The Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase (BHWC) team convincingly won the inter-hunt relay on a rain-soaked day at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Thursday 14 May.
The team consisting of Ella Baskerville, Lucy Burton, Emily Taylor and Jeremy Adams beat the VWH in a strong final. Their time of 113 seconds was the fastest round of the day. Although it was tight across the line, the BHWC team all went clear which helped to secure the victory.
“We’ve finally won,” said a europhic Susie Beecroft, team chef d’equipe and joint hon secretary of the BHWC. “We’ve always been unlucky at Windsor and have never even got as far as the semi-finals before, but this team really deserved to win — they have practiced hard and their changeovers were very slick.”
Three members of the BHWC team — 14-year-old Ella Baskerville, Lucy Burton (15) and student Emily Taylor, were fresh from their recent victory in the Royal Artillery team relay event at Larkhill (25 April). Joining them was Jeremy Adams, their token male rider — who also qualified as their team member over 40-years-old — riding his daughter’s horse and taking part in his first team relay competition.
“Not bad for a beginner” Jeremy exclaimed after the victory that saw the hunt collect a cheque for £1,000 as well as rugs for the winning team horses.
Sixteen teams from as far away as Cheshire took part in the knockout competition where two teams compete against each other over a mirror image course. With a five second penalty added for each fence down, both speed and accuracy are required, along with smooth changeovers.
The top two teams had been consistent throughout the knockout competition achieving the two fastest rounds of the competition prior to the final round.
On their way to victory, the BHWC beat the Essex Hunt in the first round, followed by the Kimblewick and the Cotswold Vale Farmers before coming up against the VWH.
The other two semi-finalists were the Crawley and Horsham who came third and the Cotswold Vale Farmers who finished in fourth place overall.