The second running the Horseheath Horse Trials, saw another resounding success for, new British Eventing organiser, Tim Barling and his team.
With a distinct lack of rain in the run up, it meant that the run up to the event involved substantial ground works - aerovating and irrigating - in order for the ground to be in perfect condition for the weekend. Despite the lack of rain fall, competitors praised the ground on the course.
Tina Ure's cross country course certainly caused some chatter amongst competitors, as being both 'beautifully presented' and 'a fair challenge'. With a selection of beautifully presented fences, also seen at Badminton, these Grassroots competitors certainly had something to look at. Problems arose all over the three courses - BE100 saw mistakes from riders entering the woods causing a tumble or two on the turn, as well as a number falling foul of the Binders Boat on the edge of the NFU Water at the penultimate. The BE90 saw issues come from the Duck Plumbing Wishing Well early on on course, the under height fences catch a number out who either entered the water a little too quickly or those cutting the corner on the approach. Again the infamous boat caught plenty out, however those going later in the class certainly took note of the earlier troubles and opted for the alternative route that still enabled riders to come home under time, owing to the quick ground. The BE80 on a whole rode well both the Saville House and the open ditch proving influential.
Suffolk based James Pratt repeated his successful run at Horseheath following a win last year on his own Willy Limerick, though he had to settle for second place with the same horse this year; he did go on to win Section A BE100 however with Churchside Reflection aka Lex, owned and bred by Mrs Deirdre Hunt. ‘We bred 8 year old Lex by Future Illusion out of my daughter’s homebred mare. This was a lovely pre-run before Badminton. Lex lives at home and is in light work with James coming to ride him three times a week. I am really proud of their achievements.’
Kitty Marlow was one of the youngest competitors aged just 11 years old, completed her 6th BE event this year coming 5th in the BE90 on Kynaston Kittiwake (also known as Kitty) finishing on a score of 34 with a dressage score of 28.
Four Wobbleberries took on their debut BE Event to show support for Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony Charity. The charity have already raised a staggering £143,147.93 so far and already doubled their target, with more to come. All four of the Wobbleberries achieved double clears, with Ashley Harrison winning BE80 Section L, Maddie Peal coming fourth in BE80 Section M, Liz Frazer just missing out of the placings due to Show Jumping time faults Ashley confirmed this was her first BE and that her background was dressage with mostly four feet firmly planted on the ground. Following her win, she now has plans to compete BE again.
On behalf of the family, Tim Vestey, confirmed “We were delighted to be able to continue and develop our affiliation with British Eventing and, with the help from Tina, David and our sponsorship partners, build a spectacular brand new course for 2017. The feedback from the equestrian community has been overwhelming and we look forward to the August with enthusiasm”.