Sunday 18th of November 2018
Features

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Part 20 2018

Back for the 2018 season, we’ll be celebrating your wins in our feature Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

Find out all about this weeks winners, their horses, their plans for the season and inspirations as well as learning what will be in their celebration ‘Chicken Dinner’.

If you have a win this week, we’ll help you shout it from the roof tops so get in touch at events@thegaitpost.com to be featured or tweet us @thegaitpost using the tag #TGPwinnerwinnerchickendinner 

All disciplines welcome.

This weeks winners

© Isabel Pearce Photography

Izzy Mears Sapey BE100 winner

23 year old, Zara Heathcote from Banbury, Oxfordshire won the BE100RF at Goring Heath riding Martha Imp.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

I wanted to get out and do some more 100s/105s over the season but the rather extreme weather this year has meant I have only managed to get to 3 events, including Goring! I am off to Blenheim for the 100 Eventer Challenge and will finish the season off at Weston Park 100 hopefully, then will spend the winter doing some dressage and show jumping.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I last competed at Goring in 2011 in the JRN so it was lovely to go back – I will definitely go back again soon though as it was such a friendly event. Would love to say a massive thank you to all the volunteers, they all did an amazing job and were all so smiley!

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

I have always admired Pippa Funnell, and think I wanted to have a go at eventing having watched her winning the Grand Slam in 2003 – I told my mum (at age 9) that’s what I wanted to do! I was also lucky enough to have a lesson with her on my little 13.2hh pony for my 11th birthday, and she was just amazing. I suffer with my nerves quite badly, so I have always taken comfort in that someone with her level of achievement also experiences this!

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

It is so hard to say just one! I think my mum and sister know how grateful I am for all their help- my mum for driving me around and my sister for helping ride Martha whilst I was at Uni (I graduated this year), but I think the unsung hero would have to be my dad. He has been SO supportive, despite not being very horsey himself. He quite often jokes about how he could have retired if it weren’t for the horses (which I’m sure many dads can identify with!). He also gives great advice when walking the XC course, and is fab when I do get a bit nervous – I think my mum and I make each other nervous so he is great for us both!

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

Haha, my dad’s response was obviously “how expensive it was!” – I think I would have to say to make sure you really enjoy it and find something positive, even if it wasn’t the most successful day on paper. I used to be really hard on myself which was taking the enjoyment away from it, so I make sure I try and come away feeling positive about something we have done that day!

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

I have been pretty lucky on this front! I think it would have to be forgetting both my bridles and both zips on my boots breaking at an event – I ended borrowing a friend’s pony sized bridle, on the loosest holes I could manage (poor Martha!) and electrical tape around both legs!

Which is your favourite event & why?

It would have to be Hambleden – it is so beautiful there and has such a great atmosphere- I was absolutely gutted it didn’t run this year and really hope it will be back! And obviously Badminton – I have been lucky to go twice, so am very excited to have the opportunity to go back again!

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

My lovely dad (having stepped in and taken me to Goring with a 4:30am start) got home and made the whole family homemade burgers and chips, and we managed to rustle up a bottle of champagne!

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

This is so rubbish, I don’t really have one! Mum insists since she drives that we listen to her choice so it is quite often just Radio 2!

22 year old, Alana Sparrow from East Sussex won the BE105 riding Angels Spirit (known as Goose at home) owned by Rasshied Din, CEO of Chelwood Equestrian. 

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

Goose has been aimed at the BE100 Mitsubishi Motors Cup 2019, which she has now qualified for, so the latter half of this season is geared towards preparation for Badminton. We have competed in the 105 classes at Wellington and Goring Heath, both of which have been brilliant educational courses and great preparation for the MMCup.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I love Goring, it is such a friendly event with well built and educational courses. I thought what they did with the 105 course was a real test. I always seem to have a good day there, having qualified for MMCup there two years running in 2015 and 2016, and Goose being placed 6th there in the 100 last year in only our second event together.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had a brilliant, supportive, and knowledgeable group of people around me as I have progressed in my riding career over the years, and to all those involved (four legs and two!) I cannot say thank you enough! Also, being a member of Eridge Pony Club has opened up great competition and learning opportunities for me, despite joining late in my teens. In terms of riding influences I don’t think you can look past the likes of Ingrid Klimke and Bettina Hoy.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My parents for their unwavering support and understanding, and giving up so much of their time for me.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

Opportunities briefly come and quickly go, grab them while you can.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

Coming from a non-horsey family, in one of my very first dressage tests I did I thought half a 10m circle, was a 5m circle (logical?). And so rode this, much to the judges surprise! I think they call it learning through doing!!

Which is your favourite event & why?

Wellington, Goring and Little Downham are some of my favourite events. The MMCup at Badminton also has such a very special feel to it.

