Monday, March 14, 2011

Eventing: Britain: The Sponsored Series season opens in Lincolnshire whilst WEG Gold Medal winners shine all over the country.

Lincolnshire’s Oasby Horse Trials hosted the first of two of the eagerly anticipated youth Eventing series this year. The KBIS British Equestrian sponsored class, aimed at under 18 year olds (BE100 U-18) and the Charles Owen Pony Trials, which are part of the selection programme for riders aged 12-15 on ponies between 142 and 148cms in height.

Under 18 series
Section U of the BE100 U-18 was won by 15 year old Peterborough-based Isabella Castle on her gelding Treylon. This was only Isabella’s third time Eventing with BE and already was the second of her top three placings so she is looking like a force to be reckoned with! Section Q was taken by another 15 year old rider, Derbyshire’s Georgie Rockingham on the big bay gelding Second Chance IV. Both riders are from the BE U-18 Midlands Region, which is coordinated by Brolly Bealby who enthused that: “there were lots of Midlands-based riders at Oasby this weekend putting in great performances. Despite some horses being rather fresh in the dressage, many put in great cross country rounds. Both of the winners rode very well throughout the three phases and I look forward to seeing how they progress over the season.”

The U-18 series was trialed regionally in 2010 with its success leading to a large increase in the amount of fixtures available to younger riders all in Britain. Area Finals are held in each region, plus targeted U-18 training available to all riders between 12 and 18, irrespective of level, in each region.

Pony Programme
Sophie Beaty, member of the 2010 Charles Owen British Pony European Gold-medal winning squad, took both of the 2011 Charles Owen Pony Trial sections at Oasby over the weekend. The Northants-based 15 year old took Section K with her seasoned little grey gelding, The Little Big Man. Section L saw the return of her 2010 Pony Team ride, the aptly named dun, Done and Dusted IV.

The Pony Trials continue at Aldon in Somerset this weekend and Lincolnshire Horse Trials (both running 18-20 March). Following successfully taking part in the Pony Trials, the team selectors will invite Pony riders to compete in the Charles Owen British Pony Championships (Brand Hall, Shropshire, 4-5 June). Here, the selectors will make their final choices to select the riders who will represent Britain at the Pony Europeans at Jaskowo in Poland (26-31 June 2011).

In other news..
Starting off their season with a bang at Oasby were two riders aiming for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships at Badminton. Alnwick-based farmers wife, Sally Robinson won the BE90 section M on her grey gelding, Sunday School. She was closely followed by another Grassroots Championship-bound rider, Cumbrian lorry driver Sue Chappelhow, with the bay mare, Crackenthorpe Nightingale. The Badminton Grassroots Championship take place on the 21-22 April this year, and are a celebration of the riders at Grassroots level of our sport.

Several members of the Gold Medal winning squad at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) had successful weekends at various of our events in the country: Pippa Funnell occupied four top 5 placings at Hampshire’s Tweseldown, where WEG Individual Silver Medallist, William Fox-Pitt and team mate Mary King also had successful weekends. Piggy French competed at both Oasby and Tweseldown, bringing home 7 top 10 placings. Tina Cook also took a large string of rides including her 2009 European Champion ride Miners Frolic to Tweseldown, whilst team mate, Nicola Wilson, made the journey from North Yorkshire to Oasby with a string of 5 horses.

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