Teams go through to nationals

Saffron Walden and District Riding Club (SWDRC) had a successful day at the Area Horse Trials, for clubs all over Essex. The club sent six teams to Milton Keynes Eventing Centre for the qualifying competition for the British Riding Clubs National Horse

Saffron Walden and District Riding Club (SWDRC) had a successful day at the Area Horse Trials, for clubs all over Essex.

The club sent six teams to Milton Keynes Eventing Centre for the qualifying competition for the British Riding Clubs National Horse Trials Championships at Offchurch Bury, Warwickshire.

In the Junior competition, the team of Laura Birch and Donald, Robert Barker and Mephy, Emma Hadley and Party Girl and Catherine Hackshall and Blue, put in a strong performance but were beaten to first place by Foresters Riding Club.

However, owing to the large number of teams in the competition, their second place still earned qualification to the National Championships in August. Emma also picked up third place individually.


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The Senior Novice competition had a high casualty rate and only three teams got the minimum three riders to the finish, with Saffron Walden the only team with all four completing. It was no surprise then that the club's team of Lisa Spence and Millie, Suzannah Engelmann and Chubbs, Nicki Arnold and Zenith and Cat Berisford and Maddie finished in first place. They were also the only team to have three clears cross-country. This team also goes to the National Championships.

Show jumping was the downfall of the club's Senior Intermediate team who came third, while Lisa Spence and Ludo and Kaley Shaw and Barnaby got individual fourth and sixth places respectively.

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The Senior Open competition was the usual fight between old rivals Saffron Walden and Billericay. Usually Billericay come out on top, but Saffron Walden team took the lead after the dressage.

The show jumping changed things and the team's almost faultless performance meant they extended the lead to 28.5 penalties and three solid clears cross- country ensured a long awaited victory.

The team of Sarah Burton and Naughty But Nice, Becky Bowles and Winston, Sue Stringer and Brook and Rebecca Harvey and Tara now head for the nationals. Rebecca, Sarah and Sue also took individual first, third and sixth respectively.

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