Jane James’ horses claim first and second in the 169km FEI*** Summer Solstice endurance ride at Ludlow

A ride with all the hallmarks of disaster turned into a dream come true for Jane James when her two long-listed horses, Rowengay Garnet and Steel Tobias, took first and second places in last weekend’s Summer Solstice 169km FEI*** ride.

Jane, who is sponsored by Hilton Herbs, partnered Rowengay Garnet (Alfie). Steel Tobias (Toby) was ridden by another Hilton Herbs-sponsored rider Graham “Carrot” Hartley, who is without an advanced horse at the moment.

They tackled the testing route together and according to Jane: “Everything that could go wrong did!

Both horses lost shoes, which had to be replaced and, cantering through a stretch of woodland, the nosepiece of Toby’s hackamore broke and Carrot was left with the chain round the horse’s neck. Fortunately, Toby pulled up when Jane stopped Alfie and they were able to repair it.

Jane was quick to praise her co-rider, who was partnering Toby for the first time, plus their hard-working crews, which included Hilary and Tony Self of HiltonHerbs.

Third place went to Evelyn Helme, who was awarded the veteran’s trophy, on Zorro Nazeero. Local rider Rachel Rolfe, contesting her first 160km ride, was fourth on Tara’s Dream and won the trophy for the highest-placed unregistered mare.

The only other finisher was Audrey Clark from Scotland on Silver Mercury, who came home after nearly 17hr on the trail.

There was heartbreaking disappointment for Nicky Jenkins and Three CornersSacha, who crossed the line first, only to be spun for lameness at the final vetting. The same fate befell Pam James with Selim De Ducors and Gedenski with Meriel Moon.

Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (27 June), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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