Veteran joie de vivre at Vale View
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Four days, forty classes and over 285 starters made up this year’s bumper instalment of the Nettex Veteran Horse & Rider Championships at Vale View, 11 – 14 October. With titles on offer from Intro to Prix St George accorss thee categories of rider (55 and over), horses aged 15 to 19 and horses 20 and older, it was a busy few days with plenty of first rate competition.
Vale View owner and manager Julie Hyslop took the spoils in two of the Nettex rider championships claiming the Novice with youngster Rubin Star Lioness, an Oldenburg by Rubin Star N competing in just their fifth test together. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Julie partnered her own veteran DHI Krackatoa to victory in the PSG class on Saturday evening. The duo has been together for an amazing 12 years and have had a great 2018 together, winning every time out this season at small tour so the Nettex sash is the cherry on top.
Our eldest victor in the sections was John Bowers who took the Elementary section riding Wiaronett with a score of 69.71% at 73 years young. Based not far from Vale View in Leicestershire, John has been a BD member since 1998, only missing posting results in two years, 2015 and 2017.
In the Nettex Veteran Horse sections, Cornish raider Judi Foster, herself a veteran rider, did a double in the Elementary and Medium sections for horses aged 15 – 19 riding Sue Gilbert’s 17 year old Leyla. The duo are well established at Elementary but this is their first year competing at Medium level and taking the win with 66.61% proves you can teach an older horse new tricks!
Para Grade III rider Amanda Shirtcliffe took the Novice 15 – 19 title with her own Michelangelo, a 15 year old Swedish warmblood by Lambourgini. In her own unique Facebook style, Amanda exclaimed; “Yesterday a sinner and today a National winner! With the threat of being gifted to the glue factory, Magic Mike bucked his ideas up and channelled his inner Hugh Hefner to charm the lady judges and take the Veteran Championship title. Good boy Mike – never doubted you for a second!”
It was two touching tales of long partnerships in the 20 and over horse categories at Elementary and Medium levels. The biggest thanks at the end of any test went to West Sussex’s Amelia Ward who showered her 23 year old Tireve What’s Wanted with pats and cuddles knowing that he’d given his all for his rider in the Elementary. The Welsh Section C was bought by Amelia ten years ago when she was nine but it wasn’t plain sailing to begin with. “Six weeks after we bought him, he just about bucked me off every day for six months. We came within a week of selling him but family friend Richard Evans said bring him over and we’ve never looked back,” she recalled.
“It our first season with BD as he’s really a jumping machine. In fact, he was quite disappointed when we arrived and there were no jumps. It’s only our fifth Elementary together and hopefully we can qualify next year at Medium. I’m so glad all those years I stuck with him; it was the best decision I ever made and I just love him to bits; he’s my best friend. I have to say a huge thank you to my trainer Daniel Timpson as I couldn’t have won without all he does for me.”
In the Medium, it was a fairy tale win by Laura Henton and her 25 year old The Fieldmaster, by Embla Farmer, as the duo have been together for 21 years – they came together when she just 12 and the horse just four in Pony Club. A partnership in eventing flourished and they went on to represent Great Britain at the 2002 Junior European Championships in Waregem. They rose further through the ranks reaching three star level before leaving the jumping behind in 2007. In 2016, Laura rejoined BD after an eight year lapse with ‘Fred’ to keep him busy with great success.
“What’s so nice about today was I came out thinking he really tried his best and it made me feel I didn’t really care what the judges think as to me he couldn’t have done better. To see he then came first was just the icing on the cake,” commented Laura.
“When we were eventing, show jumping was his strongest phase and he was a great cross country horse but we’ve really had to work on his dressage. He’s given me so much, he’s my horse of a life time; my best friend! He’s part of the family.
“He’s enjoying himself and is so fit and well so we’ll keep going. I’d like to try Advanced Medium but not sure at 25 we’ll be getting the changes right! I couldn’t be happier and it’s very emotional when you’ve had horses that long; they’re just such a part of your life,” she said.
Laura added; “I’m so impressed with BD and all the things they offer – there really is something for everyone and it’s now such an open sport. To have something like this to aim for with a 25 year old is just fantastic.”
Pictured is Sue Lanz riding Wellshead Foxtrot, who have a combined age of 90, were presented with their Advanced Medium prizes by Elizabeth Taylor of the Veteran Horse Society.
A massive thanks to the team at Vale View who did a fantastic job over the four days, our valued sponsor Nettex for their support of the Associated Championships, the Veteran Horse Society and all the riders and their support crews who braved the weather and provided fabulous competition.
Nettex Veteran Rider
Karen Davies (56) with Peggy, 63.04%
Debra Stapleton (56) with Fuego’s Funny Guy, 72.41%
Julie Hyslop (59) with Rubin Star Lioness, 69.35%
John Bowers (73) with Wiaronett, 69.71%
Shirley Hart (63) with Lord Harvey, 68.01%
Elaine Wilson (63) with Ebabelou, 66.05%
Prix St Georges
Julie Hyslop (59) with DHI Krackatoa, 66.71%
Nettex Veteran Horse
15 – 19 – Jade Taylor with Bennynthejets (16), 66.96%
20 and over – Stacey Ann Pride with Liquorice II (20), 66.74%
15 – 19 – Kristy Christopher with Attack II (18), 69.14%
20 and over – Julie Willis with Dorothy (21), 68.28%
15 – 19 – Amanda Shirtcliffe with Michelangelo (15), 68.24%
20 and over – Rebecca Hamilton-Fletcher with Smokin Gun (20), 71.48%
15 – 19 – Judi Foster with Leyla (17), 69.56%
20 and over – Amelia Ward with Tireve What’s Wanted (23), 68.39%
15 – 19 – Judi Foster with Leyla (17), 66.69%
20 and over – Laura Henton with The Fieldmaster (25), 63.09%
15 – 19 – Sue Lanz with Wellshead Foxtrot (16), 64.80%
20 and over – Sarah Halls with Pavarotti II (21), 65.86%
Prix St Georges
15 – 19 – Samantha Fish with Cumeragh House Mac (17), 68.75%
20 and over – Laura Payne with Calderon (20), 62.70%