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H&H Festival of Eventing: returning rider takes the 70cm lead

Jayne Ackland-Snow from Suffolk and her eight-year-old gelding, Billy Rocket, are the overnight leaders in the DriRug 70cm class at the H&H Festival of Eventing (25-27 May).

The pair produced an impressive score of 27.25 during the first day of action at Keysoe in Bedfordshire.

Jayne, 64, is competing at the H&H Festival of Eventing for the third-year having previously competed on her Connemara Donny.

“Donny hated cross-country and I got eliminated both times,” Jayne told H&H.

“I was at the point of giving up riding with my age not being in the first flush of years but I saw Billy advertised in August and I really liked him. I bought him from my friend Jenny James who had owned him since he was a foal.

“He has revolutionised my life. I am loving every second of riding him, he hasn’t put a foot wrong. I keep him at home with Donny and my 35-year-old ex-hunter, Limo, they’re the best of friends.”

Jayne has been practising hard ahead of the weekend and has lessons twice a week with coaches Michael Pabeley and Gill Daniel, which she said has paid off.

“I’m thrilled with my score – and shocked,” said Jayne.

“We have done a couple of British Eventing (BE)80s last year and we did an unaffiliated 70cm in preparation for this weekend but this is our first three-day-event together.”

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Jayne is accompanied by best-friend Alison Nicholson who lies in eight position in the DriRug 70cm class with Tullybridge.

“This event is very special to us, we love it. It’s a nice atmosphere, great facilities, and we’ll be back next year too,” said Jayne.

Going into the cross-country on Sunday (26 May) Jayne lies two penalties ahead of second placed rider Georgie Siggers and Roy the Rascal, with Bethany Addis and Frank Lad lying in third on 30.0.

“I’m really excited for the cross-country, I’ll have to tell Billy in some places – he’s not a push button, but I’m going out to enjoy it,” said Jayne. 

Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June

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