Imogen Murray’s recent string of JAS successes continued over the weekend with two Baileys Horse Feeds Jumping and Style (JAS) wins at Arena UK (Grantham, Lincolnshire, 1st February).
The 20 year old from Willoughby Waterleys (near Market Harborough in Leicestershire) won and also took second place in the Open class with Ivar Gooden and Alignment respectively. Her incredible ‘style’ mark of three plus a clear round gave her the winning edge with Aivar Wood’s bay gelding. She then followed this result up with another strong style mark of eight with the M S Team’s bay gelding Alignment to take second place in the highest class of the day.
Imogen also lead the Novice class with The Diamond Queen (owned by the M S Team) on a style mark of ten and a clear round to give them their winning lead ahead of Sophie Platt with Highfield Graceful. Sophie received a style mark of 15 plus one point for time taking second place on a total score of 16. Making a re-appearance in this class with Donatello S, Imogen Murray also added an eighth place to her achievements of the day.
Commenting on the importance of pre-season competitions, Imogen said: “JAS is a fun and low pressure way of getting my horses to experience a competitive environment as well as technical aspects of cross country such as jumping skinny fences. It’s also lovely to do the equivalent to cross country jump schooling in an indoor environment.
Talking of her Open class winner she said: “I am aiming Ivar Gooden for the KBIS Young Horse seven year old Championships this autumn as well as the U21 Championships. Ultimately my goal is to consolidate my three star results and finish the year having competed at CCI4* level with Wiseguy IV.”
North Yorkshire rider Charlotte Whittle and Judy Whittle’s Lowmoor Superstar followed up their BE100 JAS win at Bishop Burton last month with a title of the same honour at Arena UK. Charlotte who is 26 and from Ryther scored 13 for style and added two time faults to win with a total of 15. The runner up in this section was Nottinghamshire-based Katie Moult riding Sannanvalley Bounce. This pairing also received 13 for style but added four show jumping faults to finish on 17 penalties.
Another Leicestershire-based rider took the BE90 section in the form of 14 year old Heidi Coy from Melton Mowbray, riding her own Riversdale Magic Heart. The pair won on a total of 15, having achieved 13 for style plus two time penalties and also took third place in the BE100 JAS on the day. Three points behind Heidi was the runner up Ellen Hobson from York who received a 15 for style and three time penalties to finish on a total score of 18 with Blue Admiral II.
BE Accredited Coach Emilie Chandler who was recently listed as one of the British CICO squad riders was joined by Jen Caley as British Showjumping JAS judge at Arena UK. Melton-based Emilie commented: “I think JAS is a really interesting concept as a competition. For riders to make the time in the timed cross country section they need to have a strong canter rhythm however that doesn’t mean going fast; you don’t have enough room to gallop and then keep checking the horse back before each fence but at the same time the canter needs to be big enough to give you the power you need to jump.
“The riders that tended to make the time in the timed-phase were those that had maintained the same strong canter rhythm throughout the course. This skill is the key to good cross country riding so the JAS competition gives riders a really good chance to get their eye in before heading out on to the Eventing circuit.”
The top ten from each class have qualified for the JAS Championships on the 22nd February at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre.
Full results from Arena UK.
The JAS series returns to Hartpury College (Gloucestershire) and Aintree (Merseyside) this weekend; download a schedule and see full series dates for Jump Training and JAS on www.britisheventing.com/wintercompetition