Cream of the Dengie Crops
Irish determined to make the finals of the Dengie Winter League
Show Jumping Championships their own for the second year in succession
and Co. Downs, Lisa Priestley, aged 15, (Iveagh) duly obliged
with a blistering clear round in a time of 30.19 over Stephen
Martins 8 fence jump off course.
record 82 finalists congregated at Warwickshire College on Saturday
(29th March) from an original line-up of 4,500 starters at 120
Centres for the seventh finals of this hugely popular series.
table A7 course for the main event after lunch produced 32 clear
rounds after a stuttering start with only one clear in the first
seven rounds. But then came the clears thick and fast. The first
two to go Chloe Hill (Derwent Hunt) and Georgina Morris (Oakley
Hunt West), went round in blistering times and with the majority
still to go, the crowd thought it was all over. Six rounds later
though, enter Lisa Priestley who went round like a rocket on Dolly
(30.19) and found the fastest line over the first three fences
where even an experienced international might have struggled to
find the right line.
such a fast time many might have decided to go for the slower
clear but it was great to see all the remaining finalists going
for it, particularly Gareth McCombe also from the Iveagh who got
a faster time (30.08) but unfortunately had two down. In the end
Georgina Morriss early time of 32.47 was good enough to
give her 2nd place on her pony, which is normally used for Endurance,
with trail blazer Chloe Hill (33.84) 4th and Annabelle Ottaway
(Western Hunt) taking 3rd on the unusually marked Hillside Drummer
Boy in a time of 33.23.
Priestley thought this win and the 10th place on her second ride,
had added to one of the best weeks of her life. In the last week
she had met former Iveagh Branch Member and now World Show Jumping
Champion, Dermott Lennon. As Lisa said Dermott is World
Champion and now Im Dengie Champion.
of the many highlights of the gripping competition was to see
the first Centre Member at the finals. Hannah Lewis (Putley Centre)
who qualified Hotspot was a credit to all involved when she was
one of the 31 in the jump off. Hannah and Hotspot didnt
come for the fun as they proved in the jump off when Hannah put
her foot firmly to the floor and got a good time but unfortunately
had one or two down along the way. Hannah was also one of the
best-supported finalists having brought along 25 supporters. Lets
hope this provides a good incentive for the Centre Members to
send more along next year.
in the day, Lisa Tate (Isle of Wight) won the Dengie Winter League
Warm Up in spectacular style. The win proved that Lisa had made
the right choice as the Finals clashed with a Middle Schools Cross
Country running competition where she had been asked to run for
mentions should be made of a number of other prize winners. The
winner of the prestigious Horsemanship Award was Suzy Ottewell
(Burton Hunt) who rode Cornice. Jon Doney and BSJA Chief Executive,
Jacky Woods judged the prize. Suzy is currently trained by Lucy
Henson (nee Jennings) for Eventing where she is to take part in
the JRN series and by Matthew Lanni for Show Jumping. A lot of
the credit for Suzys riding should go to Redmil Farm Riding
School where she first learnt to ride.
Fudge (Pembrokeshire Hunt) won the Best Turned Out prize for her
horse Langarth Trilogy.
smallest pony Appleton Emerald (12.2) and Sophie Ward (South Durham
Hunt) who was one of the youngest riders at 11 deserve a mention
for putting in a very credible performance against some stiff
particular credit should go to one of the great doyennes of the
horse world Mrs Betty Skelton who at 94 came to watch her Great
Granddaughter, Olivia Sims, take part. Olivia (Royal Artillery)
returned the favour by putting in a great performance when riding
Trenley Pacific Adventure into 8th place.