The Lycetts British Eventing Young Horse Championships were a triumph as the sun shone on four days of scorching competition. The Championships were held at Mr Micheal Foljambe’s beautiful estate during the Osberton International Horse Trials (29 September- 2 October 2011) and were organised by Stuart Buntine, also the course-designer.
The first Young Horse Champions were crowned on the Friday in the Four and Five Year Old Championships. Four Year Old Champion for 2011 is Cekatinka who is by King Kolibri and out of a Julio Mariner mare. This Dutch bred bay mare owned by Judy Bradwell was ridden to victory by Rosalind Canter.
“I am delighted with her performance; she handled the atmosphere incredibly well. I have been working hard on her dressage this season and it seems to have paid off. I have been riding her since she was a 3 year old, and helped back her with Judy which makes this victory all the more special. I think she has an exciting future ahead of her and I’m already looking forward to next season” said Rosalind.
The Five Year Old Champion is Belco by Hold Up Premier and out of a Ahorn mare and also bred in the Netherlands. Belco is owned by Hows Racesafe and was ridden by Tom How.
“It’s the first time I have competed in these Young Horse Championships, and I will hopefully be back next year with Belco to contest the 6 year old class. He put in a foot perfect performance, he was so bold and brave across country so I couldn’t ask for anything else. It has been a great experience to expose a young horse to this type of atmosphere and event; I know it will put him in good stead when moving up the levels” said Tom.
Glorious sunshine enabled the Six Year Old Championships to run, following the cancellation of this class in 2010 due to torrential rain. Kitty King rode Jane Murfett and Frank Inns ‘Persimmon’ to take the title of Six Year Old Champion. By Salute RP and out of Verdieta this AES gelding proved that he has a great future ahead of him and certainly one to look out for as this was his first year of Eventing. “Percy only started eventing this year, having previously show jumped abroad. We nearly sent him back after the first week as he was spooky, but he’s a natural across country” said Kitty.
John-Paul Sheffield claimed the Seven Year Old title on Jane Heerbeck’s ‘DHI Zatopek B’, a Dutch bred horse by Lando and out of Scarabouche. He commented “The Championships was my aim for this year and I’m so pleased to be in this position. It’s been a tough year at times to get this horse to this level but it’s a great result.”
A special prize was also awarded to the Best British Bred in each class. The winner in the Seven Year Old Championship was Seaworthy who finished in 6th place with Sara Bowe. Seaworthy, a grey mare, is by well-known advanced stallion Mcguigan, now sadly deceased and out of Seashell who has 53 BE points. Seaworthy was bred by Miss T Hall from Beverly in Yorkshire. Grange Koral, another grey mare who was placed 4th with Emily Parker in the Six Year Old Championships was also awarded the Sam Barr Trophy as the best British bred mare. Grange Koral is by Ko Pilot out of Bumbles and bred by Mrs Pears from Lincoln. In the Five Year Old Championships, Blacklaw Thymelord ridden into 10th place by Ruth Edge was awarded the Best British Bred. By Dramiro out of Hazel Park, he was bred by Mr and Mrs Firmin from Blairgowrie in Pertshire, Scotland. Finally, the winner in the Four Year Old Championships was Prima Donna IV, who came 2nd with Alex Postolowsky. By Donnersong and out of Bylands Abbey, this black mare was bred by Mrs Gemma Harris, Brigg, North Lincolnshire.
With great feedback from the riders on this year’s course and going, course designer and event director Stuart Buntine said “ We are so pleased with this year’s event, the course has worked as I had hoped, offering a mix of challenging and learning questions for horse and rider alike. The most important element is that everyone enjoys their experience here, whether they are on two legs or four! We are so lucky to have the full support of Michael Foljambe who lets us take over his estate for the competition, without which this couldn’t be the event it is. Equally the support from Lycetts, without whose commitment throughout the year and at the event, it wouldn’t be impossible to put on such a fantastic weekend. Jonny McIrvine, Anna Bates and the whole team have been wonderful to work with and the ‘Happy Hour Pimms’ will be legendary at Osberton for many years to come!” “I would like to say a big thank you to all our volunteers and officials who again went beyond the call of duty to ensure that everything ran like clockwork for all to enjoy.”