International Event rider Paul Sims retained his crown for the second year running in the Advanced Intermediate at Kelsall Hill Horse Trials – an event kindly sponsored by Istanbul BBQ Chester.
Despite facing tough competition from a top-class field of riders – including Emma Silman who took the runners up prize riding her own Sillogue Cailiocht – Sims put in a sterling performance aboard Jolyon Chamber’s Mystic Million to lay claim to the £1000 winner’s cheque.
Kelsall Hill’s resident Event rider Michael Owen produced a respectable third place finish with his long-time campaigner The Highland Prince.
“It’s lovely to win at a local event, the course rode very well and asked all the right questions,” said Paul, who only gained the ride on Mystic Million at the start of this season.
“He’s a massive horse but I’m finding that he’s very balanced and amenable to ride – I’m really excited about his future.”
• A world-class field
The perfect going at Kelsall Hill, along with the outstanding cross-country courses designed by Captain Mark Phillips, attracted entries from world-class riders such as Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Team GBR Silver medallist Jeanette Brakewell.
An in-form Ben Hobday headed the leader board in the Martin Collins Enterprises OI with Sallie Ryle’s ever-popular Mulry’s Error, whilst Leicestershire based Samantha Hobbs, proved to be the one to beat in the Equine 74 Intermediate section riding Preci Spark Ltd’s Tresoke.
Said Ben: “Mulry’s was a bit crackers in the dressage warm up, but luckily he settled during his test and then jumped fantastically. The XC course posed enough questions but I put my foot down and the risk paid off!”
• A Grand appearance
Visitors to this event enjoyed a varied schedule which included a parade by 2004 Grand National winner Amberleigh House.
Don’t miss our next British Eventing fixture running 23 – 25 September 2016.
By Jon Lowe
Images courtesy of Matt Nuttall Photography & FRW Photography