Midlands’ members fly the flag at
National Championships

21 October 2017

 

by Wendy Nix

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Fourteen members of Midlands Carriagedriving took part in nine of the fifteen classes during the 2017 British Carriagedriving National Championships, held at Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire from 8-10 September.


Mark Riley, Novice Horse class. Photo by Kingswood Associates.

In a highly competitive Novice Horse Championship, Mark Riley from Congleton, Cheshire, who is also a member of North East and Chester clubs, was crowned the victor after holding his nerve during a tense final phase where only 6.56 penalties separated the top four.

Lying third after dressage and coming third in the marathon with his spotted gelding Kas Endeavour, Mark moved up to second place overnight, 1.70 penalties behind the two-phase leader. Just one ball down inside the time during the cones phase kept the pressure on and when the leader knocked two balls off, Mark took the crown.


Mick Ward. Photo by Kingswood Associates.

Mick Ward from Outwell, Norfolk, finished in fourth place with Douglas, a Hackney/Welsh gelding, having been second after dressage but dropping to fourth with a slower marathon time. Rachel Reilly from Shrewsbury and her feisty Lusitano mare, Aramis, pulled up to finish in seventh place having lain last after the first phase.

Megan Wheeldon from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was in sixth place overnight following the first two phases of the Open Pony Championship but a superb clear in the cones and adding just 0.26 of a time penalty to her score pulled her up the leaderboard to finish in third overall with Welsh Section D Penraven Prince. Worcestershire-based David Smith and Mr Darcy, a Morgan gelding, finished in ninth place.


Megan Wheeldon. Photo by Kingswood Associates.

The Open Pony Pairs Championship saw Sue Hargreaves from Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, and Megan’s father David, fighting it out for fourth and fifth places with Sue just getting the better of David in the cones to finish in that order.

Sue’s county neighbour, Lucy Barclay from Woodhall Spa, was in second place overnight in the Intermediate Horse Championship after the first two phases with her relatively inexperienced palomino Dutch gelding Le Zaza.

Unfortunately the tension got to both of them in the cones with four balls down, dropping them to fifth place overall. Another competitor from Lincolnshire, Anna Jackson, was in a hotly contested Novice Pony Championship with her Hackney x gelding Mo Chara Ned.

Dressage saw them in twelfth place but a strong marathon pulled them up four places and with just one ball down in the cones, Anna and her pony held their eighth place. Intermediate Pony Championship contender Steve Trebble from Bothamshall, Nottinghamshire, finished eighth with his Welsh Section D Taraco Diablo.


Sue Hargreaves. Photo by Kingswood Associates.

Sue Mart from Long Bennington in Nottinghamshire was up against some fierce competition in the Advanced Single Pony Championship with Fudge, her Connemara x gelding. Although fourth in both dressage and the marathon, Sue finished on an excellent note adding just 1.46 time penalties to her score in the cones, winning that phase and finishing fourth overall.

In sixth place after dressage, Sara Clough and Windfalls Daylight from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, scorched round in the Advanced Single Horse Championship marathon for second place in that phase and one ball down in the cones meant they completed in fourth overall.

Still fine tuning her new team of Dutch and Belgian Warmblood horses, Karen Bassett from Nottinghamshire used the occasion to give them experience yet still managed a creditable fifth place in the Horse Four-in-Hand Championship.

Angela Smith from Immingham, Lincolnshire, drove her young team of Welsh Section A ponies to seventh place in the Pony Four-in-Hand Championship while Amanda Hawley from Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, finished fifth overall in the Open Horse Pairs Championship, Angela Flanagan having to retire on the marathon course when lying fifth after dressage.


Champions are made at Catton Park
Midlands Carriagedriving held its annual Club Championships at Catton Park and despite a small field, classes were competitive with some leaders falling by the wayside as others excelled in the marathon. Report by Wendy Nix.


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