£10k Grassroots League Performance Bonus winners announced

The latest winners of the performance prize money paid out to the riders leading British Eventing’s new Grassroots Opposition Beaten Percentage (OBP) Leagues have been announced. They will each receive a pay-out of up to £300 after topping the leagues at the end of the two-month period for May and June.

Prize money is paid out every other month to the person at the top of each of the leagues, as well as the overall winners at the end of the season. The bi-monthly ‘Performance Bonus’ can only be won once within each league, and it will go down the line if the current leader has already won it in the season. The Newcomer OBP League is solely for those in their first two seasons.

Congratulations to our May/June winners:

Ollie Rowlands and Nimbus Blaise

Newcomer OBP League & BE80 OBP League – Ollie Rowlands and Nimbus Blaise win both leagues with a current OBP of 100%
It’s a double whammy for Ollie and Nimbus Blaise who have topped not one, but two leagues with a whopping 100%! They have won all three of their BE80s this season including Norton Disney (1), Stafford and Little Gatcombe (2). They win £200 for the Newcomer league and £200 for the BE80 league.

Ollie and Nimbus Baise also top the Overall OBP League with an OBP of 100% having contested the most riders and beaten the most riders in their three runs this season.

“Ollie was at school when I got the message [about him winning the leagues] so I waited until he got home to tell him about it, and he was absolutely gob smacked,” said Ollie’s mum Fiona Aston. “We are relatively new to BE and had never heard of these leagues until about three weeks ago when a friend mentioned that Ollie was doing really well in them. Ollie said he wants to put the prize money towards a new proper jumping saddle for Nimbus Blaise, aka Lui, as he is currently having to ride him in my old working hunter saddle!”

Lui, a pure-bred Conemmara, has been with the family for 16 years (he is now 19) after Fiona bought him as an unbroken three-year-old for herself. He had a successful career as a Mountain & Moorland working hunter pony. He has qualified for and been placed at Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International on many occasions.

“It was during lockdown when there were no shows that Ollie began having little rides on Lui in the menage,” explained Fiona. “It quickly became apparent that despite Ollie only being 10 at the time and absolutely tiny on Lui, they were a perfect match!”

After lockdown, Ollie started taking Lui to Pony Club rallies and they did some show jumping together. By this point, Fiona realised she had well and truly lost her pony!

“We are completely home-produced amateurs and never thought we were good enough to compete at BE, but after a good run of unaffiliated results, one of Ollie’s Pony Club instructors, who is also a good friend, suggested we gave BE a try. Their first BE event was at Warwick Hall and they exceeded all our expectations to win their section – we couldn’t believe it!

“After another good placing at Eland Lodge, we decided to give the regional finals a try to see if we could qualify for Bramham, but the technicality of the cross country course at the championships caught them out and it wasn’t meant to be.

“Over the winter Ollie has worked hard on his dressage with his instructor Jan Lee, and he decided that his main aim this year was to get to Bramham 2024. We started the season at Norton Disney hoping we could get a double clear, and were amazed when the scores came in and we realised they had won their section, finishing on their dressage score. This was followed by another incredible win at Stafford and then Little Gatcombe, each time finishing on their dressage scores!

“With such an unbelievable run of results, Ollie is now hoping to qualify to take part in the Youth Championships at Chillington Hall. It sounds like an amazing competition to be part of and we have got everything crossed that he makes it to the finals. After that he would dearly love to get to Bramham 2024 as it looks amazing!”

Rowan Lee and Durran Pedro. Image by Matt Nuttall Photography

 BE90 OBP League – Rowan Lee and Durran Pedro with a current OBP 98.3%
Rowan and Durran Pedro have won all three BE90Ou18 classes including Forgandenny (1) with a score of 30, Floors Castle International with a score of 28.4 and Hopetoun (1) with a score of 22.3. They win £250.

Rowan said: “I got Pedro in July 2020 when I was 11 and we did our first BE in September 2020. He has never been easy to ride, despite his age, and he is always looking for ways to keep me on my toes! Regardless of his cheeky nature, he is worth his weight in gold and I couldn’t be more thankful for him.“Due to living so far north near John O’Groats, it’s not easy to get to many events, so I was amazed after seeing I was at the top of the league – I definitely didn’t expect to win. I was delighted to see my hard work paying off. The prize money will come in handy to put back into the pot for fuel getting to events!”

Lola Vaughton and Boy Leanna

BE100 OBP League – Lola Vaughton and Boy Leanna with a current OBP of 99%
Lola and Boy Leanna have also won their last three events at BE100Ou18 level, including Shelford Manor (1) on a score of 32, Epworth on a score of 24.5 and Eland Lodge (2) on a score of 27.5. They win £300.

Lola said of her prize: “My journey with Boy Leanna hasn’t been easy so I’m so pleased that all the hard work over the past three years is paying off. I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve had to make this possible, and couldn’t be more grateful for winning this prize!”

Congratulations to our winners!

The Leagues have been designed around the concept of the Opposition Beaten Percentage (OBP), the brainchild of Equiratings, and acknowledge how competitive a combination was in a particular class – the greater the number of fellow competitors that they finished ahead of, the better the score.

 Find out more about the leagues, and how you could be winning your share of this amazing prize pot, here.

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