Champions are named at The Bates Saddles Arena Eventing Finals

With over 240 competitors battling it out over two days for four coveted titles, the 2024 Bates Saddles Arena Eventing Championships held at Northamptonshire’s Aston le Walls Eventing Centre was better than ever!

With four championships on offer including the BE80, BE90 and BE100 and BE100 Open, the event involved riding a course of show jumps followed immediately by completing a cross-country course.

The Arena Eventing Championships attracts a wide variety of horses and riders, in fact the age range of competitors at this year’s event were from age 11 to 67, and horses between age five and 26, with approximately 835 people qualified for the championships, proving how popular the series is.

Alongside the competition, riders were able to drop by the clubhouse and chat with Ellen Bates and the team from Bates Saddles who were on site to answer questions on saddle fit, care and performance as well as show a range of high-performance Bates Saddles. Fellow partner Baileys Horse Feeds were also on site to give nutritional advice.

Ellen Bates of Bates Saddles, said: “This is the third year we have supported the Arena Eventing Championships here at Aston le Walls Equestrian Centre and it is fantastic to see the event go from strength-to-strength with a record number of entries this year. We are really proud to support these Championships as it makes up such an important part of the winter calendar for so many riders. It has been fabulous to be on site this year. We have seen some fantastic sport, met so many of the riders and been able to offer them the opportunity to tell them about our saddles. Congratulations to everyone who competed, and well done to our winners!”

Rosabella Harrison and Captain Move were victors of the BE80 championships. Rosabella, from Beccles, Norfolk, qualified at Lime Kiln Farm and attended the championships with two ponies.

“My other pony Flash was way too fast, but Captain did a lovely clear round to win,” she said. “He flew round with no problem whatsoever. It was my first ever win on him. Our plan is to do some more arena eventing and show jumping as well as the ACE championships which we’ve also qualified for – we’ve had a very busy winter!”

The BE90 championship was awarded to Sophia Icke and My Gentleman Jack. The pair from Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, qualified at Aston-le-Walls.

“I’ve only had my horse 18 months and we normally event but he seems to really enjoy the arena eventing, too,” said Sophia. “Our aim is to go clear cross-country at a BE event at 80 and 90 level. He’s gone so well here at Aston-le-Walls and is feeling the best ever, so I’m really excited for the year ahead.”

Ellie Nicholson and MIH Topgun from Styning, West Sussex, topped the BE100 final having qualified at Coombelands.

“I am really excited to have been able to compete here today,” said Ellie. “It’s been a fab experience and Topgun jumped really well – I couldn’t have asked any more from him. The course was really twisty and a brilliant championship course. We really had to think about our lines, but he found it all far too easy and was great. It’s a bit surreal to have won, but a great start to our season.”

The BE100 Open title went to Slough-based Stephanie Read and Monsoon III who qualified at Wellington.

“He’s one of my livery’s horses. They have gone travelling and given me the ride on him while they are away. I ride him once a week and have been given the opportunity to event him this season so we are entered for Munstead as our first event. He’s 18 this year and been downgraded so the grassroots championships is our aim. It’s been a pretty hard couple of years as I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, then my father passed away and then I lost my own horse, so to have this win has really boosted us all and made it all worthwhile. It was a very emotional win for us all.”

The top three combinations from each class are as follows:

Rosabella Harrison and Captain Move are Bates Saddles Arena Eventing AE80 Champions

Arena Eventing BE80
1st Rosabella Harrison & Captain Move
2nd Lucy Willmott & Elamo Lucky Clover
3rd Andrea Clarkson & Mymwood Dancer

Sophia Icke and My Gentleman Jack are Bates Saddles Arena Eventing AE90 Champions

Arena Eventing BE90
1st Sophia Icke & My Gentleman Jack
2nd Sasha Budzynski & Jacob 55
3rd Lisa Keenan & Auburn Sid II

Ellie Nicholson and MIH Topgun are Bates Saddles AE100 Champions

Arena Eventing BE100
1st Ellie Nicholson & MIH Topgun
2nd Elliott Short & Serendipity Bay
3rd Miya Johns & Bowhaylands Skyfall

Stephanie Read and Monsoon III are Bates Saddles AE100 Open Champions

Arena Eventing BE100 Open
1st Stephanie Read & Monsoon III
2nd Beatrice Lovett Brunt & Glenlo Sally
3rd Sorrel Porteous & Balladeer Miller Man

Full results can be found here.

A huge thank you to our valued sponsor Bates Saddles for supporting the series so generously. We also have to thank Aston-le-Walls and all the volunteers for running a brilliant event.

Missed the fun? You can watch all the action back on demand on Horse & Country TV channel – If you were a competitor and wish to purchase your round, you can download your clip at £20 per round or free if you are a Gold H&C+ member from here –

Image credit: Matt Nuttall Photography –

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