Riders, Santa’s, Elves and Reindeers from across the North West region gathered in force at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre for their Arena Eventing Christmas Extravaganza writes Megan Watson.
A record number of competitors visited the award-winning equestrian venue for the third round of Kelsall Hill’s Arena Eventing series and to try their hand over tracks designed by BS course builder Gillian Milner.
The Novice class kindly sponsored by Lewis Hardy Registered Farrier, saw 4* event horse Glengarnock come out of retirement to take home the red rosette with a new jockey at the helm.
Josh Haynes, who is stable jockey for John Marsden and Duncan Smith at Somerford Park Farm, has only recently taken up the reins on the 17-year-old Glengarnock (aka Billy). Billy has had an illustrious career including numerous Badminton and Burghley runs and is now enjoying an easier life with light competition and schooling.
“It’s brilliant to have the opportunity to ride a horse of his calibre!”
Said Josh, who led the field by finishing on just 0.1 penalties.
“I Love Kelsall Hill – the staff and team are always really friendly and helpful. The courses are always well built and educational for the horses with plenty to jump. I am looking forward to seeing the new indoor up and running.”
Josh Haynes, Intermediate Event Rider
With just 0.2 penalties deciding the top 2 positions in the Eccleshall Saddlery 100cm class, it was Shropshire-based rider Charlotte Davies who claimed victory riding her 9-year-old Connemara, Comanche V (Commy).
The pair are proving to be a true Eventing machines with top-10 placings at every outing at BE90 level, qualifying them for the Arena Eventing Championships at Blenheim and the Mitsubishi Motors Cup 2019. Kelsall Hill has been a central part of Charlotte’s competition circuit for many years.
“At Kelsall Hill you can be assured the courses are going to be interesting, with testing lines and solidly built fences. There’s a friendly yet professional atmosphere that competition centres strive for.”
The Protect My Income 90cm class was won by 15-year-old Ella Booth and her new ride Ballinaclough Bill (Danny) when the duo beat a 40-strong field of competitors.
“This was our first Arena Eventing competition and the plan was to have a safe, clear round, so was a nice surprise that we won!”
“Protect my Income are delighted to sponsor the Kelsall Hill Arena Eventing for the second year. The 90cm December winner Ella Jumped a fantastic round and is actually already enjoys riding with accident protection, her Mum Cheryl Booth is our Equestrian advisor!”
Helen Kennedy, Protect My Income.
Another new partnership topped the leader board in the Reaseheath College sponsored 80cm class. Issy Connolly and her pony Ringo only joined forces 3 weeks before the competition and are coached by Kelsall Hill-based 4* event rider Michael Owen. Both Issy and her mum Rachel would like to thank Alison Raine for her help and continual support.
Scarlett Owen took home the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show official jacket and was crowned the best dressed of the competition! The Grinch nearly stole the win but Becky King and her ride Oscar came away being runner up and taking home Kelsall Hill facility vouchers.
The Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show provided each winner with a pair of tickets to watch the world-class show jumping on offer and to enjoy a packed programme of truly enthralling entertainment and sport.
Long-time loyal sponsors Equine Products Ltd provided products across all classes to our runners up.
Photographs Courtesy of Martha Lily Photography.