NORTH Parklands EC, South Yorks | Epworth Equestrian, North Lincs
Kerry Witham and her trainer Hannah Esberger-Hancock were the queens of the novice classes, winning their sections and one apiece overall.
Kerry won the qualifier overall with a plus-70% score at Parklands, riding vet Michael Wharmby’s home-bred Newton.
She started the Sandreo x Voltaire five-year-old, and says she’s learning with him.
“To beat Hannah was just unbelievable,” she joked. “Newton has plenty of attitude and he can throw his toys out of the pram, but when he’s on side, he’s amazing. Hannah has given me confidence and I hope he’s my horse of a lifetime.”
Hannah was riding Iggy Pop, a Dream Boy four-year-old found in Holland by Henry Boswell.
“Henry called and said I’ve found you a small one,” said petite Hannah, whose small tour ride Leonidas is 18.2hh. “He turned out to be a two-year-old and hasn’t stopped growing, but I just adore him and feel a real connection, so he’s a keeper. It’s like finding the man you want to marry.”
Iggy Pop, who is owned by Hannah, her parents and BD northern regional development officer Jo Byrne, will be aimed at five-year-old classes next year.
Rebecca Hutchinson piloted Pauline Wood’s Shanbally Shadow to two good-scoring prelim wins at Epworth, completing his winter qualification in four tests.
The 15-year-old had been showjumping in Ireland and was brought over for Pauline’s granddaughter, who is now travelling in Australia.
“I ride another for Pauline, and she enjoys dressage, so decided to affiliate Shadow, too. He’s a hairy, coloured cob and I thought he was neat and obedient, but he’s rather surprised us all with his scores. He’s awesome and a real sweetheart,” said Rebecca, who works as a groom for dressage rider and trainer
‘I adore him, it’s like finding the man you want
Kerry Witham wins a novice qualifier on Newton (Sandreo x Voltaire)