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

A celebratory takeaway is always appreciated! I’m not great at eating during event days. White wine or Hot Chocolate, depends on the day.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

I have a special lorry playlist, absolutely necessary ! Top Hits would include; Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Miami by Will Smith, and anything by Stevie Wonder. We grooved all the way home from Goring…

31 year old, Melissa Chapman, 31 from Catterick North Yorkshire won the BE100 at Richmond.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

Tough question, I’m a professional dressage rider who once evented to advanced before changing focus and concentrating on dressage. I bought this horse with my mum 2 years ago as a newly backed 4yr old to have some fun on. I competed him last season and was 3rd at this event before dislocating and badly breaking my ankle in a freak accident 2 days later. This cut my season short so this year Rocky was competed by James Adams before I took the reins back. This was our second event back together. Sadly he is for sale as I don’t really have the time or the braveness anymore to continue to climb the levels with him.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

Richmond is my most local event and always very well run and supported.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

Probably Ian and Heidi Woodhead, not only trainers and mentors but friends too.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My dad really, he’s given me every opportunity (along with mum) his support is unwavering and he loves the horses as much as me.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

How difficult it actually is to consistently get all 3 phases right on the same day.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

There’s always plenty of bloopers, especially when eventing young horses, the one that most sticks in mind is when taking a horse to his first event, as I got on at the wagon to head over for dressage before I had both feet in my stirrups he set sail. We headed towards a big hedge and I managed to handbrake turn away, he then Locked on to a heavily wooded area, again I managed to avoid that, by this point as well as people and horses scattering I also had people chasing after me trying to help me regain some sort of control to no avail. Eventually having jumped the white roping in to the cross country warm up the horse I was riding/being bolted with decided to come back down to earth and stop…thank god!! He then went on to finish 4th and the biggest achievement was remaining in control for the rest of the day!

Which is your favourite event & why?

When eventing properly it always used to be Floors for the setting.

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

Yorkshire’s, roast potatoes, a little veg if necessary and swimming in gravy!!! Not a big drinker (mainly because I’m a lightweight) so I’d probably say orange juice boringly.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

We love a good sing along on a long drive, old school tunes are the best. Favourite at the moment would be Cher – Believe.

17 year old, Tom O’Bryan won the ONu18 at Sapey riding DHI du Rouet (Merlin).

He did a cracking dressage but then I thought we were out of any contention after he slipped showjumping turning into a related distance. We both love the cross country and enjoyed the hills and also they were a good practice for Gatcombe the following week.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

Bicton CCI one star with Merlin.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

This was my first time at Sapey it was really friendly event and we will be back.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

Tom Rowland who has taught me everything that I know about eventing over the last three years I am lucky enough to keep my horses at his lovely yard built by Mrs Sam Alberto.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

Normally I would say my horse but Merlin is so loved by everyone he is very much a recognised hero. So it would have to by my Grandma who is known in the yard and on the circuit as SuperGran for good reason as she is turning 80 but is still actively involved in everything I do she is known in BD and BE as SuperGran.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

How early the starts are!

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

Arriving at Calmsden ODE and realising that I had forgotten my Dressage and Showjumping hat so I had to do both in my skull cap with no silk not a good look.

Which is your favourite event & why?

My Favourite event would have to be Frickley Park as it was my first 3 day event and being part of a team was really special and it introduced me to so many amazing people.

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

A chicken breast as it is my favourite part of a chicken, roast potatoes, carrots, asparagus, a red wine gravy and a glass of orange San Pellegrino to wash it down.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

It’s hard to name one individual song but it would have to be a song by Abba and my mum’s favourite of their song is Dancing Queen so it is the one that I know all the words to.

18 year old, Lucy Sugden from Northallerton and a working pupil for Heidi and Ian Woodhead at DHI Event Horses won a Novice section at Richmond riding Elbandani.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

I’m hoping to move her up to intermediate later this year and if we don’t make it this year, definitely in 2019.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I’m a definite regular, it’s only an hour away from home and I always enjoy competing there. I know the course very well and have done every class from 90 to intermediate there!

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

Without doubt Julie Lawson. She’s taught me since I was 7 and although I don’t see her as much as I used to as I work at the Woodhead’s she’s the person I always turn to for advice and trust her judgement totally.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

Mother of course, like most Pony Club mother’s my free groom, secretary, cook and general tidy upper after me!

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

How long I’d have to wait between wins and what heart ache there would be in between. I’ve had my share of upset and disappointment but all I can say is if you want it enough you can be a winner!

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

I once missed a fence out because I didn’t walk the course properly, I did really well in all three phases and my mother thought I’d won….we were sitting waiting for the prize giving for ages until someone mentioned that it was such a shame I’d missed a fence out! I thought my Mum was going to kill me!

Which is your favourite event & why?

Chatsworth is fantastic, you really feel like a superstar riding round the cross country course with all the crowds watching! But for beautiful surroundings Floors Castle takes some beating. The placesI would love to get to next year are Barbury and Gatcombe, I’ve always wanted to compete there.

