‘I thought they’d got it wrong’: rider wins event on 12.1 score

A rider who won a BE100 section on 12.1 penalties said she thought at first that the score announced for her dressage was a mistake.

Laura Fenwick and Beccy and her mother Jed Walker’s Rustenberg Diamond achieved a mark of 11.3 in their test at Alnwick Ford on 23 June.

They showjumped clear, adding just 0.8 too-fast cross-country time-penalties to finish more than seven penalties ahead of their nearest rivals, Twilight AZ ridden by Douglas Crawford, who completed on 19.2.

“It was a nice test – he tensed up a bit in the walk, but otherwise I was really happy with it – but when I heard the score as I came out of the showjumping, I thought ‘That can’t be right’,” Laura told H&H.

“Then I got the penalties for going two seconds too fast cross-country; I do try to slow down but he gets in a good rhythm and gets going – and I point-to-point quite a lot in winter so I think I have a problem slowing down!”

“Rustin” had been competed at BE100 in previous seasons, ridden by Laura and by his owner Beccy, who is a junior doctor and also has not been well, so she asked Laura to take over the reins.

His record this season includes a sixth place at BE90 at Floors Castle in May, and a win at that level at Belsay on 2 June.

“He wasn’t the fastest last season,” Laura said. “But I hunted him all winter and he seems to have sped up.

“Beccy wasn’t there this time but Jed was and he’s her baby so she was very happy.”

Laura’s is the lowest finishing score in a British Eventing class since 2017,  when Willa Newton and Freestyle R scored a total of 11.8 in a BE100 at Norton Disney.

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It is also eighth in the top 10 lowest scores since 2014, the lowest being the 9.7 penalties on which Lucinda Crawford and Vattrick had finished in a BE100 open at Dalston Green in 2016. This broke the same combination’s record of 10, achieved at a Hutton in the Forest BE100 open in 2015.

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