BRC NAF 5* Horse Trials Championships
Having had a great qualifying competition at Poplar Park, with the team taking all top four placings to qualify, three of the team members arrived at Swalcliffe Park in Oxfordshire on the Friday before competition day in great spirits. Lauren, our fourth team member had taken ill on return from a trip to Uganda and sadly couldn’t join us, but is on the mend.
Sophie Philpot was first to present for dressage on the Saturday and looking very smart, headed off to complete a lovely obedient and accurate test. Grace Parrish was next to go and rode a super test to be second place in her arena going into the show jumping. Kate Thompson rode shortly after Grace and also did a super test for 30.7.
The show jumping had been causing some problems through the day and again Sophie was first to go. She rode brilliantly, however Paddy thought that all the banners and tents were very exciting and was quite spooky, so they didn’t go through to the Cross Country. Grace rode a great round with an unlucky pole and Kate went clear.
The Sunday was Cross Country day which was being run in the old format of roads and tracks, steeplechase and the cross country in phases A,B,C and D. Phase A roads & tracks was 1400m to be ridden at 200mpm, Phase B, the steeplechase was 1000m to be ridden at 500mpm and Phase C roads and tracks was 3850m to be ridden at 150mpm. The girls had all walked this phase, with Sophie being particularly brilliant in a supporting capacity and helping to keep spirits high and both Grace and Kate went clear within the times for each phase and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Phase D, the cross country had been riding well through the day but the optimum time of 5.02 was proving quite tight. Grace was first out of the start box and rode a brilliant clear to finish with just 2 time faults. Kate rode a fabulous, speedy round to finish with nothing extra to add to her dressage score.
Both girls were needed for the presentation where Grace came 6th and Kate 3rd. Kate also came 1st in her class for being closest to the optimum time cross country. Our team Manager and trainer Annette Philpot went beyond the call of duty being a brilliant support, calming nerves, walking miles of courses and roads and tracks and talking through timings – several times, providing lots of advice to the riders and support crews and even giving backie lifts on a bike to tired team members. Huge “Thank you!” Annette.