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

Chinese take away washed down by a glass of white Grenache (now that I’m 18!!!)

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

It has to be Bruno Mars and Uptown Funk, when I make it to the Event Rider Masters I’m going to do my dressage test to it!

21 year old,  from Maidstone in Kent won the BE100 at Goring Heath riding Irish Eddie.

© Ultimate Images

With my family we buy and sell horses from Ireland as Martins Irish horses, and alongside this we produce and sell event horses.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

My aim for this season was to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors cup in 2019 which we achieved at Firle place this year.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I have competed at Goring a couple of times over the last few years on different horses and it has always been a fantastic event and very well run which brings people back!

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

My biggest influence in my eventing career has got to be my mum she has competed to advanced and is always pushing and helping me do do better in the sport.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My dad is definitely the unsung hero he drives the lorry to and from competitions and supports me through everything.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

It doesn’t always go how you want it to! Be patient and work on your mistakes and you will get better.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

The funniest outing was a few years ago, not so funny at the time but on the cross country there was a small track you had to go through which was filled with water not flagged as a jump, the horse didn’t fancy going through so decided to go round… but around it was boggy mud which we both ended up laying in! Both ok just covers head to toe in mud! Both had to be hosed down back at the lorry!

Which is your favourite event & why?

My favourite event is Chilham in Kent my local event and has the most fantastic scenery and the course is always a good ride!

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

My wining dinner would have to be a beef roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings.

22 year old, Izzy Mears from Mid Wales won the BE100 at Sapey riding PSH Love Affair. Izzy works for Power Sport Horses and the 6 year old mare is bred by them, this is her first season eventing. They finished on their dressage score of 22.3!

© Isabel Pearce Photography

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse?

PSH Love Affair is soon to be ridden by Loretta Joynson who will continue her education up the levels! We hope she’ll be going novice by the end of the season.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I’m very much a regular at Sapey, it’s one of our more local venues.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

Definitely Loretta Joynson who I work with at Power Sport Horses.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

All the grooms and working pupils that work behind the scenes at shows and at home, keeping everything running smoothly.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

It’s a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, sometimes more downs than ups, so you really have to appreciate the good days!

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

There’s been a few bloopers but the most memorable was when I once took a turn too tightly in a showjumping round at Cholmondeley, the horses back end slipped I came straight out the side door and landed on my feet.

Which is your favourite event & why?

Probably Sapey! It seems to be one of my luckier venues!

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

I’m quite partial to any type of seafood and I’ll wash it down with a Pepsi.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

I try to avoid karaoke for the sake of the passengers ears!

31 year old vet Hannah Whyte from Elgin in the North of Scotland, who just became a mum for the first time to baby Poppy at the end of May won the BE80(T) at Aswanley.

© George Michie

I am very much an amateur eventer and my trusty steed is a 10yo TB x Arab called Harvey who I have owned for three and a half years. We won with a double clear inside the cross country time which was a huge surprise as we had not yet managed to finish an event on our dressage score.

What are your aims for 2018 for this horse

We are going to Wee Burgie on the 16th of this month to do the BE80 again and if I can get my post baby nerves under control the plan is to step back up to BE90 next year. My ultimate aim is to make it to the Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival at Blair Castle with Harvey. This will be a challenge to qualify for as I live up in the north of Scotland so will have to do a lot of travelling, which will be hard whilst juggling a busy job and a baby.

Is this your first time at this event or are you a regular

This was my first event since having my caesarean in May, we have been to Aswanley before and were excited for it to be our first one back as it’s a stunning setting with a lovely inviting cross country course.

Who is the biggest influence of your eventing career to date

I wouldn’t say there is just one person, my friends and family have all been very supportive and influential.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why

This definitely has to be my husband and family for all the time they spend looking after Poppy whilst I am training and competing. My friend Rachel has also been key as she helped me a lot in training and kept Harvey fit whilst I was pregnant, I doubt I would have made it around the cross country that fast if it wasn’t for her!

What is the one thing you wish you knew before you started eventing

It’s extremely addictive! For me I love trying to better myself each time and constantly improve my scores.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

At my very first event when I was rushing to change my tack from show jumping to cross country I obviously didn’t buckle my reins back together properly – heading downhill towards home Harvey took a big leap over a jump so I slipped the reins and caught the buckle and which promptly came undone! I was galloping downhill with one rein and was in full view of everyone at the start box and warm up, luckily he is pretty good at responding to voice commands so I managed to stop him, get them back together and finish safely (but with a very slow score).

Which is your favourite event and why

I haven’t done many events but I think it would be Forgandeny, I like the terrain (not too many hills) and there is always a challenging array of cross country obstacles.

What will be in your “chicken dinner” and what will you wash it down with

It has to be Chinese take away with a strawberry and lime cider.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song

Either Taylor Swift or Sia – anything that you can sing along loudly to.

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