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SIR: NW Thunderbirds are GO

last updated on May 17, 2017 09:25

SIR: NW Thunderbirds are GO

A great time was had by all at this year’s Senior Inter Regional, supported by Hack Up, at Keysoe in Bedfordshire, 13 – 14 May. Seven BD regions sent 32 teams to challenge for the honours over two packed days. The teams from the Central team all when for names based on foliage, Eastern opted for bands, Northern paid tribute to their Disney heroines, Southern showed their love of champagne, South West recognised racing greats, North West went for childhood TV while the three Welsh teams used Tom Jones song titles. The teams of four were made up of one rider each at Prelim, Novice, Elementary and Medium level, with the best three scores to count towards the team.

On Saturday, it was the Welsh ‘What’s new Pussycat’ team who set the pace with two strong 70%+ scores from Stephanie Dando-Mansell and Helen Hopewell to give an overall score of 210.99. The ‘It’s not unusual’ team were just 1.8 points adrift in second and the Southern Moet & Chandon riders third.

Sunday morning dawned grey and rainy but that soon cleared as the competition recommenced and the battle for the podium places was on. The two Welsh teams were going strongly with their riders largely matching the scores posted on Saturday to keep their chances alive but then North West Thunderbirds unleashed their secret weapon…Alexandra Ratcliffe. Riding her own Shadow M sired Shadana, she pulled out the test of a life time to score 76.35% - a personal best which gave her team score a huge boost.

That boost was help enough to promote the North West Thunderbirds three places up the leaderboard to first. It was an agonising wait to see if Wales could take the trophy west or maybe it could still head south with Moet & Chandon. The scorers were tested but Alexandra’s 76% proved to be the icing on the cake for the North West Thunderbirds to declare they were GO for victory.

NW RDO Lou Jones said of her winning team; “They were all amazing! Three of them had never done a regional competition before and Alexandra only took up riding BD in January. She’s worked really hard and travelled extensively to get her training in and I’m delighted it’s all paid off for her. I’d like to thank our Riders Rep Jackie Crombie who’s worked so hard all weekend. Having won the Senior Home International last year under her and now this, I’m beginning to think she’s our lucky charm! The whole weekend was a pleasure – the team spirit across all the teams and regions was outstanding.”

The 'Northwesties' and their new mascot Norman Northwestie:

Teams – overall

1st Northwest Thunderbirds – 420.38

Prelim – Alexandra Ratcliffe with Shadana
Novice – Nicola Deakin with Southbourne Destiny
Elementary – Alison Wheelock with Y Matilda
Medium – Holly Watson with Furst Oskar

2nd Wales It’s Not Unusual – 420.21

Prelim – Amy Daye with Carlson
Novice – Briony Cutler with Hilkens Charismatic
Elementary – Sue Cottrell with Chacot Uthoria
Medium – Laura Fisher with Sam the Man Veldhoek

3rd Southern Moet & Chandon – 415.16

Prelim – Lisa Harrison with Deoniaeth Ianto
Novice – Nicky Harrison with Loke Van Het Umenveld
Elementary – Tania Dahdi with Waldon Wild Skye
Medium – Mark Butler with Somnia

4th Wales What’s New Pussycat
5th Central Juniper
6th Central Holly
7th Eastern Prodigy
8th Wales Burning Down the House
9th Eastern Blur
10th Central Yew

Individuals – overall

Alexandra Ratcliffe with Shadana 74.20%
Northwest Thunderbirds

Nicky Harrison with Lobke Van Het Umenveld 70.85%
Southern Moet & Chandon

Shirley Hart with Der Diamant 71.01%
Northern Ariel

Anna Foster with Wanarico 70.56%
Central Junipers

Full resutls - click here