The Eventer Challenge, sponsored by Spillers at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a fantastic opportunity for ambitious event riders to compete at a prestigious event. It is a Derby style competition with a section of eight to ten show-jumps and six to eight cross country fences finishing with a ‘joker’ fence. Each team has four riders who enter the arena following each other and each has to complete the course within an optimum time.
BPIHT Riding Club Eventer Challenge – 100cm Team Competition
The winning team was Flitch Way Riding Club with a counting score of 4.4 penalties across the three best scoring riders in the team. Sydney Hockney, Team Manager and anchor rider had quite a stressful time prior to the team going into the ring. Lisa Trudie Spence was delayed and made it by the skin of her teeth. Plus, another team member dropped out and a late call was made to Georgie Bray who stepped up and scored the best round of the team with just 0.4 penalties. “We couldn’t have had a better day,” said Sydney. “The course had its challenges but rode well and the water jump was a bonus! You felt like you were at a really top event being up near the trade stands and the crowds, the going was perfect. We all just had a totally brilliant day, thank you so much.”
BPIHT Riding Club Eventer Challenge – 100cm Individual Competition
Sarah Langley and Edelman from the Cheltenham & District Riding Club won this class finishing with a completely clean sheet. A very delighted Sarah described Freddy, as he is known at home, as just brilliant over a course which looked tricky but actually rode really well.
This was a bit of a departure for Sarah who spends her time showjumping rather than eventing, although that might change after this result. “The course was technical and twisty but he has such a great rhythm which makes it easier to get the time and that was a major factor today. He was just awesome for me, listening even though there was a lot going on around us – I am so pleased with him!”
BPIHT Riding Club Eventer Challenge – 90cm Team Competition
Ingatestone and Blackmore Riding Club were victors in the 90cmTeam competition, a well-deserved win according to Team Manager, Anne Corfield. “It was a long day and nerve jangling as we waited for the result, but the team are very close knit and supported each other. They walked the course together and agreed a plan which worked out so well given that there were some very influential fences.”
“Claire Lewis’s horse Woody as he is known at home is 20 and they both put in an amazing performance for the team win and as the rider closest to the optimum time and clear she led the entire field.
The ground was superb and we all were so delighted that the competition has been brought back to Blenheim. I may have been the first entry as we were so keen be part of it, I did the entry one minute after midnight in the day entries opened. We can’t wait for next year!” added Anne.
ROR Southern Regional Dressage Championships 2023
The first day of the RoR dressage competition brought ex-racehorses turned dressage divas to the arena. The Prelim class was won by Alice Sandiford on Grey Dancer or Duke as he is known at home. “He ran six times under rules,” explains Alice’s mum. “He was so polite and apparently just didn’t have the killer winning instinct so we bought him two years ago and he has exceeded all our expectations. We love him, he turns his hoof to anything and loves his life at Hartpury University with Alice.” Just to prove how multi-talented Duke is, Alice will be competing in the Pony Club Eventer Challenge today at Blenheim.
The Elementary class also took place on Thursday with The Jigger and Angela Rowberry taking the honours. Trained by Alan King and owned by J P McManus, The Jigger was in Angela’s own words “a rubbish racehorse” but he clearly has talents between the white boards. Angela bought Vinnie as he is known at home as a project and said “He felt so relaxed today and very chilled. I changed his bit yesterday which might not have been the best preparation but he went brilliantly, I’m so pleased with him!”
The Competition continues today with Novice and Medium classes.