Trudy Johnson becomes 2022 Little Downham Novice Master

Trudy Johnson took the prestigious Novice Masters title at Little Downham (2), Cambridgeshire today (6 August) after a commanding win with the 10-year-old gelding Catch Me If U Can.

Little Downham’s Novice Master, Trudy Johnson receives her many prizes 

Trudy and Catch Me If U Can finished almost 10 marks ahead of the rest of the field, adding just 1.2 time penalties in the cross country to a superb dressage score of 23.8. It was a strong performance all-round from the pair – delivering the second quickest cross country round in the class and producing one of just three clear rounds in the show jumping.

Trudy was understandably thrilled with the result. “It is a fantastic event and always well run at Little Downham,” she said. “Thanks to Tina and all of her team for the effort they have put in. The show jumping arena was so well presented and gave it a great atmosphere.

“Having been part of the Rider Working Group team that devised the idea of the series and being involved in its development, I am chuffed to bits to have actually won!

“Leo (Catch Me If U Can) was totally awesome and lived up to his name, setting an early standard in the dressage with a score of 23.8!

“Having to wait a couple of hours before show jumping was nerve racking, but I kept my focus and concentrated on me and my horse. To jump one of only three clears in the show jumping, I knew it was all to play for out on the cross country course!

“Leo was a dude. We got into a good forward rhythm, and we just met everything on a good stride. He looked at nothing and held the lines to the skinnies. He really didn’t put a foot wrong all day! I’m on cloud nine!”

In addition to the honour of becoming the Little Downham Novice Master, Trudy also received a whole array of fabulous 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.

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

The top six riders also earned themselves a ticket for the ‘Masters’ Big Prize Draw! 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 Little Downham, each receiving a ticket are:

  1. Trudy Johnson and Catch Me If U Can (25)
  2. Sophie Byford and Handsome (34.9)
  3. Kizzy Smith and President VD Donkhoeve (40.1)
  4. Claire Surl and Coolvaun Ab Fab (42.6)
  5. Mollie Harris and Lord Samson (43.8)
  6. Amelia Fogden and Descara M W (45.9)

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 – Trudy Johnson and Catch Me If U Can (23.8)

Highest climber – Georgina Beeby Wynn & Droughtville Mike

Highest placed veteran – Fiona Kinghorn & Isle Moor

Combination closest to the optimum time on the cross country – Trudy Johnson and Catch Me If U Can

The next Masters competition in the calendar will be the Novice Masters at Allerton Park in North Yorkshire, which takes place on 17-18 September.

The Masters are supported by the British Eventing partnership with funding from sponsors and partners including Baileys Horse FeedsBates SaddlesBettalife, the EHOAand 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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