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Amateur classes are a huge success

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 14:15

The arena eventing classes proved more popular than ever before last week at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, with wait-lists for most of the classes.


Rachel Harris took the Voltaire Design 100cm Eventer Challenge on Sunday, 11th September, riding Manor Mayhem.


Rachel, a small animal vet, bought the eight-year-old from his breeder in March 2015.


“We really enjoyed the course, which felt like proper cross-country, and being part of such a great event as Blenheim,” she said.


Second was Jemima Stratton, riding Jefke, while Tracey Crane and Big Eric took third place.


Laura Durkan and Livvy won the British Eventing Kent & Masters BE100 title.


Laura said: ““We’ve had Livvy for just shy of two years and have had a really difficult last year with her, so for her to come here and cope with the atmosphere has been amazing and winning is the icing on the cake – I’m really, really chuffed.”


“It’s absolutely amazing [to ride at Blenheim] and very inspiring; I desperately want to bring her back here for the eight- and nine-year-old CIC3* in the future – that would be the dream!”


Henrietta Witts set an early target in the British Eventing Kent & Masters BE90 championship that couldn’t be matched on her bay mare Pontesford Sarah Maria.


“It feels surreal,” admitted the Worcestershire-based rider. “There’s no way to tell how quickly or slowly you’re going so I just went for a clear round and kept my fingers crossed!”


Both horse and rider have had to overcome physical problems. Pontesford Sarah Maria has been diagnosed with lymphoma and Henrietta has fibromyalgia, which causes pain in her joints.


“We do JAS (British Eventing Jumping and Style) and show jumping, but we haven’t done any eventing,” she said. “This has given me a taster of it.”


In Friday’s Pony Club arena eventing classes, sponsored by Dodson & Horrell, Oakley Hunt West won the BE100 section and the Wylye Valley Willberries topped the BE90. Rosie Warner from the Ludlow branch won the BE100 style award, while the equivalent in the BE90 class went to Alice Crooker (South Devon West).


The Dodson & Horrell Riding Clubs BE100 class on Thursday went to Stansted & District – Rother Valley’s Emma Horton won the style award. The Atherstone & District team took the BE90 class, while the style prize went to Kennet Vale’s Julia Harper.