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Local riders in fine form at Offchurch Horse Trials; EQUESTRIAN.

LOCAL RIDERS were in great form at the British Riding Club Horse Trials Championships, staged for the first time at Offchurch Bury in Warwickshire and drawing qualified riders from throughout the British Isles.

In the open Championships, held over the event's biggest and most technically demanding cross country course, a team from Solihull Riding Club finished in a fine third place. The club's outstanding performance came from Jo Harker-Bargess, who scored an individual win in her arena on Nobody's Perfect, her partner of the last six years.

"The cross country was a very nice course - we felt it was better than last year," said Jo. "My horse is an ex-racehorse and likes galloping in straight lines, rather than too many corner type fences. The show-jumping was bigger than last year, so I was pleased to go clear there."

Jo's team mate Simon Godsall, a vet at Lowsonford, was sixth in his section on Copernicus III.Completing the team was Sara Turner, head girl at Sally Ann Evans eventing yard at Hanbury, who was 7th on Blue Savannah and Studley's Kerry Homer, 10th on Monarchs Prima Donna. Byefield's Deborah Green, a doctor who rode for the local South Warwickshire Riding Club, finished 8th in her arena on Sloe Maigueste.

There was further success for the South Warwickshire club in the Novice Championship, where they too finished third, having won the event in '98. Moreton Morrell College equine lecturer Jane Baron was second in her section on the experienced Tonic of Hardwick, owned by Priors marston's Jean Brown who hand reared the horse as an orphaned foal.

"Jane was only beaten into second by one cross country time fault, after jumping a double clear," said long time club member Felicity Scott, who rode Tonic of Hardwick on last years team. "The cross country course was more substantial and with more questions asked than 1998."

Jane's team mate Emma Jerome, 24, was fifth in her section on the palomino mare Ceilidh, who is now 17 and had qualified for the championships for the past five years, with regular placings.

Hunningham's Sylvia Deeley finished 9th in her arena on her young horse Scooby Doo, who is in his first eventing season and also jumped a double clear.

Completing the South Warwickshire team was Kathrine Cook, a freelance instructor who previously worked at Moreton college, on the mare St. Merryn.

"Katherine was glad to be back competing with St Merryn," added Felicity, "As the horse broke a splint bone the night before last year's championships."

Claverdon's Jill Bransby, riding for the Forest of Arden Club and also a successful dressage rider, was third in her novice arena on kopper Kite, just three marks behind the winner. Ettington Park RC's Anne Holloway also finished in the Novice Championship rosettes, taking 6th spot in her arena on Fernando.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Healey, Kate
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 27, 1999
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