Melissa Joannides wins second Intermediate Masters title

Melissa Joannides and Patch Ali secured a second prestigious Intermediate Masters title at Nunney International Horse Trials in Somerset today (Sunday 19 June), adding to the title they won at Rockingham International Horse Trials last month.

The Masters competitions provide unique opportunities for riders competing at national level, such as performing a bespoke dressage test, competing in an international sized 20m x 60m dressage arena and having the option to wear a tailcoat. Today’s competition at Nunney was the third Intermediate Masters competition to take place this year, with two of the three titles going to Melissa and the 12-year-old gelding Patch Ali owned by Peter Rhodes.

Melissa Joannides on her way to becoming the Nunney Intermediate with Patch Ali (image, Hannah Cole)

“Today went very well, said Melissa. “Patch Ali did another good dressage, but the best thing was jumping another double clear with him.

“After Rockingham we did the Advanced at Little Downham, where he went very well.

We are aiming to step back up to 4* at Barbury next month and just needed another run in between. As we were qualified for the Intermediate Masters, having another go at this class seemed like the ideal opportunity to get a confidence boost and keep his fitness up.

“I expected him to do well, but to win two of them – things like that just doesn’t really happen to us! He has come out this year on such good form, I am just delighted for the horse really.”

In addition to the honour of becoming the Nunney Intermediate Master, Melissa also received another collection of superb prizes, including a HorseQuest winner’s rug, EHOA sponsored crystal decanter and championship rosette, British Eventing winner’s sash and rosette and prize bundles from both Bates Saddles and HorseQuest.

All the competitiors had plenty to take home, with the top placed riders receiving further rosettes and prizes and everyone that took part being given a stable plaque bearing all sponsors names and a passport cover from HorseQuest.

Melissa has also earned herself another highly sought-after ticket for the ‘Masters’ Big Prize Draw – with one ticket presented to each of the top six combinations! The draw will take place at the end of all Novice and Intermediate Masters legs, with the overall winner receiving a year’s British Eventing membership for horse and rider, a year’s feed for one horse from Baileys and a £500 voucher from Jump for Joy. A runner up will also receive a £500 Jump for Joy voucher.

Our Top Six at Nunney, each receiving a ticket are:

  1. Melissa Joannides and Patch Ali (31.5)
  2. Henrietta Ewell and Zaino (42.2)
  3. Hannah Freeman and Crockaulin Prince (42.8)
  4. Katie Burton and Cornish Cabochon (45.6)
  5. Ellie Townend and Strong Prospect (45.7)
  6. Lisa Maynard and Passions Opposition (49)

Melissa was delighted with what she will be taking home. “I would like to thank all those who generously support this class. Not only have we doubled up on our prizes, which is brilliant, but I am really excited to get another raffle ticket as that prize would make a huge difference to me next season,” she concluded.

There were also a number of special awards presented by BETTALIFE, where the winner will be sent 1kg of PharmaPRO Total Equine Support:

Best dressage – Katie Burton & Cornish Cabochon

Highest climber – Ellie Townend & Strong Prospect

Highest placed veteran – Polly  Schwerdt & Jackpot

Combination closest to the optimum time on the cross country – Hannah Horton & Its Lush

The Masters are supported by the British Eventing partnership with funding from sponsors and partners including Baileys Horse Feeds, Bates Saddles, Bettalife, the EHOA and HorseQuest providing the prize money and prizes for the Novice Masters and Intermediate Masters Series, with further generous support from Jump 4 Joy in respect of the prize draw.

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