This weekend saw Addington Manor Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire play host to the penultimate qualifier for the 2014 Dodson & Horrell and the World Class Development Programme Under 23 British Championship (8 November). The class was won by twenty year old Graham Gillespie from Kent who claimed the win on Ashlee Harrison’s Linnea Ask in a competition that saw only five double clear rounds out of a strong field of 35 starters.
The former Children on Horses European gold medallist took the win after producing a double clear round in a jump-off time of 40.24 seconds, finishing over a second ahead of UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Development Programme rider Abigail Newbery. Riding Sharifa Al-Homaizi’s Valentino VII, Abigail also delivered a double clear jumping round with a jump off time of 41.55 seconds to secure second place in the hotly contested class.
Further double clears came from Harry Charles on Olga White’s Murkas Nevada VI and Alfie Bradstock on Graham Fletcher’s Caicos leaving them in third and fourth place respectively. The overall series winner from 2013, Jessica Dimmock, picked up four faults in the jump-off to see her take fifth place on her own Tinkas Tyson. Producing a clear jumping round but gaining a single time fault from the first round saw Alfie Bradstock placing again to complete the top six with Ann Solis’ Benedictus.
Showjumping Discipline Co-ordinator for the World Class Programme, Tina Goosen commented after the class; “There were some very young riders showing great talent and it is exciting to see them jumping well over a track of that standard. Bernardo Costa Cabral built a really good course which produced an exciting competition and it is great to see new young talent coming through.”
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 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 Showjumping, Pony Club events, over 25 years of support for Point-to-Point racing to title sponsorship of the iconic Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials. The Royal Warrant of Appointment was first granted to Dodson & Horrell in 1985 for horse feed; and further extended in 2006 to that of Horse and Dog food Manufacturer to HM Queen Elizabeth II and the company now exports horse feed to over 40 countries worldwide.