No stranger to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, it was victory for Nottinghamshire’s Laura Greenhalgh in the Aske International BE100 Mitsubishi Motors Regional Final this weekend booking her place to the 2017 event for the second year in a row.
Riding her own nine year old gelding Cover, the 28 year old, who finished on her dressage score of 28.8 penalties to win the class, is “really excited about going back next year”, citing it as “a good experience and good for that level to be able to gallop around Badminton.”
Securing her qualification place to the popular event will run on the eve of the 2017 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Laura will also be aiming for the BE90 title on Mrs Sarah Reeve’s Stanhopes Travelling Man (pictured), who she partnered in the 2016 BE90 Mitsubishi Motors Cup. Laura (nee Hayward) who married Tom in July this year, incredibly, only started competing with British Eventing in 2015 after a switch in disciplines;
“I have always show jumped and last season I ended up eventing for the very first time, the horse [Stanhopes Travelling Man] was at BE100 level but with professional riders so his owner wanted me to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup on him – which we did on our first attempt!
“I’m really competitive and last year I was gutted to get time penalties so my aim is to not do that next year. When you’ve not been to an event like that I think you can let the occasion get to you so I think it will help having been before as I’ll know what to expect.”
Another rider back for their second year after taking the runner up spot at the Aske Regional Final is 17 year old Laura Runciman from Berwickshire and her own Soviet Star. The pair kicked off their qualifying campaign in fine form posting a dressage score of 26.3 penalties but two poles down in the show jumping dropped them behind the winners but was enough to secure their place for next year.
Picking up their first ticket to prestigious competition, 25 year old Katie Heginbotham from Cumbria added nothing to her 34.3 penalty dressage score for third place on board her own nine year old gelding Carnsdale Talk Talk. A further five riders clinched their place to next year’s competition (2nd – 3rd May 2017) at Aske Horse Trials bringing the total to just over 100 competitors across both the levels who have now secured their qualification. Full details can be found on the website.
The competition, hosted at the British Eventing entry level BE90 and BE100, ran in 2016 for the first time under the new name the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, having previously been known as the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships. Riders take on a competitive qualification process for the chance to ride on the same turf of eventing’s elite at the Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire plus, thanks to Mitsubishi Motors, a spectacular prize package which includes the winners of both the BE90 and BE100 taking home a brand new car from the Mitsubishi range for one year.
Full details on the Mitsubishi Motors Cup qualifiers for 2017 can be found on the website HERE.
Image: Laura and Stanhopes Travelling Man competing at the 2016 Mitsubishi Motors Cup