A champion effort

Keysoe 1st – 3rd April 2016

Team Wessex headed for the Indoor finals at Keysoe full of enthusiasm and excitement. It was the biggest finals to date with 152 competitors booked across the ten classes.

Dressage was run over the Friday and Saturday mornings in two indoor arenas followed immediately by the obstacle cones driving in the outdoor arena, a tight and testing course which included a bridge (and no it wasn’t built by Steve Lucas!).

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Jack Ralph and Spice

Friday afternoon saw several classes drive obstacles 1 & 2 followed by obstacles 3 & 4 on the Saturday afternoon.  The crowd were whooped into a frenzy supporting their teams, flags flying, club jackets in abundance and lots of noise and excitement.

Our Friday/Saturday competitors put on a great show.

Open Pony Qualifier Jo Sore was in a huge tough class of 22. A dressage of 53.25 was followed by a clear driving round in the cones with just 3 time penalties. The first two obstacles mum Jacky backstepped before Phil Renfrey jumped on board for the last two so that Jo could let the ‘handbrake off’ according to her mum!

Open Horse Qualifier Jenny Moon followed a dressage of 37.0 with an excellent cones round clear on driving penalties and 7 time penalties, followed by four good obstacles to complete the class in 5th place.018

Small Pony Pairs Qualifier Sally Kerr completed her dressage on a score of 46.0 with four cones down and 5 time penalties,  four speedy obstacles left her in 7th place overall.

Veteran Qualifier’s Sue Mayes and David Bull almost matched each other in the dressage, Sue on 35.0 and David on 36.50 and again in the cones with Sue having 1 cone down and 1 time penalty, David 1 cone down and 4 time penalties. Then both had an unfortunate ball in one of the obstacles but David’s smaller nippier mare was slightly faster in the obstacles pulling him up to 4th place and Sue in 6th overall.

On Saturday/Sunday it was the turn of our other team members to strut their stuff:

Intermediate Horse Qualifier Val Taylor put on a good show with a dressage of 38.25, clear on driving penalties in the cones with just 2 time penalties which left her leading the class overnight. Unfortunately the obstacles did not go Val’s way on the Sunday with her collecting a few balls on the way round dropping her to 4th place overall.

Novice Horse Qualifier Maureen Blakemore set off her competition with a good dressage of 31.0 but had a few problems in the cones with 5 down and 11 time penalties. This was followed by a couple of balls down in two of the obstacles leaving her in 6th place overall.

Novice Pony Qualifier Sue Campbell had a speedy dressage with a very enthusiastic Troy for a score of 35.0. A good cones round with an unfortunate ball down and 1 time penalty leaving them lying in second place overnight in a very strong and large class. An unfortunate ball down in Obstacle 1 slipped them down to 3rd place overall.017

Intermediate Junior Qualifier Jack Ralph took on the responsibility for our Intermediate Pony and Junior Intermediate classes as they were not split.

Jack and Spice’s excellent dressage scored 27.0 (only one of a handful under 30 all weekend). 1 ball down and 2 time penalties in the cones left him in a very strong 3rd position going into the obstacles. He drove all four obstacles fast and clean and with the huge crowd roaring him on, he then had an agonising wait for the last two competitors to compete to hear that he had WON not only the Intermediate class, the Intermediate Junior and then on checking his overall score he was also the Best Junior over all three classes, three sashes; three trophies and an abundance of frillies!

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All in all an excellent result for TEAM WESSEX with six of our nine entries in the top six in their respective classes, our congratulations to them all.

We enjoyed our three days at Keysoe, not only supporting team Wessex but members of adjoining teams who had competed at Sparsholt throughout the winter months, catching up with everyone and just being part of the whole experience.

Dates are available for the next indoor season and we hope to see you there. 2016/17 indoor events

By Julia Crockford – WHHC Chairman