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EQUESTRIANISM: David top as Gate go swinging into action; BALSALL COMMON STAR WILSON CLAIMS CLASS VICTORY.

Byline: KATE HEALEY

THE GATE Riding Club opened their show-jumping season at Solihull Riding Club's impressive arena this week, where Balsall Common's David Wilson won one of the top classes on offer.

Wilson had three horses through to the jump-off in the BEIB Members Cup class, where he opened against the clock on Brian Charley's Dutch bred gelding Sir Michael III. The pair jumped a very quick clear that forced all but one of their rivals into errors, to win from the front.

"It was a busy day for me and I also finished fourth on another of Brian's horses, Milan V," said Wilson, who works full-times and rides at Charley's yard twice during the week. "I qualified Brian's seven-year-old Marnix G for the Foxhunter final at Wembley last month, but he had a virus and wasn't himself."

Charley has been off form himself this year, following a heart attack and the yard has been taking things a little more steadily than usual. Sir Michael has also suffered from a virus this season but has just come right and is up for sale, with his connections feeling he 'would make an ideal young riders horse.'

Berkswell's Alison Bradley finished second to Wilson with the only other clear on Fermanagh II and Daniel Skelton, son of retired Olympic rider Nick Skelton, was third with the fastest time but one down on Another Time.

North Warwickshire Pony Club rider Jo Hayward had opened the show with a win in the Charles Owen British Novice, where the Leamington youngster saw off 38 rivals with a scorching round on Merryn.

Another Leamington rider, 17-year-old Hannah Blunsdon was a few seconds behind on Houdini the Showman and this pair also finished sixth in the Hadrian Equine Discovery.

This class was won by Shrewley Common's Julia Helm, who came from the penultimate jump-off draw on Totaneo. Rowington's Nicola Macleod was six seconds adrift on her mare Grand Curvee, with top young rider Robert Whitaker, currently riding for Nick Skelton, fourth on Renko Valentino.

Age proved no barrier to the veteran bay Supersonic Soz, who lived up to his name with a clear win in the C.W. Young Mini Grade C for Coventry's Claire Foley. Clare Rathmill took second spot on Wistanswick Kerry Gold, followed home by Hannah Kane and Elizabeth Saxton.

l THE annual British Equine Event takes place at the NAC Stoneleigh Park this weekend with dressage supremo Carl Hester among those the crowds will be flocking to see at the Warwickshire venue on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Olympic rider will be teaming up with well known trainer and judge Stephen Clarke to present 'how to ride a dressage test' and there will also be appearances by top showman and leading carriage driver Karen Bassett.

Some of the country's leading vets and farriers will be taking part in the 'Talking Horses' seminars, whose topics include lower leg alments and the importance of correct horseshoe fitting. TV vet Sally Kingsley, from the 'Vets in Practise' programme, will take a series of lecture-demos and there will be a host of other activities and tradestands.

For more information see web site on www.equineevent.org.uk or phone 02476-858291.

The event is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and tickets are pounds 7.50, or pounds 7 for chldren, with family tickets at pounds 26.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:564
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