Fair play to Katy Marriott-Payne. Uphill James Fox is a beautiful section A, but he hasn’t always given Katy his all in the ring. He chose the right moment to do it.
The judges used a huge range of marks, which is the way it should be. There was confliction, with some large margins — for example a five and 38 for one section D’s performance — which shows a big difference in what they are looking for. But that’s what you get when you have four judges. For example, Sharon Thomas is extremely hot on good manners; she likes a good gallop, but always rewards a good show.
I personally like to see pizzazz, but I thought several riders played too safe. Some pushed their ponies out of a natural stride and didn’t consider how best to use the arena. People like Katy, Sam Roberts and Sarah Parker use the ring to their advantage and that’s what makes a big difference.
You have to use the ring to show off your pony’s best assets. So if that’s the trot, don’t make that part too short. Several forgot that.”
Ref Horse & Hound; 22 December 2016