It was a case of ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ at the Midlands Driving Trials Group’s (MDTG) competition at Widmerpool while the Club Championships event at Catton Park rounded off a somewhat damp season with rain.
Despite being postponed from earlier in the year, Widmerpool was well attended but competitors suffered from eyesight problems in the cones and obstacles, causing eliminations and added penalties. The one-day-event had a strong class, won by Sue Mart with her new pony, Fudge, with Linda Wiggin in second, despite having a corrected course in Obstacle 2. In the Pre-Novice Rhea Auton led in the dressage but Megan Wheeldon made up lost ground in the cones and obstacles to take the class.
Keith Henderson was the sole survivor of the Novice, two being HC entries and the other two eliminating themselves en route, while Lisa Banks led both the dressage and cones in the Intermediate. She was just 0.8 penalties behind Diana Irwin in the obstacles to keep the lead, Diana taking second place.
Julie Tomasik pulled out all the stops in the Open Pony to finish well ahead of her remaining rival, the others being HC, and the tussle between Geoff Kirby and Paul Hart continued in the Open Horse. International Australian driver Elisabeth Lawrence won the class with Geoff close behind and Paul in third. The Pairs class was won by James Binns, ahead of George Spencer and David Wheeldon, the latter having too much to make up after dressage. In the Tandem, Anne Chambers’s leader had a difference of opinion in the cones necessitating outside assistance, leaving Claudia Bunn to take the class.
Two weeks after the National Championships competitors from north, south and Australia descended on Catton Park for the MDTG Club Championships, an event supported by the National Forest. Amanda Nisbet and her crew drove down from Scotland and it was a delight to see her competing with a unicorn in the mixed Tandems, Unicorn and Teams. In the same class was Mark Broadbent who had travelled up from the south west with his coaching-cum-trials team. However, it was the tandems that took first, Claudia Bunn, and second, Anne Chambers.
Sue Mart once again headed the one-day-event with Caroline Weiss in second and Mick Ward, with Toby back in competitive harness, in third. Megan Wheeldon – who won the Bennington Trophy for Best Turn-Out in Standing Presentation – and Rhea Auton resumed their rivalry in Pre-Novice, finishing in that order, as did Paul Hart and Geoff Kirby in the Open Horse. Lorraine Davies won the class with Elisabeth Lawrence in second while Paul finished third and Geoff came fifth, so deciding the Points League which had run neck and neck throughout the year.
Michelle Kenny led from start to finish in the Novice and Teresa Macleod took the Intermediate. The Mixed Pairs was won by the only horses in the class, new National Champion Angela Flanagan taking the lead in the dressage to stay ahead of Louise Kaiholm and David Wheeldon.
All club trophies and Points League rosettes will be presented at the MDTG AGM on Sunday 25th November. For full results visit www.mdtg.co.uk.