A week’s rainfall did nothing to deter the Welsh Masters going ahead, and under difficult circumstances with access to a supersize arena (100m x 72m), the Broome family made it work. All credit, they looked at the bigger picture, split the sand arena into three — like three big, indoor arenas — and kept the show going with all the classes running and all the competitors happy. Good decision.
This arena is one of the best — if not the best — in the country when it is opened up as a whole, and it gives those not fortunate enough to go on the tours in Spain and Portugal a great opportunity to jump in ideal conditions, from age classes up to grand prix.
The courses were super and the grand prix was up-to-height. In fact, I don’t know why they call it the 1.40m grand prix because it is bigger, more like 1.50m.
David Broome is one of the few ex-riders who have put a lot back into the sport, and it would be nice to see him rewarded with some Lottery money to build another good sand surface.
Congratulations to Richard Barton, 57, showing age is no barrier to winning the grand prix in a competitive jump-off, and 15-year-old Olli Fletcher, who gave a lovely exhibition of riding to finish second.
I was delighted for my daughter Sienna — also 15, I think there is just four months between her and Olli — winning her first national title at senior level. It was a sweet run out for Chaitanya, after jumping two-star 1.40/1.45m classes in Spain.
Ref Horse & Hound; 19 April 2018