of training and learning as much as possible.  This is Rupert’s first season eventing after we enjoyed a pre-season warm up on the hunting field. He’s a gentleman of a horse, which is important to an amateur and mother of three!”




Victoria Weir won Section L on her own Madame Obie, a five-year-old mare by Golden Master out of an Obos Quality mare and Vicky describes her as “a delight in every way!” She bought this mare last summer as a four year old just over from Ireland and Keysoe was her first BE event, having previously competed in two unaffiliated events this year.

The winners of the two BE80(T) sections were Deborah Burrell on Imperial Tangle (Section Q) - watch their ride here - and Jacqueline Lawson (Section R) and MBF Cappaquin, both horses owned by their riders.

Keysoe have their third BE event in August, where the course is sure to pose different challenges yet again. Congratulations to everyone involved in this event, it’s one of my favourites!

Article by Jess Johnson