Tweseldown (1) - 9-12th March
Under the new ownership of Rachael Faulkner Tweseldown has certainly seen much investment in the facilities, ground and course. What once started to feel like an old and crumbling venue now feels like a beautiful swan emerging from beneath the cygnet origins. With the gorse largely gone the space feels more open, cleaner and fresher. Thus allowing the well frequented schooling course to run completely separately from the British Eventing courses.
Eventing superstars and grassroots riders alike flocked to the leading Hampshire venue in their 100's to compete, in what was still the first week of the 2017 season.
New course designer Eric Winter had produced an array of educational and inviting courses, with enough questions to pose a challenge to some. The new Advanced-Intermediate track carried a few 'stiffer' fences to the Intermediate and OI, providing that extra challenge to those Badminton bound riders using it as an early season warm up.
One area of the venue that has undergone significant development is new feature water complex adjacent to the new trade stand area that not only provides a great addition to the course but also add to the 'central hub' at Tweseldown.
Particularly good to see events such as this moving with the times and 'getting down with the kids', in commissioning their own SnapChat filter for use within this area.
Rachael, Eric, Dominic Moore (Jump1 Course builder) and the whole Tweseldown team have clearly been hard at work all winter to produce such a super event for riders and spectators alike.
We caught up with BE90 winner Stephanie Dean with Niobe who got their season off to a great start to finish on their 31.5 dressage score.
"The team at Tweseldown have done a fantastic job, it's a local event for me, so really nice to see so much thought, variety and effort put into the courses. I was fence judging on Thursday as well so got to see it from both sides. I'm thrilled to win today on a horse I have owned since a weanling, we've done a lot of work over the winter and it has paid off! I can't wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us."
Numerous riders have been taking to social media to express their thanks to the event team and share their delight. We spoke to Kylie Roddy who had a busy event with 6 different rides across the BE100, Novice and Intermediate, picking up a 6th with first timer Shearwater Bonaparte.
"I can't speak highly enough about the team and the recent improvements that they have made at Tweseldown", commented Kylie. "I had various rides that ranged from 100 first timers to an experienced horse in the open intermediate, the cross country courses were beautifully built and presented. All courses had great questions and tests for each relevant level. The going at Tweseldown held up extremely well throughout the whole 4 days. I for one will be back for more!"