What can we say about Munstead, other than what a lovely grassroots event.
Good ground - check!
Good weather - check!
Well organised - check!
Good courses - check!
A quick look at the results and it is clear to see that penalties popped up from all corners with the cross country catching a few, show jumping catching a few more and the time proving influential. With flat and fast ground it was too fast time penalties a plenty this weekend. But who dazzled in the dressage, skipped around the show jumping and stormed the cross country to bring home a little piece of glory?
BE80 section D was very nearly a photo finish between Caroline Hagger with Im Another King and Eden Blake with Brendon Hill Sharp Talk. The pair held the 1,2 spots respectively from start to finish, with Caroline coming home 1 second over time to add 0.4 to her 29 dressage, to stay the crucial 0.4 penalties ahead of Eden to secure the win in only her 2nd ever British Eventing event.
Section E also proved to be tight at the top with 0.4 penalties separating the top 3. Going into the cross country phase is was eventual 3rd placed Carli Kent and Nannini who were in poll position, however 5.6 too fast time penalties left them 0.1 adrift of 2nd placed Paris-maria Johnson and Malin Rose who added just 3.2 too fast time penalties to their 30.8. However it was Olivia Hall and Rockwood Sam in their 2nd ever BE event, who managed to come home with 2.4 too fast time to take the win by the smallest of margins, on 33.7.
The BE90 produced some stand out dressage tests and notable three phase scores. Section A saw the top 5 all finish on their dressage scores with Victoria Linfield and Jokers Promise producing a personal best dressage to win the section on 25.3.
From the tight winning margins in the BE80 to BE90 section G having a winner strides ahead of the rest of the field. Louise Gladding and Tangelo produced the only sub 30 dressage in the section, with a stunning 24.8. Combined with a double clear inside the time they finished 5.2 penalties clear of 2nd placed Samantha Enticott and Kilcarroll Lad who finished on their dressage score of 30.
It was a similar story in the BE100 with Melissa Joannides and Silken Creme coming home just 1 second over time to add 0.4 to their 23 dressage to win the section 4.9 penalties clear of 2nd place. Meanwhile Sacha Hourigan made it a 1,2 in section K with Boy IV and Macadam Jewel with both horses remaining on their dressage scores. It was Boy IV that took the win with a 4.5 penalty margin over his stable mate, on a score of 25.5.
Munstead remains a beautifully relaxed and friendly event and comes highly recommended for grassroots riders in the south of England.