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Ever popular event.

Byline: By Neil B Jones

British Eventing Intro and Pre-Novice classes designed for young and inexperienced horses proved as popular as ever with riders at Richmond Equestrian Centre's Horse Trials this week, where a maximum seven full sections were run on one day and a further 50 entries turned away.

The 18-fence Pre-Novice cross country course provided an ideal testing ground for up and coming potential event horses consisting of a three-part water complex, arrow head, small bank, steeplechase and flowerbed with simple ditch on the track.

Cleadon, Ride in Style Saddlery owner Stephen Hardy bringing on his own 16.3hh seven-year-old bay gelding Lorton Imprint found himself topping Pre Novice Section B equal on a 32 dressage score with two riders, Denise Storr's - Phenomenon and Will Sommerville's Kingswood Ollie.

All were five points behind Jill Holt and Mister Bart, who led the field with an impressive 27 penalty dressage score, but the horse finished the cross country 30 seconds over the optimum time with an added 60 penalties.

The race was on and indeed it went to the line. Phenomenon fell behind in the showjumping ring and a further stop on the cross country left them out of the race.

Hardy and Sommerville both finished with double clear jumping rounds and it was left to the scorers to split the two.

Under the rules Lorton Imprint finished the cross country 10 seconds inside the optimum time of four minutes 30 seconds.

This turned out to be one second closer over Kingswood Ollie's time four minutes 19 seconds. Stephen, delighted with his first win, said afterwards: "It sometimes happens this way where scores are split by seconds but this really was close." He bought the horse, a 16.3hh seven-year-old 7/8 TB bay gelding, from Paul Dennis two years ago.

"It's taken time to bring on this horse and although he was placed several times last season, he only started to mature over the winter. I recognised his potential early on and set to work with the flatwork and it is with regular help from BSJA Course Builder Keith McVittie that we have made progress."

A chance ride for Stokesley rider Annelise Clements on Jean Cheswright's Irish bred Lismore's Uno, a 16.1hh 11-year-old bay mare landed them with an Intro-Section victory. The win came about as the owner was unable to ride due to a dislocated thumb.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 17, 2003
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