The final qualifier for the 2014 Dodson & Horrell and the World Class Programme Under 23 British Championship series took place at Morris Equestrian Centre in Scotland this weekend (22 November), producing some exciting showjumping to round-off the 2014 qualifiers.
A field of twenty starters came forward to contest the class, where an up-to-height technical course designed by Rafael Suarez proved a challenge for some. With only eight clear rounds recorded in the first round a jump-off ensued, where a high standard of competition was seen as three riders posted impressive double clears.
It was Christie Pritchard who took the top honours with Tracy Pritchard’s Waldemar; excelling in the jump-off, she produced a superb clear round to finish nearly two seconds ahead of Alfie Bradsock, riding Caicos owned by Graham Fletcher.
The third and final double clear round came from BEF Excel Talent Programme member Kimberley White, who rode a lovely round with her own Catapult. Joseph Davison finished fourth after notching an unfortunate four faults in an otherwise fast round, with Stephen Crosby taking fifth whilst Christie also finished sixth with Tamuro, owned again by Tracy Pritchard.
“It was a strong track, on par with a [1.45m] Grand Prix and there were some influential fences in there, particularly the three double combinations. It was a pretty technical course; the height was jumpable and the time was generous but the lines certainly took a bit of riding. The riders in the jump-off all put in very impressive first rounds and the standard of jumping was very high,” commented Aileen Craig.
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; with the conclusion of the 2014 qualifiers, the final line-up for Olympia will be announced in due course.
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 Europe’s leading specialist animal feed manufacturer and nutrition experts 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 been leading the way in animal nutrition for 75 years pioneering manufacturing methods and promoting nutritional research. The company has a long history of support in equestrian sports across all levels, from its sponsorship of British Dressage and British Showjumping to title sponsorship of the iconic Dodson & Horrell 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 the 2016 Olympic Games.