Fierce competitions prevailed at Cricklands’ Dressage Championships of Great Britain, with a dead-heat in one class and incredibly close marks in two others.
Jackie Day from Shillington, Hitchin, and Katie Mathias from Haverfordwest could not be separated in the Novice 20 and 24 final, both scoring the same marks in each of the two heats, finishing on 136.1. Jackie, who had qualified for the championships at Norton Heath, was on board Charlesland May Surprise while Katie qualified at Towy Valley Riding Club and was riding Floodlands Magic.
In the Prelim 15 and 19 just 0.1 mark separated first and second places, the victory going to Taunton’s Jayne Chapman on board Hector. Jayne was the only rider in this Championship to break the 70 barrier in each heat (72.2 and 73.9) but Helen Gough Stinton from Kidderminster riding Pirate Jack piled on the pressure in the second heat to score 76.5 but it just wasn’t quite enough to wrest the Gold Medal from Jayne who had qualified at Cricklands.
Also from Kidderminster, Julie Gittens pulled out all the stops to finish a total of 0.9 marks ahead of Amy Pett from Carmarthenshire in the Novice 35 and 37 Championship. Julie, riding Sugar Bay, had also qualified at Cricklands and lay second to Amy and Trojan’s Lily after the first heat but scored above her rival in the deciding heat to finish on 135.9 to Amy’s 135.0.
In the 16 and Under Prelim 4 and 7, Lower Stocklands’ qualifier Rosie Walsh from Barry tied with four other riders on 73.1 in the first heat but their challenge faded in Heat 2 as Rosie and her mare Gracie broke the 70 barrier again to take the Championship on 143.1.
Another Cricklands’ qualifier, Sian Reid from Newport was in third place after the first heat on a score of 69.0 but she and the unusually-named Patrick McBeth shot to the top of the leader-board with a score of 77.2 in the decider to head the Prelim 4 and 7 Championship.
Esther Paul (left) from Bradford – another to qualify at Cricklands – was lying equal second after Heat 1 with a score of 75.0 in the Prelim 10 and 12 but was the only rider to achieve 70-plus in Heat 2. This gave her the edge over her rivals, taking the Championship with a total score of 145.4 on board Leo.
While she was not placed in the Novice 20 and 24 Championship, Jo Pringle and her horse Mel notched up a score of a different kind. Between them, the two have achieved a century as Jo, from Pembrokeshire is an incredible 82 years young and Mel is a sprightly 18 year-old. Jo and Mel qualified at Moor Farm and despite their remarkable ages the pair did not disgrace themselves, finishing in 16th place from 30 starters.
Full results can be found on www.cricklands.com