Team St James and Southwood Sasses triumph at Team Quest finale
- Written By:
The UK’s leading Team Quest riders gathered at the sixth annual Kent & Masters Quest Championships last week for two days of fierce yet fun competition at Bury Farm in Buckinghamshire (26 – 27 October 2019).
Pictured left to right: Ben Roberts from Kent & Masters, Nicola James, Arielle Harter, Caroline Colman and Juliet Dennis.
In the Open category - for riders of all ages - Surrey quartet the Southwood Sasses enjoyed an emphatic win ahead of defending title holders Cheshire Chicks.
The Southwood Sasses – representing Southwood Manor Equestrian and all riding mares - performed well on Saturday to take the overnight lead but, with a margin of less than two percent, the competition was still wide open. On Sunday, a knockout performance by Juliet Dennis with Eileen O’Connor’s Fabula (Fidertanz x Sandro Hit) who earned 74.17%, a 70%-plus for Arielle Harter with Beverly Mason’s Fairleigh (by Fulton) and accomplished performances by both Caroline Coleman and her Jumbo daughter, Perdi, and Nicola James with her Irish-bred Tasmanian Pride, tightened the grip on the title for the winning four.
Pictured left to right: Ben Roberts from Kent & Masters, Elli Smith, Isabel Kenworthy, Kate Joyce and Tegan Cook.
In the U21 competition, Team St James were overnight leaders on Saturday but it was incredibly tight at the top. A team score of 206.48 may have given the Norfolk-based four the lead after round one, but It’s a Bling Thing and Pocket Rocket were nipping at their heels with 204.56 and 204.38 respectively.
On Sunday, with all to play for, Tegan Crook (14) and palomino gelding Koko rode a storming Prelim test for 71.09%. Kate Joyce (18) and Tomriland Billy added to their 69.17% Saturday Prelim with another good score, whilst Isabel Kenworthy (20) and Steven Small’s black mare, Marcel Midnight Ray (13), and 15 year old Elli Smith with Isserkelly Connie, each bolstered the total with a solid performance at Intro to maintain the lead and claim the team title. Pocket Rocket moved up to second whilst Four Legged Clovers leapt up the leader board from overnight sixth to third.
Speaking on Facebook, Team St James’ team trainer Nerys Leer said, “This weekend was the Team Quest National Championships 2019. This was my sixth year as team trainer and yesterday was my third national title as team trainer. Team St James with Tegan Crook, Kate Joyce, Elli Smith and Izzy Kenworthy took the Under 21 title after two days of hard competition. I could not be more proud of this young team.”
I could not be more proud of this young team.
On Saturday night, everyone at the show was treated to an exciting FEI Freestyle Pick Your Own competition in front of judges Heather Ashley (H), Debbie Wardle (C) and Claire Ballantyne (M). Tests ranged from Prix St Georges to Grand Prix so the audience could see a range of tests at the international levels.
It was Maria Eilberg who took the top honours with her long-term ride, Royal Concert (by Royal Diamond), the 16-year-old gelding she co-owns with Hermione Black. The striking grey known as ‘Rico’, who Maria has partnered for six years, has really come into his own at Grand Prix this year. He’s battled with nerves in the past but once relaxed and his enthusiasm channelled, the work is on point and expressive.
Riding to their Gary Patterson-produced Rod Stewart compilation, Maria and Rico delivered a fabulous Grand Prix Freestyle which was awarded with a score of 72.71% by the judging panel. Second place belonged to Nathalie Kayal and DHI Cleverboy on 71.71% (Inter I), and third to Dannie Morgan with Knoxx’s Figaro on 71.42% (PSG).
Congratulations to the prize-winning teams and to everyone who took part. Thanks go to generous sponsor Kent & Masters and to host venue Bury Farm.
Results – top three teams
1. Southwood Sasses, 418.27
Caroline Coleman and Perdi
Arielle Harter and Fairleigh
Nicola James and Tasmanian Pride
Juliet Dennis and Fabula
2. Cheshire Chicks, 411.48
Janet Maughan and Matty
Ciara Mclellan and Flambeau II
Corrie Mclellan and Ballastra Van De Cumul
Shona Rooney and Tobago Bay
3. Needs More Leg, 409.33
Emma Savage and Mummy’s Dream
Rachael Smith and Glory Hunter
Jackie Snow and Menlo Alison
Dawn Young and Sweet Classaroe Boy
1. Team St James, 411.86
Tegan Crook and Koko
Kate Joyce and Tomriland Billy
Isabel Kenworthy and Marcel Midnight Ray
Elli Smith and Iserkelly Connie
2. Pocket Rocket, 410.03
Summer Scott Champion and Ballys Millie
Grace Davies and Wynwillow Corniche
Fi Grabham and Bernwode Broadway
Melissa Knight and Wynwillow Cornic
3. The Four Legged Clovers, 405.77
Georgina Bateman and Little Leo II
Jessica Bateman and Lazy Acres Rainey Dancer
Grace Clarke and Hot Chocolate 1
Lily Clarke and Camills Muriel
Best team selfie: Thumbs Up Sit Up
Best dressed stables: Cheshire Cats
Best dressed team: Dressage Dreamers
Best team spirit: Team Bilsington
Photo © Kevin Sparrow