Riders entering the dressage arenas on the first day of competition at the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Cup were greeted in the morning by glorious sunshine, rain showers headed in later in the day but it did not dampen the number of spectacular tests that were performed on day one. Less than seven penalties separate the top 10 in the BE100 and only 3.1 in the top 10 of the BE90.
Alyson Parker and her 15 year old gelding get their 2018 campaign off to a flying start heading into the lead in the BE100 class with a dressage score of 22 penalties. J J Malone was the leading BE Foundation Points horse in 2017 and the duo are not short of Mitsubishi Motors Cup experience with Alyson already clocking up six Mitsubishi Motors Cup completions on her record – four of them with J J Malone.
Just 0.4 penalties behind them, Jane Rogers and Corrieview Merlin Magic occupy the runner up spot at the end of the first day of the dressage; they come here off a run of good form in the early part of the season having won and placed third in their first two events of the year. No stranger to being at the top of the results list is double BE100 winner from 2016 and 2017, Katie Hancock, who brings the young mare Chytodden Crystal Rose this year and posted a score of 24.8 penalties to complete the top three.
It is even tighter at the top in the BE90 as Tara Keoshgerian bucks the trend on her Mitsubishi Motors Cup debut and leads with a score of 27.5 penalties on her own 10 year old gelding Muchwood Comanche. Just 0.6 penalties behind them sit fellow debutant Freya Kendrew who currently holds second place on her own Romeo III on a score of 28.1. Sarah Spearing and Timberwolf III (pictured) put in a strong performance early on during the first day of competition to score 28.8 penalties which places them in third and just 1.3 penalties away from the leaders.
“It has been a day of exciting competition at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup this year with over 200 horse and rider combinations taking part across the two days. It is wonderful to be able to give amateur riders the opportunity to compete at this prestigious event and we hope that everyone really enjoys the experience. We will be watching with interest to see who takes home the trophies at the end of the competition – they will be very worthy winners,” said Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK Vice Chairman.
Tomorrow will see the remaining 48 competitors in the BE90 and 26 in the BE100 perform their dressage tests before show jumping and cross country for all combinations getting underway at 8.30am. Full timetable can be found HERE.
A list of full results and times for Wednesday 2nd May can be found HERE.
Riders were treated to a choice of four cross country course walks with top riders and BE Accredited Coaches as Tom McEwen, Nick Gauntlett, Yogi Breisner and Mary King guided groups round the James Willis designed track passing on their welcomed advice. A run-down of some of their top tips and the 2018 courses can be viewed HERE.