Kelsall Hill BE; 21-23rd September 2018
What a great weekend of British Eventing horse trials we’ve just had at Kelsall Hill, principally sponsored by Istanbul BBQ Chester. Riders competed in three phases with dressage, show jumping and a cross country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips who attended the event after returning from designing the eventing course at the World Equestrian Games and Burghley 2018.
Despite the tricky weather with gales and torrential rain both in the lead up and two amber warnings for inclement weather forecast during the competition, hardy spectators were treated to the spectacle of seeing some of the world’s best eventing riders displaying their talents with locally based Oliver Townend ranked number 1 in the world according to the FEI rankings. World champion Rosalind Canter, ranked number 3, joined our field of competitors fresh back from winning gold at the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina both individually and in the team. Rosalind said: ‘I love it here at Kelsall Hill, the courses are great they have a 3 day feel to them, they are very chunky and lots of undulation catering for all levels providing plenty of education’
There’s no doubt that the trade stand area suffered some impacts with two trade stands blowing away and some deciding it was better to display their goods on another day rather than risk being blown away especially as the weather reduced the footfall at the event but conditions did improve and the event ran successfully for the three scheduled days.
The event saw Amy Dixon, riding Goodluck II, winning the inaugural BE 80 championships sponsored by Airowear where qualifying riders from across the country competed to be best at this entry level into eventing. “It was a great opportunity for us to run the final and we hope the rider combinations found their experience thrilling as we hoped to give riders memories that would last a lifetime” said co-organiser Jane Whitaker. “it was also a pleasure to see British Eventing running a training course here for course designers and builders during the event, with over 30 attendees including Blyth Tait, Chris Bartle’s sister, Jane Bartle-Wilson and Joss Gray the head coach of the Indonesian Event Team especially as our new course builder, Dominic Lawrence, was there to hear the feedback on potential improvements”
Two of the three intermediate sections sponsored by Graham Heath Equestrian Structures were won by 20 year old Lucy Robinson who was having a flyer beating an outstanding field of riders many who compete at international level, and the third section sponsored by Equine 74 was won by U21 British Champion, Yasmin Ingham who’s based at Pewit Hall near Nantwich. Yasmin, who was part of the Young Rider team at the Europeans this year commented, ‘I always love attending Kelsall, fantastic ground, very well organised and super courses!’ Other local riders also did extremely well with Michael Owen, Hayden Hankey, Hannah Bate and Paul Sims all having top 10 placings.
Kelsall Hill’s next British Eventing fixture will run from 19th – 21st April 2019 with significant course changes planned to possibly run the cross country in the opposite direction this will give the course a whole new feel for those that have loyally attended over the years. “We’re always looking at where to invest and improve our offer for eventing customers” says co-organiser and Kelsall Hill LTD director Phil Latham and “we’re hoping to develop a new range of indoor facilities with planning permission granted for a new competition centre which we hope to start once we’ve secured our funding arrangements. The new centre will allow us to run a whole new calendar of fixtures adding to the portfolio of facilities including retail space and a café creating additional business resilience through the winter period.”