Festival of the Horse Eventer Challenge at Swalcliffe Park

19/04/2015
Festival of the Horse Eventer Challenge at Swalcliffe Park
Two teams represented the SSRC at the Eventer Challenge, held at Swalcliffe Park. The 90 team included David Darby, Dan O’Sullivan and Griselda Handy. Unfortunately, Rebecca Hall had a most unfortunate tyre blow out and did not make it to the event. Thankfully Rebecca and her horse were unscathed although bitterly disappointed. The 100 team included Lou Burns, James Darby, Will Price and Griselda Handy.
We all arrived more or less together, so were all parked fairly closely, this is always a bonus as it helps with team spirit and refreshments. Once again, thanks to Andrew for being our chef and providing a superb lunch, including his signature dish!
With the courses walked, declarations submitted, numbers collected, the 100 team started to get their horses and themselves ready, with help from all their support teams. The team included Lou on Gambi, who are a new combination and apart from the recent cross country schooling with Rosie Thomas at Hillocks
have not competed at a cross country event, so definitely a learning experience for them both. Will on Niamh, who is six and inexperienced and Will who has never competed at an event before. Griselda and
Bouncer, who is five and again inexperienced. James and Jetstrike, our most experienced combination of the team. Lou was our pathfinder, then Griselda, then Will, whose horse unfortunately slipped and fell on the flat, three fences from home and had to retire. Will and Niamh were both okay, although disappointed not to complete the course. James was last to go completing with a super round. The whole team gave an excellent overall performance with one or two jumping and time faults. The end result was the 100 team being placed 3rd. A fantastic result.!
It was the turn of the 90 team. Griselda on Blue, David on Firestone and Dan on Nefertari. Whilst Griselda and David had previous show jumping and cross country experience, this was Dan’s first time competing Nefertari and being a team of three, the pressure was quite intense for the combination, especially as Nefertari was not the best through water. Griselda went first on Blue and went clear, David had just the four faults show jumping, which really did put the pressure on Dan and unfortunately, Nefertari refused to gothrough the water and was eliminated. Hey-ho that’s horses for you! the greatest levellers.
We all had great fun and all team members were pleased with their horses and their achievements of the day and we all made our way home with smiles and feeling very proud and looking forward to the Area horse trials at Sapey.
Thank you to everyone who made the journey to Swalcliffe to support and represent the SSRC. We are extremely proud of both horses and team members and the excellent 3rd placing achieved by the 100 team. I would just like to add a thank you to Mille Whitehouse and friends, who came to support Will and Dan.
Best Wishes
Karen