Broadway, Bovington and Oasby Horse Trials this weekend all provided Mitsubishi Motors Regional Final winners with their first qualification to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, and with just one weekend left for riders to qualify for 2017 it was all to play for for those hoping to compete on the Badminton Estate next year.
A bumper section for the Broadway BE90 Regional Final in Worcestershire made for a competitive class with 48 combinations coming forward to challenge for their place at the 2017 event with the win going to first time qualifier Kate Ebery and her own Whichway Over. The 21 year old Hertfordshire resident kept a clean sheet in the jumping phases to finish on her 29.5 penalty dressage score with her nine year old mare to stay just 0.5 penalties ahead of second placed Rebecca Jessett.
Rebecca, 24 from Northamptonshire, and her own eight year old gelding Percivals Rebel also added nothing from the show jumping or cross country to take second place and her second ticket to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, having completed with a double clear in May this year.
Former Mitsubishi Motors Cup blogger Sophie Hall has again secured her spot for next year and will be looking to emulate her experience after finishing in 12th place in the BE90 this year and picking up the accolade of top placed member of the Event Horse Owners Association (EHOA). The 22 year old from Shropshire and her own 14 year old gelding Gusthoff also finished on her dressage score of 30 penalties at Broadway over the weekend to claim third place in the hotly contested class.
Dorset’s Bovington Horse Trials battled torrential rain on Saturday 15th October to give East Sussex based rider Lucy Holland her first ever qualification to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. Riding her own nine year old gelding Beaghmore Mat, the 33 year old finished on her dressage score of 30.3 penalties to claim victory in the BE100 Regional Final.
Finishing just 0.7 penalties behind them, Lynsanne Vase, also from East Sussex, took second place on her own seven year old British bred gelding Gamblers Diamond. Their result marks their first qualification to the prestigious event and joining them will be 16 year old Sussex based Sasha Good and Western King.
Sasha and her eight year old gelding are no strangers to the Badminton based event after competing in 2016, and their third place at Bovington following a 31.3 dressage score with no jumping penalties books them their place for 2017.
Despite a pole down in the show jumping phase, Leicestershire’s Sam Gillespie could not be caught in the BE90 Regional Final section Q to enjoy a win on Mrs Julia Sandford’s Fuegos Forgotten Sonnet. The Lincolnshire event provided 20 year old Sam with his first qualification place on the eight year old British bred mare following an impressive dressage score of 23.8 penalties and the four faults to add from the show jumping arena. The combination finished just 0.5 penalties ahead of second placed Katie Stephen-Grandy and Trendy Magic Touch who claimed their qualification along with third placed Abbie Coulson and Verdiconte.
Thirty-six year old Katie from North Yorkshire and her eight year old gelding also shone in the dressage to score 24.3 but their four faults from the show jumping kept them off the top spot but ahead of 29 year old Abbie from Nottinghamshire who finished on her dressage score of 32 penalties on her own 14 year old gelding Verdinconte.
Section P of the BE90 Regional Final ensured Cheshire-based Carrie Childs’ come-back to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup for a second year in a row with the section win. The 31 year old produced a fault free round with her own Donner Sara B both the show jumping and cross country to complete on her 28.3 penalty dressage score.
Kathryn Woolley (28) from Lincolnshire has also clinched a return to the Cup this time with her eight year old British bred gelding, Newport Arch. A pole down in the show jumping added four faults to their high standard of dressage test scoring 25 to take second place with third place going to first time qualifier Francine Lawson. The Lincolnshire 19 year old and her seven year old gelding Miami Ballyhoo kept up their impressive competition record which has seen them inside the top ten for six of their seven events together by posting a double clear to finish on their dressage score of 32 penalties.
Pictured: Sophie Hall and Gusthoff competing at the 2016 Mitsubishi Motors Cup