Eliza Bell took the one-star class at Aston-le-Walls, riding her parents’ Butts Ackerman. The eight-year-old German-bred by Contendro I finished on his dressage score. Eliza bought the horse as a six-year-old and he has had to take a bit of time out – this is his first event of 2023.
“I’m delighted he ran so well this weekend. He’s the sweetest horse to look after; he wants to do everything right which makes him lovely to ride. He’s very well-bred, almost full brother to Chipmunk [a successful German team horse with Michael Jung] – that’s why we bought him, alongside a three-year-old with the same breeding. He will, I’m sure, be a top horse for the future,” said Eliza.
“I just wanted to come here and make the most of the great ground. This year is about putting in a good foundation at novice level before we step up to intermediate. That means he will be a little bit behind for his age but he’ll catch up soon enough. He’s real quality.”
Germany’s Bernhard Reemtsma made his flying visit to the UK worthwhile, filling the runner-up spot on Lougherne Cash In Hand. Last time out the pair completed the two-star-short at Baborowko.
It was a first trip to Aston-le-Walls for Bernhard, who has trained with past German team member Kai Ruder for many years. He arrived in the country on Tuesday and leaves again next Thursday, after a visit to Upton House, having enjoyed a trip over back in 2018.
“Lougherne Cash In Hand is 12-years-old now; Kai and I bought him together. The horse needed time out last year and again earlier this year, so I’m just happy to have him out. I wasn’t expecting such a good result.”
Cheshire-based Emma Lawton, who is a full-time freelance rider, rode Dinarthall Sea King in to third place, just 0.1 of a penalty behind Bernhard. “I bought him six years ago, but he’s always been on the back burner. These last two days he has come into his own. He’s a good jumper but can get a bit distracted in the dressage – I hope we might have got on top of that now.
“It was touch and go that I would make it here this weekend. I fell off a youngster last week and suffered a bit of whiplash, then he had a sore foot at the begining of the week. Thank goodness it came together here.
“This venue beats anything else out there now. The arenas are amazing, particularly the new one, and the courses are always good, as is the ground. It’s well worth the trip.”
Fifty-nine combinations completed this competitive section. The majority jumped clear around the cross-country track, albeit those inside the optimum time were few and far between.
All eyes now turn to today’s four-star jumping phases. Ros Canter, riding Christopher and Jane Makin’s Rehy Royal Diamond, remains in the lead after completion of the dressage. Izzy Taylor on Monkeying Around lies in second, as does Andrew Heffernan on Gideon, both just 0.4 of a penalty off the pace.
For full results, visit www.eventingscores.co.uk
Photo courtesy of Matt Nuttall Photography