South & West success at 2023 Senior Inter Regional
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South & West Daisy Duck were the victorious team at the 2023 rendition of the Senior Inter Regional event hosted in Warwickshire at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre on 20 – 21 May.
The Senior Inter Regional annually delivers a top community atmosphere, with cross-region camaraderie paired with competitive spirit and the will to come out on top at a prized regional event. The competition this year lived up to expectations with a close fought battle for the top spot, as South & West Daisy Duck and North & East Windsor drew clear of the field across two days of test riding.
At the close it would be triumph for the South & West region, who takeover from last year's winning region North & East as custodians of the Senior Inter Regional team trophy. Andrea Sparkes, Alys Matravers, Verity Perry and Lucie Stokoe formed the winning team – Daisy Duck – who scored 24.47, giving them victory by 1.22 points. With all-important placings contributing to the final standings, each rider in the winning team contributed to the win, with all four achieving individual placings inside the top seven in their respective classes. Andrea Sparks and Kazan scored 70.69% and 69.86% to place second in the Preliminary, an achievement matched by team-mate Verity Perry at Elementary level with her own Bianchi earning 69.46% and 71.93%. Andrea is a former winner at the 2022 Saracen Horse Feeds My Quest Championships with her Inter Regional ride, whilst Verity Perry brings a wealth of experience to the team from her leading role at Rose Vidney Livery, where she heads up the team and dedicates much of her time to coaching. Lucie Stokoe flew the Daisy Duck flag in the Medium class with her seven year old Franklin son Led Zeppelin placing third, whilst also achieving Novice fifth with Nicolaas B as an individual; Alys Matravers produced H Macchiato to eighth place in the Novice competition, where no less than 31 combinations vied for the spot positions across the weekend.
North & East Windsor Castle were noble in their narrow defeat, with Kate Johnston (Lotus Key), Elain Wormwell (Finest Midnight Blue), Christine Daniels (Darby Ramblin) and Jess Griffiths (RS Furst Love) taking the second spot on the team podium on a score of 25.69. Wales claimed the final step of the podium for a game performance by the four riders in team Llyn Ogwen, Emma Bevan, Susan Jones, Margaret Anita Jones and Camilla Ibison.
North and East rider Kate Johnston took the winning spoils in the Prelim Individual with her own Lotus Key; the combination were the top contributing rider to second placed team North & East Windor Castle. For their test on day one, they achieved 72.64% to lead the 31-strong field, before going on to record the sole score over 70% on day two of the Prelim competition.
The North and East representatives achieved some impressive results for their individual performances, with the Prelim class alone seeing four of their riders place inside the top eight - Lauren Cox (fourth), Helen Little (fifth) and Laura Rose (eighth).
It was individual victory for the South & East region in the Novice contest, as Zoe Kirkpatrick held on to her day one lead with Mint Ice Diamond US. Zoe, who owns and runs Heartbreaker Dressage Horses in Norfolk, took to Facebook to praise her six year old Diamond Hit-sired mare and the Senior Inter Regional experience: “We had a great weekend representing the South & East Region at the Senior Inter Regionals. Milan was a star and took the Novice Individual Championship helping the team to seventh place. We have been training hard the past few weeks and I am so proud of the horse she is turning out to be!”
Jenny Paling took second place in the Novice Individual, with her Inferno contributing to another placing for North and East; whilst Mathieu Smith on board Ladania I&S and Samantha Smyth with For Freedom completed an impressive top four for South & East.
Ben James continued his winning form at the Senior Inter Regionals, after a dazzling breakthrough into the spotlight at the Petplan Equine Winter Area Festival Championships last month. With his mare Clapton Banks Primadonna, Ben topped the tables in the Elementary Individual by no less than 7.8%. The combination flew into the lead on day one after posting 75.44%, followed up by an equally as impressive 73.76% on day two. Verity Perry completed a one-two for South & West at this level, as the winning team rider produced two consistent performances in the Onley arena. Wales achieved a third-fourth place lockout at a successful show for the region, as Emily Lay and Kingsdale took the final podium position, alongside countryman Margaret Anita Jones in fourth.
In the highest level represented at the Senior Inter Regionals, it would be Jessica Griffiths to ride to a Medium win for North & East with RS Fürst Love (Fürst Romancier x Diatano). The combination hailing from Lincolnshire took the lead on day one as the sole contenders to reach over the 70% barrier in a close and competitive opening round, before going on to top the tables on day two and secure the win with a total score of 140.89%. Fellow North & East team mate Anna Bates completed her weekend as Medium runner up with Gitina, closely followed by winning team rider Lucie Stokoe with Led Zeppelin.
Thanks go to all competitors who took part, with representation across all six BD regions, as well as to hosts Onley Grounds EC for their part in creating a memorable fixture, and Equi-Jewel and Radiance Gold who kindly provided prizes to our winners.
Results – top five
1. S&W Daisy Duck, 24.47
2. N&E Windsor Castle, 25.69
3. Wales Llynogwen, 37.36
4. S&W Donald Duck, 52.71
5. S&E Diamond, 57.32
1. Kate Johnston and Lotus Key – 72.64% – 70.83% – 143.47% (N&E)
2. Andrea Sparkes and Kazan – 70.69% – 69.86% – 140.55% (S&W)
3. Emma Bevan and Cregduff Kirken – 71.26% – 68.75% – 140.01% (Wales)
4. Lauren Cox and Purely Pandora – 68.91% – 69.86% – 138.77% (N&E)
5. Helen Little Merlot and ‘T Hage – 70.17% – 68.05% – 138.22% (N&E)
1. Zoe Kirkpatrick and Mint Ice Diamond US – 70.07% – 69.38% – 139.45% (S&E)
2. Jenny Paling and Inferno – 67.71% – 70.18% – 137.89% (N&E)
3. Mathieu Smith and Ladania I&S – 69.44% – 67.28% – 136.72% (S&E)
4. Samantha Smyth and For Freedom – 69.31% – 67.34% – 136.65% (S&E)
5. Lucie Stokoe and Nicolaas B – 68.54% – 67.53% – 136.07% (S&W)
1. Ben James and Clapton Banks Primadonna – 75.44% – 73.76% – 149.20% (S&W)
2. Verity Perry and Bianchi – 69.46% – 71.93% – 141.39% (S&W)
3. Emily Lay and Kingsdale – 68.43% – 69.03% – 137.46% (Wales)
4. Margaret Jones and Deufor Spellbound – 68.28% – 68.11% – 136.39% (Wales)
5. Tina Guion and With Good Intention – 68.58% – 66.93% – 135.51% (S&W)
1. Jessica Griffiths and RS Fürst Love - 70.98% - 69.91% - 140.89% (N&E)
2. Anna Bates and Gitina - 69.66% - 66.44% - 136.10% (N&E)
3. Lucie Stokoe and Led Zeppelin - 67.94% - 67.61% - 135.55% (S&W)
4. Lizzie Hughes and Breight Said Fred - 68.04% - 66.89% - 134.93% (N&W)
5. Amy Daye and Prince William MBS - 68.38% - 66.35% - 134.42% (Wales)