A repeat feat
With 40 more teams than last year, 100 more individuals and new classes, Lincoln showground was a hive of activity
WITH three team members scoring double clears, East Cheshire Combined Training Group’s victory was never in doubt when they repeated last year’s feat of winning the team and individual open 1.10m showjumping, relegating the Irish Association of Riding Clubs into second place.
The team was made up of Joakima Ashmore (Amandas), Alison Unwin (Rongai), her daughter Abigail Unwin (Lunar Vision) and Ashley Daniel riding Abba. Alison — who is also club chairman — was a last-minute substitution and had actually qualified daughter Abigail’s horse for her when she was ill. Alison was riding despite having had a series of injuries, including a broken arm last year and broken back this year.
“I hadn’t jumped since I broke my back, but when Abby was ill, I jumped in,” said Alison. “It was probably the best thing as it got me back into it.”
Ashley Daniel’s talented mare Abba is 12 and was her successful partner last year too. She went clear in her team and individual rounds to win the open 110cm.
“The ground was slippery this morning, but she managed — we just went for it,” said Ashley.
The open 100cm was a new class this year — together with a 70cm. The Lakes Riding Club won the 100cm class with a team that combined two under-18s — Charlotte Salisbury (Davinci Diamond) and Robyn Bowness (Country Fair Lady) with Clare Guest (Longmoor Lad) and Helen Westmoreland-Nicholson (Harry Houdini). All the members are keen eventers, who can also excel over coloured fences.
Karen Begley (Isle of Wight) won the individual open 100cm with her home-bred Spring Thyme after a closely fought jump-off. Riders struggled to balance the tight, slippery turn between fences three and four and the challenging time allowed. Karen was the last to go and managed a slower but smaller turn and galloped for the last fence and through the finish to win with almost a second to spare.
“I jumped the double and just kicked for home,” she said with glee.
Spring Thyme is a 12-year-old out of a mare Karen bought for £800, including tack. As well as being British Showjumping area representative for the Isle of Wight, she is chairman of the club, a joint-master of foxhounds and a secondary-school head teacher.
A VERSATILE PAIR
SENIOR open dressage individual winner was Amy Dale of Wokingham and Bearwood Riding Club on her 10-year-old part-Irish draught, O’Reilly, who won her novice class on one of the top dressage scores of the championships, 73.33%.
This versatile pair was also competing in the team of four riding test and showjumping, so Amy was unaware of how successful she had been when she arrived at the presentation ring.
Amy, who works as a merchandiser for Waitrose, trains with dressage rider Kim Seaby.
“She’s been brilliant helping me get him up [in the frame],” said Amy.
The Solihull Riding Club is always competitive. This year’s winning dressage team was made up of Tina Kazmi (Colour Me Aftershock), Rebecca Squire (My Mr Darcy), Tamsin Dunn (Carlin) and Eleanor Spelman (The Secret Weapon II). Tina returned from injury to help the team (see box).
The Lakes Riding Club followed their jumping success with a junior individual dressage win for Holly Ransome and her black Welsh section C, Bryerswood Flyer (Guinness). Holly, who has been at the championships on three previous occasions, laughed as she described Guinness’ “chatty” test.
“He was quite relaxed but neighed throughout,” she recalled. “He’s quite a stubborn pony, so we have to do a lot of practice.”
Junior team dressage honours went to Atherstone & District Riding Club, who won last year with Keira Shafiq (Ebony) and Ellie Mitchell (Aquilas Silhouette Dancer) also members of the
2016 team. They were joined this year by Keira’s sister, Aliyah (Kilcorban Brook) and Jessica Bishop (Lissinard Hero). Aliyah
and Jessica were both winners of their respective arenas seven and nine.
Keira’s loan pony Ebony is 21. “But he acts like a five-year-old,” she said.
Rearsby Lodge Riding Club was the winning junior 90cm team and was made up of Jade England (Teddy Tulip), Mia Barlow (Kilnalocks Pilgrim),
Lily Walker (Ace Lightning) and Hannah Spray (Rosshill Dague).
Lily had three clears and was also individual winner. It was her last showjumping ride on the 18-year-old grey.
“I was last to go in the jump-off and one was clear before me so I knew I had to go clear and push on,” said Lily, 14. “He made the unrelated distances quite well and the treble distances were perfect for him.”
East Cheshire Combined Training Group repeat last year’s success, winning the team and individual open 1.10m showjumping
Top scorers: senior dressage individual winner Amy Dale and O’Reilly of Wokingham and Bearwood RC
Spearheading East Cheshire’s success: Ashley Daniel and Abba