NEWs

Scottish Grassroots champions crowned at Blair Castle

The newly crowned Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival BE100 Champions are Edinburgh solicitor Stephanie Lynch and her seven-year-old coloured homebred gelding, Journeys Atlas. A double clear saw the pair complete on their 29.6 dressage score.

“This is our first season at BE100 so I was just happy to get to Blair – and it’s stiff competition up there,” said Ayrshire-based Stephanie. “He’s out of my pony event mare Pyrotechnic by stallion Jigilo. I started eventing him when he was a five-year old and he’s done the Scottish BE90 Championship twice.

“I love Blair, it’s my favourite Scottish event. The courses are invariably challenging but if your horse is bold enough, you are fine. The mud wasn’t ideal but he coped well – we have had ‘too fast’ penalties in the past, so I was keeping my eye on the watch and at the third-last fence I had to slow him down.”

Rosie Simpson and Sierra were close behind in second, adding just 2.4 cross country time faults to their 32.1 dressage for a total score of 34.5, while third place was awarded to Joanna Heaton and Jamesfield Abercrombie who added 8 show jumping faults to their 31.6 dressage for a finishing score of 39.6.

Amy Dixon (picture above) had the perfect end to a hugely successful season. Back in May, she and her 12-year-old Metall gelding Goodluck II won the Voltaire Design Grassroots Championship at Badminton, her second win in this class – the first being on Maid In Holland in 2010 – and they are now the winners of the BE90 Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival at Blair Castle.

“I get very nervous, as does ‘Ronnie’” Amy admitted. “I’m a true grassroots rider, I work full time in the family business – we have two cafes in the Lake District and it’s a busy time of year for us so it’s difficult to prioritise horses. Work comes first because it pays for everything.”

Did she expect this result? “I know that Ronnie is capable at the level, but the reason I stay at BE90 is partly my nerves, plus I still have to put the work in. It isn’t a given that results will come and I don’t feel I have the time to put in to move up a level. I went hoping we would do well but I have never done the show jumping as the last phase, it’s my weakest phase by far, so I didn’t know what to expect.

“I thought the cross-country course was very fair, but the ground made it a tough ask. Being in the lead, I knew I would put huge pressure on myself and wanting to do well can have a negative effect, but we are in our comfort zone at BE90.”

Runner-up was Rosie Reid and Surefly Landarco who added just 0.8 time cross country penalties to their 32 dressage for 32.8, while Ben Fairbrother and Upper Limit’s 4 faults show jumping, 0.4 time cross country added to their 28.9 dressage saw them finish in third on 33.3.

Images courtesy of Athalens

To find out more about the Scottish Grassroots Championships, visit https://www.britisheventing.com/compete/championships/scottish-welsh-championships

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