Fabulous weekend of international competition at Kelsall Hill

Riders enjoyed three days of great sport in the Cheshire countryside whilst competing at the JCL Insurance Brokers Kelsall Hill International (1) this weekend (22-24 April).

In the CCI-S 3* (Section A) it was a win for 18-year-old Phoebe Hughes and George Brooks’s Top Biats, competing in just their second 3* together.

“I’ve been riding Top Biats for just over 18 months and it’s really coming together now,” said Phoebe. “He’s a big horse, so it has taken me a while to get used to his big stride.

“I have kept him at Hector Payne’s yard [Hector previously campaigned Top Biats] and I couldn’t do this without the support of Hector and Yaz Olsson-Sanderson – plus my grandpa, who owns my horses.

“This is my first year of doing Young Riders and, as I’m only 18, that will be the aim for the next few years. I would love to go to Houghton International at end of May to do my first CCI-L 3*. Going round the cross country I was not really pushing for the time, just aiming to get the MER for Houghton – I certainly didn’t expect to come away with a win!

“The course at Kelsall Hill really suited Top Biats and rode extremely well and I couldn’t be happier with him, he was brilliant all weekend. It is so much fun to ride this horse and I am always smiling from ear to ear when I’m on him, whether hacking round the roads or setting off cross country!”

Top 3 placings:

  1. Phoebe Hughes and Top Biats (23.60)
  2. Emily King and Imposant (24.90)
  3. Stephen Heal and Quidam de Lux (26.60)

3* winners on the podium (image, Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre)

In the CCI-S 2* (Section I) Rio Hall achieved her first international win with her own and Julie and Michael Hall’s mare, Georgie Girl.

“I am absolutely over the moon to have won the CCI2*-S at Kelsall Hill International this weekend,” said Rio. “It was particularly special as it is my first international win!

“Georgie felt incredible all weekend, performing the most beautiful test which placed us in the lead from the start, and finishing on a perfect double clear. This is my 3rd season with Georgie and our partnership is growing stronger and stronger each season. She is one very special mare and I’m super excited to for the rest of the season!

“Our next event is Floors Castle International, and our aim this season is to hopefully step up to Intermediate/3*. Huge thank you to everyone that makes it possible! Especially my parents Julie and Michael Hall, my groom Rebecca Scott, the whole team at Hafod Stables, and my wonderful sponsors.”

Top 3 placings:

  1. Rio Hall and Georgie Girl (25.80)
  2. Victor Burtin and Billy Bergerac (27.40)
  3. Stephen Heal and Hanleen Didjeridoo (27.70)

2* prize winners (image, Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre)

Full results, including national classes, available here.

*Results correct at time published

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