Introducing British Eventing’s 2022 Grassroots League winners

With their amazing £10K prize pot, British Eventing’s exciting new Opposition Beaten Percentage (OBP) Leagues have kept everyone gripped this year. Whilst ‘Performance Bonus’ prize money has been paid out throughout the season to the person at the top of each of the leagues, eyes have undoubtedly been on the bumper final pay-outs to our overall winners – the recipients of which, we are now delighted to announce.

The Leagues are 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. Our League Champions have shown incredible consistency throughout their 2022 campaigns, with each of them delivering a strike rate of over 95%. This means that for every 100 combinations they have come up against, less than five have finished ahead of them.

With the season now concluded, we can announce the recipients of the final Performance Bonus pay-outs for the September and October period and, more importantly, the Top 3 in each of our 2022 Leagues:

Newcomers League

Our overall winner in the Newcomers and Returners League (and the September/October £200 bonus pay-out recipient) is Shashank Kanumuri and Monarts Matisse. They had six fabulous runs this season, which left them with an OBP of 95.4% and rewarded them with a whopping pay-out of £700!

Seventeen-year-old Shashank, who comes from Hyderabad in the south of India, travelled to Britain last Autumn in pursuit of his goals of competing in the eventing competition of the 2026 Asian Games and, ultimately, to represent India in the 2028 Olympic Games. Having mainly been training in show jumping and dressage in India, Shashank had a busy winter acclimatising to cross country fences under the guidance of Wills Oakden, with whom he is based. He hopes that the facilities available to him through the British Eventing system, and the opportunity to progress and develop his skills at the lower levels, will help him reach his targets – and so far, so good.

“I won the first three events I went to, and I didn’t really expect that,” said Shashank. “After the first two shows, it really boosted my confidence, and the bond became better between me and Flynn [Monarts Matisse] and that was why I was able to be that consistent.

“My mum and dad came over for my first event at Kirriemuir and that was the only event they were able to see, so for the rest of the season I gave them updates. They’re really pleased for my first season, and I hope to move up next year and maintain the same consistency at international level.”

  • 1st (£500) Shashank Kanumuri and Monarts Matisse, 95.4%
  • 2nd (£350) Tally Read and Akolien, 95%
  • 3rd (£250) Tabitha Palmer-Savage and Crosstown Shadow, 91.3% 

BE80 League

The BE80 League winner is 17-year-old Charlie Webb from Suffolk with the 14.2hh pony, Killooney Star. They delivered three superb performances at Poplar Park, Great Witchingham and Horseheath to give them an OBP of 95.7%. They also receive the BE80 £200 Performance Bonus pay-out for September and October, giving them a total prize fund of £700.

Charlie Webb and Killooney Star finish top of the BE80 League

“I can’t believe that Killooney Star and I are the overall BE80 winners for the year,” said Charlie. “I was really lucky to ride him, as Killooney Star is actually my sister’s pony, but after she had an injury, I got to compete him.

“He is a phenomenal pony who consistently does a good dressage test, which gives us a great starting score going into the jumping phases. He always tried his hardest round the cross country course and pricks his ears the whole way. I did miss a top placing by going one second too fast, much to my sister’s annoyance, however he did give me my first BE win at the next event and two other top 5 placings against competitive fields.

“The OBP League is a great addition to BE and gives grassroot riders an extra goal to achieve during the year. The prize money is very welcome and I will be putting it towards some new arena cross country jumps to train with over the winter.”

  • 1st (£500) Charlie Webb and Killooney Star, 95.7%
  • 2nd (£350) Dinah Smith and Culmore JJ, 95.6%
  • 3rd (£250) Amy Crosby and Parkchurch Holly Berry, 95.2%

BE90 League

Our BE90 League Champion, Natalie Western-kaye from Buckinghamshire has a perfect record for this year, delivering an outstanding OBP of 100% with the 14.2hh gelding Twilight Thunder! Unbeaten in three runs at Isleham, Aston-le-Walls and West Wilts, they collect £700 for winning the league and an extra £250 for the September and October Performance Bonus pay-out, giving them a total prize pay-out of £950.

A special mention should also go to Dr Katie Mathias and Lodor Carl, who finished second in this league and receive £500 to add to the Performance Bonus they were awarded earlier in the season. This partnership ran seven times in BE90 classes throughout the season, including in the 3DE at Bicton, and they were beaten on just two occasions – both times finishing second, so being beaten by just two combinations for the entire season. This consistency gave them the top spot in the overall OBP League.

  • 1st (£700) Natalie Western-kaye and Twilight Thunder, 100%
  • 2nd (£500) Dr Katie Mathias and Lodor Carl, 99.3%
  • 3rd (£300) Megan Elphick and Jamelia, 97.5%

BE100 League

The BE100 League was won by the recipient of our very first Performance Bonus – 14-year-old Lola Graham from Leicestershire and Djakota EB. Achieving an OBP of 97.9% across their three runs at the start of the year, Lola and Hugo [Djakota EB] set the early standard for this league. Whilst many came close, no other combination has managed to deliver a higher OBP by the end of the season, giving the pair the league title and a pay-out of £1,000 to add to the £300 they had already received for their Performance Bonus for March and April.

Lola is delighted to have won the overall BE100 prize and is very grateful to BE for their support as she looks to progress up to Novice and beyond. “Wow! I can’t believe I have won this,” she said. “My season has been such fun and started strongly in the BE100 classes with Hugo. My aim was to move up to Novice this year and I competed on my pocket rocket pony, Tullibards BroccaDoneThing in my first Novice at Solihull in April and finished 10th. Annoyingly, I then broke my knuckle (nothing to do with horses!) and missed a few months in the height of the season.

“My aim next year is to compete in Pony Trials and Novice U18. I plan on lots of dressage training this winter. A huge thanks has to go to Richard Jones, my trainer, who is a great coach and has helped me improve so much.”

Lola Graham is delighted to have won the BE100 League

As our winner and second place combination had already received Performance Bonus pay-outs, the Performance Bonus passed down to Daniella Johnson and Penny Black X who finished third. They receive a £300 Performance Bonus pay-out for September and October, plus the £500 they receive for finishing third in the league, giving them a total pay-out of £800.

  • 1st (£1000) Lola Graham and Djakota EB, 97.9%
  • 2nd (£750) Sue Chadwick and Santiago Rusinol, 96%
  • 3rd (£500) Daniella Johnson and Penny Black X, 94.3%

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