The principle sponsor of the event was PwC, who for the fourth time have provided a wealth of support for the organiser and with whom they are proud to be associated with. The event was oversubscribed and everyone was excited to have a run this season on ground that had perfect going for all three disciplines. The organisers developed the XC course for 2018 with their focus on natural fences, using wood grown on the estate. Principle sponsor is PWC for the 2018 season.
Horseheath Horse Trials, situated at Horseheath Racecourse, just four miles west of Haverhill, off the A1307, took place over two days and attracted over 600 competitors who came to compete in classes from BE80 (T) to BE100 in all three disciplines including Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. New for 2018, and in order to encourage newcomers to Horseheath Horse Trials, there were prizes and rosettes for the highest place first-timer in each class. Additionally Godolphin Lifetime Care offered section prizes for the highest placed ROR registered thoroughbred.
Winners of the Godolphin Lifetime Care awards in the BE100 were Indie Vaughan Jones and her horse Cool Choice (rider 91). In the BE90, Aimee Godbold (rider 329) from South Cambridgeshire, won the Godolphin Lifetime Care award on her horse Roman Eglenovich, for Aimee the best part of the day was “pulling off a 26.5 dressage, which is a PB for us!”. Rachel Casbon (rider 326) from Ely, won the award for the BE80 on her Godolphin trained horse, Burj Hatta and was so proud of the fabulous 22 dressage and that they, “accomplished the ditch”.
Also new for 2018 Virbac has joined forces with British Eventing to support the BE80(T) Training and Technical Merit. BE80(T) classes will find a Virbac 3D Worming BE Accredited Coach on hand, to help competitors warm up and offer advice whilst walking the show jumping and cross country courses. Virbac will be offering a £500 training bursary to one lucky winner of the Virbac 3D Worming Technical Merit. Rewarding good cross country riding, each competition will see the rider jumping double clear and finishing the cross country phase closest to the optimum time, without time penalties, awarded the Virbac 3D Worming Technical Merit. All competitors achieving this will be listed on the Technical Merit Table, and the lucky winner will be picked at random at the end of the season. So they are: Theresa Jones Sec P, Poppy Proietti Sec O, Emily Lombe Taylor Sec O, Mia Mcdonald Sec N, Michelle Lowe Sec M
Corrine Roberts, from Takeley, Bishops Stortford scooped two wins – both the PwC BE100 Section A (rider 20) on Recession (dressage 25.3), and the PwC BE100 Section B (rider 78) on her homebred Fourstar Buck, said that ‘It was Buck’s first BE100 and riding him cross country was fantastic. To feel his confidence grow as he went round the course was very special!’ Corrine returned on Sunday and narrowly missed a hat trick to bag a 2nd on Four Star Struck, also a homebred 7 year old by Wish Upon a Star.
The winner of PwC BE100 Section C, Molly Harris (rider 119) from Great Yarmouth on Bannview Black Bess, produced a lovely dressage test to get a score of 26.8 as well as thoroughly enjoying the cross country.
Phili Williams from Burwell, Cambridgeshire (rider 168) was the winner of Binder BE100 Section D on Simply Tango with a stunning 18.3 dressage. The best part of the day for Phili was ‘the cross country and the weather!’
BE90 SATURDAY WINNERS
The first three BE90 sections began later in the day. Fern Wilson (rider 254) won the Taylor Vinters BE90 Section F on Killea Colours with a dressage score of 24.5 and Harry Horton (rider 302) on Darc Silver won the Taylor Vinters BE90 Section G with a score of 25.5.
The winner of the last section of the day was local rider Rosie Hull (rider 364) from Halstead, Essex on Master Comic in Taylor Vinters BE90 Section H finishing with a 30 dressage. The best part for Rosie was, “finding out that I was inside the time on Dennis (Master Comic) having been stopped on course and not being sure of my time at all.” Her years of Pony Club experience with the EEHPC meant she could gauge her speed to perfection coming in on optimum time. Rosie also won 3rd in BE90 sec F on her horse Auld Flame in the BE90 (256).
BE90 SUNDAY WINNERS
For 14 year old Cecily Hopkins (568) from Riseley, Bedfordshire, it was her first ever BE and she accidently entered herself into the open class. She came to have a new experience and with no expectations, just to enjoy herself. She surpassed her expectations with a dressage score of 24. A double clear within the time meant she won the NFU BE90 Open Section L on her 14’ 1hh pony, Landis Black Pepper, as well as winning Hightest Placed Newcomer. An excellent result to the pair who have done lots of Pony Club together.
