Friday 30 April 2010

Grassroots round up

Jack Day triumphed in the BE100 Grassroots Championship riding his own Smoke and Mirrors. An excellent dressage score of 27.8 and a double clear ensured his victory.

“It has been terrific,” says Jack, 21, who hails from Billesdon Coplow in Leicestershire. “The whole experience has been wonderful. I hope that our event can add to the whole event here at Badminton, even if it is predominantly about the four-star.”

Jack is a third-year vet student at Cambridge. “This horse is a cracking hunter but we are also having fun with him eventing,” adds Jack, who hunts with the Cattistock and the Fernie and also race-rides.
Hot on Jack’s heels was Elaine Wilson, who finished just 0.2 penalties behind on a score of 28.0 riding her own Weston Moonshine.
“When I started eventing again in 2008, I planned to do BE90 and not go any bigger, but my children told me that I was pot-hunting and had to move up,” says Elaine, who had a 33-year break from eventing and now trains event riders.
There were just 1.3 penalties separating the top three in the BE100 Championship and completing the line up was Kylie Roddy riding the six-year-old ex-racehorse Laurentian Lad.
“It is really nice to incorporate professionals and amateurs together at Badminton,” says Kylie, who hopes that this horse will now move up a level. “I hope that this is something that will carry on in the future. Everyone has been very supportive and this is what the sport is all about.”
Amy Dixon led from the start in the BE90 Championship with Maid In Holland, a 10-year-old mare, finishing on her dressage score of 28.8.
“This was a million times better than all my expectations,” says Amy, who is based in Kendal, Cumbria. “I thought the Grassroots competition might be put to one side of the main competition, but that has not been the case at all - we have been right in the middle of it.”
Amy, who is a medical rep, qualified at Solihull in August last year. She has been riding Maid In Holland for three and a half years.
“She had never jumped a cross-country fence before I got her, so it has been a slow process,” says Amy, who also won the BE90 at Stafford this year.
Newark-based Karen Baugh was second with Spark Of Talent.
“It is just amazing to be at a place like this,” says Karen. “The horse can take a bit of time to warm up on the cross-country so I was a bit nervous about the first few fences, but it was fine.”
“I think that this is a great development for the sport, and especially for people who don’t event full-time,” she adds.
Third in the BE90 was Beth Sutcliffe from Cumbria with Wodka Lime.
“This is a quirky type of horse, but the course rode really well,” says Beth, who won at Kelsall Hill and Stafford on her last two outings.

Grassroots News, Photos and Results
Audio Interview with Jack Day
Audio Interview with Amy Dixon

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