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2014 Review: Busy time for Midlands Carriagedriving at Onley Grounds

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by Heather Dodd

It was a busy time for organisers of the Midlands Carriagedriving event at Onley Grounds, Warwickshire, (26-17 July) as they not only hosted the club two-day event but also National Novice Qualifiers, a one-day-event and the British Young Drivers (BYD) National Championships.

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Cath Brockie in action

Cath Brockie headed the pony NNQ but as she has already booked her place for the National Championships the ticket went to Sandra Priestley who was lying second to Cathie after dressage. A double clear in cones and a solid marathon kept Sandra ahead of Ginny White who won the final phase. Chris Patrick, the sole entry in the Horse Qualifier, was eliminated on the marathon.

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Geoff Kirby took the Open Club class

In the club classes Amanda Hawley led the way after dressage in Intermediate on a 38.8 penalty score but she later withdrew, leaving Stephen Trebble to head the class with Elisabeth Greensmith in second. Club stalwarts Geoff Kirby and Paul Hart were neck and neck in the Open after the first two phases, just 0.72 penalties dividing them overnight. Paul unfortunately had a groom down in the first obstacle to drop him to eventual fourth. Geoff took the class with Nicola Blandin, who put in the best marathon, moving from fourth after dressage to second overall and David Wagstaff-Myers finished third with seven year-old Oberon; David has had Oberon since the first day of his life after helping to pull the foal out when his dam struggled to give birth.

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Graham Heath, easy winner of the Combined Pairs

Graham Heath was the easy winner of the combined pairs, setting up an unassailable lead on a dressage score of 35.2, over 20 penalties ahead of second-placed Sue Hargreaves; Graham’s horses are going really well together this season and despite Graham having a senior moment in Obstacle 4. Sue Hargreaves forsook her place by missing a compulsory flag on course which opened the door for Peter Young to snatch runner-up spot.

The tandem class was led by Anne Chambers but she put paid to her chance when clocking up a cricket score in cones, a phase in which both her rivals, James Binns and Rupert Barnard, had double clears. James went on to win with Rupert second.

In the ODE, Chris van Reen competed her new horse and led the first phase on 45.2; her lead was diminished when she had two down and time penalties in the cones and Ginny Ashford put the pressure on with fast obstacle times but Chris held on to win by just 0.05 of a penalty.

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Charlotte Mansi-Clark, pipped at the post

Frank Campbell made his first competitive appearance this season in the BYD National Championships and headed his 19-25 Years class by just 1.29 penalties from Charlotte Mansi-Clark who must have rued her knockdown in Obstacle 3. Tara Wilkinson put up the best overall performance for a finish score of 109.51 in the 16-18 Years class with Emily Villers in second, just over five penalties in arrears. Steph Milner won Best BYD Marathon in this class promoting her to third place.

Rhea Auton and Megan Wheeldon continued their regular head to head in the 12-15 Years with Rhea marginally in front after dressage. However, she fell foul of the tricky cones course, leaving Megan a clear lead which she maintained with Laura Priestley moving into second place.

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