Hot competition at Bury Farm HP
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The three days were packed with High Profile classes, the finals of Bury Farm’s own championships and regular BD classes – all on one of the hottest weekends of the year. Well done to all the competitors who kept their cool in the heat and a big thank you to all the judges and writers who sweated it out for hours in their judges’ huts and cars.
Maria Eilberg and Hermione Black’s Royal Concert (pictured aboove) dominated the big tour High Profile classes with good wins in the Inter II and the Grand Prix. Maria took over the ride on the beautiful iron grey gelding at Advanced Medium and has produced him through to the highest level. Her Inter II score of 72.28% is one of the pair’s best at the level and Maria commented after her Grand Prix test that she is finding she is able to take more charge of the exuberant gelding and he is becoming more relaxed in the arena. “The more he works the better he is,” she said.
Steph Croxford and Mr Hyde are popular competitors and she was a close runner-up in the first Grand Prix and won the second on the final day. Mr Hyde was a bit distracted indoors by seeing his reflection in the glass in the arena at the end of the diagonal but much more chilled outside where he scored almost 70%.
Lisa Marriott had a good weekend with her super athletic ‘Rocket’, more properly known as Valucio, a 10-year-old gelding by Va-Vite. She later said on social media: “My little hero Rocket just won the Inter II with 68.8% in 30 degrees heat!!! Podium and bubbles what more could you ask for! I was already totally happy with him being fourth last night in the Grand Prix so today was the icing on the cake after a challenging week. It’s tough to make the step up from small tour on a young horse so I’m totally, totally proud of him.”
Nicola McGivern has returned to top level competition with the Coleridge-Smith’s Hotline gelding, WfD Hotstuff. She bred Hotstuff out of Marata, the mother of her Olympic ride, Active Walero, and sold him as a foal. The pair won Saturday’s Inter I. ‘I took the ride in December last year and have been working on getting him fit,” commented Nicola. “He’s very consistent. As a fairly new partnership, we still make little mistakes but he has learned to piaffe and passage and is showing great talent for collection. I think he’s going to be a successful Grand Prix horse.”
The Inter I on the first day was won by Sam Rahmatallah and the British-bred Furst Romancier gelding, Hawtins Falerno. On their debut at the level, Sam achieved her goal of getting the scores she needs to compete internationally. “We’re having an incredible year,” said Sam, who has qualified for the Nationals at Advanced Medium gold and Prix St Georges (PSG) and is a Bicton Summer Regionals champion. Sam bought ‘Doodle’ as a two-year-old so has had a long wait to see him realise his potential at the higher levels but his excellent progress is making it worthwhile.
Jayne Turney is another rider who is having an excellent year and the show was an excellent warm-up for the LeMieux National Championships. She and Shirley Rixon’s Penhaligon’s Jupiter were second in the PSG at Keysoe Summer Regionals and Hartpury Premier League and the winners of the Inter I at Wellington Premier League. They scored a super 72.72%, a personal best, in the PSG, despite the blistering heat. “He’s feeling more secure in the work now – I’ve just got to iron out a few rider mistakes!” said Jayne, who was also second on Charlotte Dujardin’s pony, Cruz III. “It was ‘Tom’s’ fourth PSG so he’s still a little bit green. I’m looking to do his first Inter I soon and that should help him with the PSG.”
The first day’s PSG was won by Rowan Bryson and Lazulith, a reformed character she has owned since he was five. She admits to having ‘real issues’ with the Laudabilis 12-year-old, but judging by his performances over the weekend, he has put his naughty ways behind him. The pair have qualified for both National Championships every year since 2015 and their next goal is an Inter II. This is Rowan’s first ride at this level so she has been upping her game by having schoolmaster lessons at Talland Equitation. “I struggled with the changes for three years – I couldn’t get one, but now his tempis are his party piece,” said Rowan.
Former pony team rider, Lara Kuropatwa and For Season (Fergus) aced their PSG class. The 18-year-old had an anxious wait for the results as they were fourth to go in a massive class of 32. The pair are in their first year of PSG and international young riders competition.
“He’s not done much for a nine-year old and he’s quite a quirky character,” said Lara who was pleased that all her tempi changes came off. She felt that practising full canter pirouettes at home has helped Fergus do better half pirouettes. Lara will be heading off to Bristol University in October to study History of Art but plans to travel home regularly to keep Fergus on his toes.
Nathalie Kayal brought three horses for match practice before the Nationals and went home with a win in the Inter I freestyle with DHI Cleverboy, a second place in the Inter II for DHI Homerun and the Advanced Medium Freestyle win with Graf Lincom CL.
“The timing of this show is perfect as there is time to correct anything before the Nationals,” said Nathalie.
“Today I had a breakthrough with Homerun. He has struggled with the piaffe in the Inter II but he got sevens for it today. It was a mental issue – he didn’t like the idea of trotting on the spot!
“I decided to ride Cleverboy with more power to see how much I could put in at the Nationals. I was very pleased with the trot work but in the canter it was too much in places! All in all it was a positive experience for the Nationals.”
Angus Corrie-Deane rocked the Bury Farm indoor arena to a Tinie Tempah compilation put together by Ros Kay for his aptly named ride, Tiny Tempur. They won the PSG freestyle. The 14-year-old Raikonen gelding was bred by Olympic rider, Fiona Bigwood. “He loves his music although it can divide the judges,” said Angus. “A highlight today was his extended canter which got good marks.”
Bury Farm also ran a championship for its regular competitors. The Prelim title went to Fred Hodges and Keystone Drum Roll, Novice title to Edward Johnson and Faberge Egg, Elementary to Imogen Byers and Hercules and Medium to Femke Meiland and Marvel.
The last championship of the day went to Samantha Thurman-Baker and Gerardo, beating her other ride, Seramai, into second place. It was a busy weekend for Samantha who competed sister Joanna’s rides. Joanne injured her back in a fall from a young horse but was keen to keep her horses match fit. To make sure her top ride, Highcliffe Apollo, stays on top form for the Nationals, she drafted in mum Diane to ride him in the Inter II and GP. To her credit, Diane, who hadn’t competed at that level for over 20 years had good placings in both.
The whole show ran very smoothly with Bury Farm’s well-oiled organising team staying cool in the sun despite the large classes and withdrawals because of the heat.
High Profile Results
Prix St Georges
Rowan Bryson with Lazulith 68.64% (Friday)
Lara Kuropatwa with Fore Season 70.39 (Saturday)
Jayne Turney with Penhaligon’s Jupiter 72.71 (Sunday)
Angus Corrie-Deane with Tiny Tempur 70.25
Sam Rahmatallah with Hawtins Falerno 69.38 (Friday)
Nicola McGivern with WfD Hotstuff 68.9 (Saturday)
Inter I freestyle
Nathalie Kayal with DHI Cleverboy 71.37
Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert 72.28 (Friday)
Lisa Marriott with Valucio 68.35. (Sunday)
Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert 68.73 (Saturday)
Steph Croxford and Mr Hyde 69.1 (Sunday)