Riding club eventers in action

  • Berkshire Riding Club proves unbeatable in the national open BRC horse trials, while Ardingly win the novice section

    A bride-to-be from Cornwall took time off from her wedding preparations to land a winning double at this year’s British Riding Clubs national horse trials championships, at Offchurch Bury, sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers.

    Claire Dangar, who marries her farrier fianc‚ Andrew Daniels in three weeks’ time, partnered two former racehorses to take the overall individual senior open award and the special open intermediate section.

    It was Claire’s first win and an Offchurch debut for her open victor, Palladium Lady, a nine-year-old former point-to-pointer. This season’s eventing results have included placings at Pontypool, West Wilts and Stonar School. Charlies Hideaway, who won the special open, was second in the open event two years ago.

    “This makes up for last time, when I was in the lead until the show jumping phase,” declared Claire. “I’ve had a wonderful weekend, though – and not just because I won!”

    Claire’s performance also boosted the team to third place. She was joined by housewife Andrea Greenaway (Masked Affair), individual novice winner in 1997; rural riders team member Samantha Fry (Jimtastic), and Martin Hamilton, the Area 19 representative, with Ultimo.

    Top of the teams

    But the top team spot was never in doubt and with four solid performances, Berkshire remained almost 60 points clear of the field, also taking the prize for the best team with all four scores to count.

    Berkshire has won individual sections at novice level before, but this was the club’s first open victory.

    The squad included two section winners: livery yard owner and regular team member Elliot Newman, who was 26 points clear in arena one with Touch Of Reality, and serving army physiotherapist Lt Megan Fletcher, with her mother’s home-bred 11-year-old, Bournefield Fair Dinkum.

    The line-up was completed by regular team member Nikky Dove, a garden centre manager, with her 10-year-old Just Jack, and professional cook Katrina Richards, with Qaffle, a 12-year-old who has six BE points.

    South Western Dressage Group finished second. Groom Rachel Freeman partnered Michael Munden’s intermediate contender, Miller @ Bricky, London accountant Alisa Hunter-Gordon rode her one-star three-day campaigner, Prince Of Thieves, and husband-and-wife partnership David and Sally Batten had the home-bred siblings Woodland Rhyme and Meri Rhyme respectively.

    Novice championships

    Ardingly won the novice championship with individual overall winner, Fiona Seymour, a full-time housekeeper making her Offchurch debut. The club has had the winning team, which included three arena winners.

    For the first time, the junior championship took place at the same event, and this brought a well-deserved individual victory for Cropthorne’s Hannah Jordan with Blakeshill Lad, who completed on their dressage score with a superbly-judged round.

    As in the senior open event, the winning team also had the best four scores. This was Holme Valley, led by sisters Sarah and Natalie Noble (Danny’s Debt and Sweet Sandy); Christine Barber with Shipton Proud Count, and Katherine Mellor on Stormy Affair.

    Read the full report in next week’s Horse & Hound (22 August), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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