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Riders give a positive verdict on new course
RIDERS flocked from far and wide to contest the first running of an affiliated British Eventing competition over the new course at Breckenbrough last week.
Event organiser Helen Bell did a great job and there were many positive comments received from riders, giving credit to the professional organisation and friendly atmosphere at the event which took place across the weekend of Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1.
Sophie Lear, from Acklam, was among a number of highly-ranked riders to fly the flag for Ryedale as she delivered an impressive performance in the BE100.
Having celebrated her 16th birthday just days earlier, the icing on the cake came for Sophie when a powerful cross-country run put her into third place behind seasoned event riders Nicola Wilson and Alyse Clancey.
Sophie has forged a strong bond with her talented 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Westmount Charlie, and the pair performed foot-perfect double clear jumping rounds to finish on a dressage score of 29.5 that gained pleasing comments from the judge.
Sophie had little time to suffer from any pre-competition nerves as she busied herself in the top-to-toe preparation of her horse, from plaiting his mane to placing his studs, while her mum, Sarah Lear, was on hand to hold the horse and drive the wagon.
Another local rider with good cause to celebrate was Bethany Shipley, 13, from Sheriff Hutton, as she saddled up for success in the BE90 riding her grey mare, Breffne Brou. During their first outing of 2012, the combination performed faultless jumping rounds to finish on a dressage score of 26.5, a result that was good enough to place them fourth in their section.
“It was a fabulous course and a great start to the BE season,” said Bethany.
“I felt a real buzz of excitement as I completed the cross-country phase and Clover (Breffne Brou) enjoyed it too.”
Among others tasting success was Slingsby-based instructor Steph Robson, riding her home-produced grey, Tina’s Gold. The seven-year- old gelding is notching up some great results. Steph bought this horse as an unbroken three-year-old and, since breaking him in, has brought him on slowly to reap some great rewards. A good dressage score of 23.5 and a single pole lowered in the showjumping arena put the combination into third place in their section of the BE90.
Steph said: “The event was very wellorganised with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The cross-country course was inviting and rode well but there were sufficient technical aspects to ask a few questions of the riders.”
The cross-country course, designed by Moray Nicholson, included two water crossings, combinations, skinnies, a corner, wall and steps.
Ian Brown’s show jumping course was well-laid out in a good size ring, but the planks, strategically placed after a triple bar, proved to be a bit of a bogey fence and caught out a few riders.
One rider without any such problems was Christopher Whittle, from Youlthorpe, near Pocklington, who performed a perfectly balanced showjumping round on Heidi Woodhead’s five-year-old chestnut gelding, Jump for Height. The combination took second place in their section of the BE100 after a fluent cross country run left them on their dressage score of 30.5.