Busy weekend for Midlands Carriagedriving at Onley Grounds
8 August 2019
by Wendy Nix - Kingswood Associates
Organisers of the Midlands Carriagedriving event (3 and 4 August) at Onley Grounds, near Rugby, had a busy weekend running Regional, Club and the British Young Drivers’ (BYD) National Championships concurrently with over 70 starters across the
While many of the Regional class winners did so comfortably, some of their rivals had a tight time of it. In the Regional Open Pony, Nicola Corby – who has established a good relationship with new drive, Bobby – led from start to finish. However, Steve Trebble and Gary Brown had a tight tussle across each phase with Steve almost blowing it with a slow time in the final obstacle, just keeping his nose in front by 1.37 penalties to take second with Gary third.
Behind them, Elisabeth Greensmith was chasing Clive Jones hard and failed by a mere 0.41 penalties to finish fifth to Clive’s fourth place.
Like Nicola, Amelia Waddicor headed all three phases in the Regional Novice Pony class to finish comfortably ahead of Sally Bullar who finished 1.42 penalties ahead of Laura Priestley.
The Regional Novice Horse class saw husband and wife Malcolm and Heather Brown fight it out for first and second. Despite Malcolm’s faster obstacle times he was unable to make a serious dent into Heather’s solid dressage (53.8) and better cones score and had to settle for runner-up slot with Rachel Reilly in third.
Mick Ward showed the way in the Regional Intermediate Horse class despite a dressage slightly marred by a ‘senior moment’. He made amends in the cones, being one of only four who managed double clear and winning the MC King of the Cones competition.
Both he and Lynn Riley, in second place overnight, put up fast times in the obstacles, to finish in that order overall. Lucy Scott and Angela Cutford were the only survivors in the Regional Intermediate Pony; Lucy’s sub-50 dressage standing her in good stead as she held on to win despite a corrected course in Obstacle 5 which added 20 penalties to her overall score.
Dawn Hunter had an overnight lead of 10.96 after dressage and cones, ahead of Mark Riley, in the Regional Open Horse class but Mark is no slouch in the obstacles and charged round to overtake Dawn and win with a 12.26 penalty margin. Vicky Irwin was third.
Tom McGregor led the Regional Pony Pairs class after dressage (56.82) but a costly cones round allowed Hilly Withenshaw to overtake him and win the class, leaving Tom trailing by 5.14 for second with Averina Snow in third.
A similar scenario took place in the Regional Horse Pairs where Derek Mayes led after dressage (51.60) only for Chris Smith to overtake him after cones. Chris also put up faster times in the obstacles to win, with Derek in second and Sue Botley, who survived an impromptu hill climb at the water, taking third.
Sole competitor in the Regional Tandem class, David Wagstaff-Myers, produced three beautifully driven phases to finish on a score that would have been the envy of many singles drivers.
Rowena Moyse and her black ponies led throughout to win the Regional Pony Team class. Runner-up Emma Young did well to bring her team back after one of her wheelers took fright prior to Obstacle 1, subsequently depositing one of her grooms before coming back under control.
Not only did Emma avoid penalties for losing the groom (outside the obstacle), she also made up for lost time to finish inside the Section B ‘window’.
While only on a schooling run, Barry Capstick’s first outing with his team of chestnut horses was eye-catching to watch – as was Peter Young’s team of Shires, although he was unfortunately eliminated in the cones.
In the Club classes, the combined Intermediate saw Fiona Powell lying second to Paul Hart after dressage, a role that was reversed in cones when Fiona achieved a double clear and Paul incurred five time penalties.
Fiona’s zippy little grey pony flew the obstacles for her to take the class by 2.30 penalties ahead of Paul in second. Emily Viller, who’s pony improves with each outing, was third, just 1.56 penalties ahead of Chris Patrick.
Joanne Gadsby came good in the Club Novice, winning by a hefty margin with Vicky Brennan and Mary Fuller in second and third respectively.
It was good to see ex-MC committee member David Smith out competing again in the Club Open Pony and he put up a good performance but was no match for Julie Tomasik who led throughout. David was second and Tony Green third. In what may be their last appearance together, Emma Burton’s pair of gung-ho ponies managed yet another win in their class, this time at David Wheeldon’s expense.
With less than four penalties between them after the first two phases and almost identical obstacle times, Emma finished just over four penalties ahead of David with Giselle Lockett in third.
Alone in the Club Tandem class, Anne Chambers was able to enjoy the competition at leisure with veteran lead pony Misty showing once again how it should be done.
All three competitors in the Short Format class incurred penalties in the obstacles for corrected courses but that didn’t stop Rosemary Armstrong from taking the win comfortably from Vicky Aldous and John Cornell, who was driving a pony team.
The next MC event is the club’s annual championships (open to all) at Thoresby Park on 14 and 15 September. Further information and non-members’ entry forms can be found on www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk