Having followed on from two previous very successful events, it was another greatly anticipated event for both riders and organisers alike, who hope it to be one of many more to come.
The British weather treated Horseheath to ample rainfall in the weeks running up to the event- aiding the already commendable efforts of the ground maintenance team – this meant that competitors were treated to near perfect going. Serena Kullich who won BE100, kindly sponsored by PwC, where she also placed 4th with another ride, commented on the ‘nice flowing course with really good ground’.
Double-success was a trend at this event with Mollie Harris, winning both NFU Mutual sponsored Section H (BE90) and Andrew Hodge Contracting Section K of the BE80(T). Mollie also competes in Working Hunter classes and enjoyed a win at HOYS in the 133cm class.
16 year old Summer Nicholls, the winner of BE100 Section A with Alfie XXVI. Summer was delighted with her win, which will allow her to go forward to compete in the BE100 regional final- from there she is hoping to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, held annually at Badminton Horse Trials.
The warm weather did not stop competitors making a splash through the NFU Mutual sponsored water feature which comprised of a brightly coloured boat shaped jump, through the water and out over the Duck Plumbing wishing well for the BE90 and BE100 competitors.
Indie Vaughan-Jones posted a win with Cool Blue, owned by Mrs Annie Borrett. Indie has forged a successful eventing career, having ridden up to 2* and is a working pupil for Ros Canter; she particularly enjoyed the “flowing and galloping stretches of the course”.
Rosie Hull was successful in the BE80(T) class with a win on Master Comic; Rosie actually started out as a Point to Point rider, with her first competitive race being at Horseheath Racecourse some 10 years ago – so a special win for her.
Horseheath had a number of ‘Wobbleberries’ competing on Sunday in the BE80(T) class. The Wobbleberry challenge is designed, as described by the Willberry Wonder Pony Charity “a challenge for middle-aged, wimpy riders to compete in a BE80(T) class by Autumn 2017 and raise as much money as possible”.
Helen Kinsella riding Farmers Hill Aristokat was the highest placed rider completing the challenge, she was rewarded with a video of her cross country round from ‘An Eventful Life’. With the help of the team of Wobbleberries and all the other fundraising efforts completed by Willberry Wonder Pony they have raised an incredible amount of money for research in to Osteosarcoma – an aggressive type of bone cancer.
As per the previous events, the entry charge at Horseheath is donated to two local charities and this year the beneficiaries were East Anglian Air Ambulance and Maggie’s Centre Cambridge; who are two fantastic causes providing the very best care and support to the east region and beyond.
Competitors were kept refreshed and energised by a variety of catering over the weekend, from freshly made wood-fired pizzas to venison burgers, which were extremely popular. The converted trailer serving Pimms returned once again- to provide competitors a refreshing drink or even a celebratory one!
As well as refreshments, competitors were able to treat themselves and their horses with some retail therapy provided by Hertford Horse Bits; who have provided a variety of items from saddle pads to riding boots. Horseheath Horse Trials, it seems, has gained quite the reputation for providing ‘posh loos’ and they returned again this year – kindly sponsored by Binders.
At the final prize giving of the weekend, Rosie Oxlade was successful in Section N of the Andrew Hodge Contracting sponsored BE80(T) class; Rosie has not evented for 2 years, so was ecstatic to make her come back a winning one. She hopes to progress to competing at BE90 and some JAS (Jumping and Style) classes though the winter – these are a great alternative to riders through the winter months.
During this penultimate prize giving, Tim Barling took time to thank all the wonderful volunteers, organisers and in particular sponsors who make the event as successful as it is. This year sponsors included: PwC (principle sponsor), NFU Mutual, Taylor Vinters, Top Spec, Cartar Jonas, Global Herbs, Three Hills at Bartlow, Andrew Hodge Contracting, Newmarket Equine Hospital, Duck Plumbing and Heating, Saffery Champness, Well Gel and Binders.