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Locko Park proves to be a superb venue
by Wendy Nix
Photos by Wendy Nix/Kingswood Associates.

Locko Park, Midlands Carriagedriving’s (MC) beautiful new venue in Derbyshire (8 and 9 June), proved to be a superb location for driving trials.

Dressage took place in front of Locko House with its private chapel to one side while part of the marathon route took competitors alongside the lake and rhododendron bushes where two of the six obstacles were placed.


Anne Chambers, helped by veteran leader Misty, won the Tandem class.

All the obstacles were within easy reach of the lorry park and offered excellent viewing of the action enjoyed by members of the public.

Sadly, dressage day didn’t dawn so much as arrived with dark clouds and heavy rain. Nevertheless, competitors put on a brave show with Sue Mart (Open Pony) providing the best test (49.43) with Graham Heath’s well-matched horse pair gaining 51.13 in his class.


Emma Burton, the was fastest multiple through Obstacle 5

Rosemary Armstrong led the Novice class and increased her lead with one of the better cones results, this phase proving to be rather tricky for some. However, navigational problems ensued in the obstacles which left Christine Lyte to take the class ahead of Melody Jones.


Emily Bennett, winner of the Open Horse class

In the Intermediate, Chris Patrick led after dressage with Ruth Auton in second but after the cones, Chris dropped to third and Ruth rose to first with Paul Hart now in second.


Fastest single through obstacle 5 and winner of the Intermediate class was Fiona Powell.

But it was Fiona Powell who stormed round the obstacles to win that phase, the prize for overall fastest single in Obstacle 5 and the class by 1.83 penalties; Paul Hart retained his second place and Chris stayed third above Ruth who dropped to fourth.


Graham Heath performs dressage in front of Locko House.

Emily Bennett managed to hold on to her dressage lead to take the Open Horse class ahead of Mick Ward.

The hard luck story went to Nicola Corby who was gaining on Emily with faster times in the first two obstacles before a broken trace forced her to retire.


Melody Jones, second in the Novice class, exits obstacle 4.

In the Open Pony, there was just .04 of a penalty separating Steve Trebble (eventual fourth) from overall winner Sue Mart in the obstacles but the latter’s strong dressage and cones gave her a comfortable margin to win by over 20 penalties from Glenys Ellis and Julie Tomasik.


Sue Mart won the Open Pony class and had the best dressage score of the event.

Graham Heath decided to withdraw from the marathon with his young horses, leaving Sandra Priestley in first overnight for the Pairs with Kim Usher and Emma Burton 13.80 and 18.74 penalties adrift, but never underestimate Emma and her two rescue ponies who are always exciting to watch in obstacles.

Unfortunately, her win in this phase - and fastest multiple through Obstacle 5 - was not quite enough to catch Sandra with Kim having to settle for third overall.


Winner of the Pairs class, Sandra Priestly.

Once again, Anne Chambers’ experience – and that of her sprightly 28-year-old leader Misty – paid off in the Tandem class despite trailing David Wagstaff-Myers after dressage.

Anne’s better cones and faster times in the final phase took her past David for an overall win.

Youth overcame experience in the Teams class where Emma Young outshone her older rivals, Angie Smith and Chris Jamieson, to lead all the way, although to be fair, Chris was driving horses while Emma and Angie had swift little ponies.

Emma’s only blip came when she dropped a rein after the ‘F’ gate in Obstacle 4 making for a larger than anticipated loop to the finish line.

MC is indebted to the Trustees of Locko Park for giving permission to the club for this event.

All photos by Wendy Nix/Kingswood Associates.

 

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