The final national championship title to be won on the opening day of the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Show, which runs until Sunday 11 October at the exceptional Aintree Equestrian Centre, was the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship.
In line with the two championship titles won earlier in the day, it was a hat-trick for Scotland when Emma Crawford from Cupar in Fife put in a superb last minute performance to take the title as her own. Riding Gina Gold, a 9 year-old bay mare owned by Louise Davies, she came forward as the penultimate rider in the jump off to put in an incredibly fast clear to take pole position in the line-up with a clear in a time of 34.29 seconds.
Her time resulted in earlier leader Richard Howley with Matrone vd Donkhoeve being relegated to second place with his time of 35.02 seconds whilst Mark Edwards took third with Ede Peasy in a time of 35.10 seconds.
With all combinations having come forward from the recent direct qualifiers that took place across the country, it was a strong first round field of novice horses that made up the starting line up. Fourteen jumped clear in the first round making them eligible for the jump off which wound its way around the arena asking for tight turns and precision jumping. It started with the British Showjumping oxer, shortly followed by a water tray on the first turn back before finishing off with a run to the final vertical following a double. It was here where most became unstuck with many notching up faults resulting in only four double clears being achieved in the competition.
For Emma, it was also an 8th place finish with her second ride Dukes of Hazzard with whom she posted a first round clear but a fence down in the jump off saw them slide down the final finish line.
Talking afterwards Emma said about qualifying for the championships and her preparation for it “It’s been difficult for us in Scotland as lockdown came much later than in England. So we have just been working the horses a lot at home and to be honest I think Gina has really benefitted from it. She can be quite sharp in the ring and then very confident at home so we have been able to do a lot of work with her and it’s paid off. It has been a six hour drive to get here and it has been so worth it.”
About her jump off round she said “I was the first rider in on my own horse and I think my mind was on the prize too much as I wasn’t that happy with the way I had ridden it. I felt I had put in too many strides. So when I came into the jump off on Gina, I said to her owner Louise, that I would let her flow forward more and let her take me to fences. It’s how she likes to go, it suits her and after we had jumped the first two fences I just let her keep flowing.”
Asked whether she had spoken to Gina’s owner yet she said laughing “I have, but I haven’t been able to get a word from her yet as she just keeps crying. So other than a quick cuddle from my dad I haven’t spoken to anyone at all yet.”
For further information on the show, timetables and start lists visit www.aintreeequestriancentre.co.uk . Live streaming is available for the duration of the show at www.britishequestriansport.tv powered by Clip My Horse TV.
1st Emma Crawford & Gina Gold – 0/0 – 34.29 seconds
2nd Richard Howley & Matrone vd Donkhoeve – 0/0 – 35.02 seconds
3rd Mark Edwards & Ede Peasy – 0/0 – 35.10 seconds
4th Elizabeth Forrester & Furst Bismark – 0/0 – 46.84 seconds
5th Charlie Dawson & Iloma – 0/4 – 35.01 seconds
6th Tim Davies & Nielson – 0/4 – 36.00 seconds
Photos by Majestic Photography
Photos by Majestic Photography