The Hand Equestrian Centre in Somerset hosted the third qualifying round of the Dodson & Horrell and the World Class Programme Under 23 British Championship series this weekend (29 March 2014), with some great showjumping showcased and new faces taking part.
A field of seventeen riders lined up for the class, which was brought outdoors due to the good weather, with five riders going forward to contest the jump-off after posting clears in the first round.
The jump-off saw four of the five riders post impressive double clears; against a competitive field it was Suffolk based showjumper Chloe Winchester who took the win aboard Mrs Gillian Winchester’s eleven year old bay mare Avoca Valkyrie. The Sport England funded BEF Excel Talent Programme rider stopped the clock just under four seconds ahead of second placed Olivia Dales, riding Russ Underwood’s Casparall, while Carian Scudamore with Nigel Scudamore’s Larino took third.
Fellow BEF Excel Talent Programme rider Kimberley White finished fourth (Vogue III) and sixth (Catapult) – as the fastest rider with four faults from round one. Remmie Ellis riding Heather Ellis’s Warendorf finished fifth after picking up an unfortunate four faults.
Through the qualifiers and an accumulation of points, riders aim to qualify for the final, which takes place at the London International Horse Show, Olympia in December.
There was a total prize fund of £1650 for the qualifier, and Training Vouchers to the value of £725 awarded to the first six prize-winning riders currently eligible for British Team Selection.
The Championships are supported by feed manufacturer Dodson & Horrell and by the World Class Development Programme. The Development Programme is funded by Lottery and Exchequer funds via UK Sport; the Programme seeks to identify and develop talented athletes who have shown the potential to reach the world stage.
Dodson & Horrell has a long history of support in equestrian sports across all levels, from its sponsorship of Riding Club and Pony Club events, over 25 years of support for Point-to-Point racing to title sponsorship of the iconic Chatsworth International Horse Trials. As Royal Warrant holder and official supplier of nutrition to Equestrian Team GBR, Dodson & Horrell will play a pivotal advisory role in the lead up to this year’s WEG, Normandy and the 2016 Rio Olympics.