Today’s cross country course proved as ever influential, and the relentless wind and rain didn’t create an easy route to winning the title of the 2015 Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship. Despite the conditions, the 2015 BE100 Champion is 24 year old Alex Farrar-Fry riding Marium Haque’s grey, six year old gelding, Grey Finnsky. This successful combination finished on their dressage score of 27.5.
Dewsbury-based Alex is no stranger to the Championships having taken the 2011 BE90 Grassroots Championship title (with Diamond Trefoil). This year, she and her ride, took the title in an extremely hotly contested competition in a field of just under 90 entries.
Alex, who qualified her ride for the competition in the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Regional Final last August at Shelford Manor Horse Trials, commented on this year’s competition: “It’s quite daunting, I’ve had more nerves today than I’ve had for anything, I think it’s just because of the atmosphere, particularly on the cross country, to see people round the fences, you don’t get that at normal events, there were hundreds around the water and you have to just think to yourself don’t concentrate on them, concentrate on what job you are doing! I’m so pleased!
“It’s absolutely amazing to be here again; I didn’t have any nerves the first time I did this because we didn’t really appreciate how amazingly lucky we were to qualify, but this time, because I’ve won before, it was a bit nerve wracking. I’ve tried to take every day as it comes.”
With a score of 29.4 penalties second place went to Staffordshire’s Anna Tomlinson, 19, and her own 15.2hh palomino gelding Moreorless II. Anna, currently studying for her A Levels at Abbots Bromley School, got off to a strong start on Wednesday morning, posting a score of 25.4 penalties in the dressage. A single rail in the influential showjumping phase added four penalties to their impressive score and with competition so tight at the top it was all to play for in the final phase. Despite the adverse weather conditions the combination stormed around James Willis’ 3100m cross country course clear inside the time to leave them just 1.9 penalties adrift from the winning score.
Cathrine Taylor, also hailing from Staffordshire, completed the top three on Ms Lynn Ferguson’s 16.0hh bay mare, Lorelei. Cathrine, who runs her own competition and livery yard from Somerford Park Farm, and her ride produced a dressage score of 31.5 penalties before moving on to ride a foot perfect round over the 1.10m Championship show jumping track. The cross country course proved no problem for the 26 year old rider coming home clear within the 6.34 min time allowed to add nothing to their first phase score.