Francesca Housden (479) on Shanna Dun An Ouir Star Lite also won Highest Placed Newcomer in Taylor Vinters BE90 Section J and said that “going around the cross country” was her favourite part of the day. Harry Lee (532) on Abbeywoods Opium in Taylor Vinters BE90 Section K and Victoria Sunter (412) on Ballyduff Max in Taylor Vinters BE90 Section I, both won Hightest Placed Newcomers in their sections.
BE90 Section K was won by Victoria Linfield (rider 530) from Blackboys East Sussex on Jokers Promise with 26.8 dressage which was excellent preparation for Badminton MMC next week.
Emily Leslie, the winner of Taylor Vinters (458) BE90 Section J, on her horse Welton Spirit, said, “The event was so well run with the friendliest bunch or volunteers.” Avril Verhagen (421) was the winner of the Taylor Vinters BE90 Section I on her horse Silver Ridge, finishing on her dressage score of 25.3.
BE80 (T) WINNERS
In the BE80, Ella Watson rider (635) from King’s Cliffe on her horse The Kerry Man, in Section M came 5th winning Highest Placed Newcomer.
The BE80 (T) had two younger competitors scoop up first place in their sections. Robbie Bell (621) from Dereham in Norfolk, aged just 12 years old with his pony Liscannor Prince, won the Saffrey Champness BE80(T) Section M in his first season eventing. Robbie’s best part of the day was “going clear cross country in the time”. This season has already started off to a great start for the young rider winning Poplar Park BE80 and coming 9th at Great Witchingham BE80.
Twelve year old Poppy Proietti (728) from Huntingdon, with on her young pony Derroe Sprinter, 7 years old, won the Saffrey Champness BE80 (T) Section O. She had a 28.8 dressage and she was so pleased to go round the show jumping clear. Poppy competed at BE level last year and had a stop nearly every time, and used the year to ‘character build’ together, but after having some fantastic training with Tina Ure, Sarah Gairdner and Michael Paveley, which was really helpful and highly recommended, they are looking forward to a great year, starting with a clear win at Horseheath.
Hannah Pearl (656), from Bury St Edmunds, on Alanis Van Der Sar, won the Saffrey Champness BE80 (T) Section N, with a dressage score of 25.5. “The best part of the day was finishing inside the cross country inside the time, with seconds to spare, with this being the first time we have done this. This was my third BE competition on my much loved 19 year old mare.”
The final section of the day, Saffrey Champness BE80 (T) Section P, was won by Sara Horrell on Agharanny Drifter. Louise Wells and her horse Confetti won the Best Newcomer for the section.
Wobbleberry Debbie Baird (768) from Wokingham, on her horse, Gomez The Goblin, won a lesson with Andrew Hoy for being the highest placed Wobbleberry thanks to Eventful Life. Debbie’s best part of the day was, “going through the finishing flag cross country” and complimented the event, saying that it was “well organised.”
The course was designed by BE Course Designer Tina Ure, a British Eventing Accredited Coach and a member of the Eastern Regional U18 Coaching Team, who designed the course with “the focus being on building more fences, to allow there to be a significant number of new jumping questions. The track followed a similar route to Horseheath 1 in 2017, to allow good use to be made of the open land within the racecourse and the undulating terrain”.
Spectators came in their hundreds over the two days to enjoy the excellent views across the XC course and to enjoy the catering from Evie’s Kitchen, Jacks Snacks, Mel’s Magical Crepes, Caffee Mobile and Pimms served from a specially converted horsebox. The entry fee of £5 per car is donated and split between the Air Ambulance Service and Maggie’s Centre Cambridge.
The additional sponsors were Airowear Body Protector, Top Spec, Tiggas, Carter Jonas, NFU, Duck Plumbing & Heating, Saffrey Champness, Top Spec, Newmarket Equine Hospital, Taylor Vinters, Roythornes Solicitors, Crows Hall, Teversham Motors, Thunderbrook, Cadenza Eventing, Virbac, Rossdales, Lockhart Garratt, Tabor Group, Andrew Hodge, Ernest Doe and Simple Systems.
Said Committee Chair Tim Barling:
“We were, unlike so many others, incredibly lucky with the weather and have been able to run the weekend with perfect ground conditions. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful committee and dedicated volunteers without which the event simply would not happen. I hope everyone enjoyed coming as much as we enjoyed hosting the event, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in August, not least to ride through our beautiful new beech glade.”
Entries for August will open in July via www.britisheventing.com. Interested parties can be kept up to date with news and progress on the Horseheath Horse Trials Facebook page and on Twitter @horseheath_HT