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Michelle leads the way to win at Aswanley

Competitors at Aswanley horse trials this year met very mixed weather conditions, ranging from heavy downpours to brilliant sunshine in the space of a few minutes.

Callum McDonald’s show jumping tracks caused their problems with clever distances and dog legs catching many out. The cross country courses had a few changes from last year but generally rode well. It was, however, the weather that caused the biggest problems, with the ground becoming holding and a lot of horses struggling to make the times. In the intermediate novice Michelle Chalmers led the way with Bandoshea from the start adding just six time penalties to her 28.5 dressage. This combination are having a good season with a win at Hopetoun in the open novice and a second at Scone this season. Michelle reflected: “She gave me a fantastic ride in all three phases. We have changed her jumping bit since Blair and it has made a huge difference.” David Gatherer rode Lisa McCulloch’s 10-year-old U Guest It into second place, while Wills Oakden took third with the stallion Greystone Pathfinder. In the novice Wills Oakden then partnered David Kenwright’s homebred daughter of Greytstone Pathfinder, Greystone Midnight Melody to win. This combination have had a great season with wins at Scotsburn and Brechin.Wills commented: “It is a big confidence boost to win today for the horse and all the team. It proves that we are on the right lines. She is very, very talented and is a real prospect for the future. She is going home to have a holiday and then will dressage and show jump over the winter. I have to say that I was shocked to win with 19 time faults! Whoever wheeled it must have been in a really bad mood!” It was BE regional director Frances Hay-Smith, who is Wills’ aunt, that wheeled the time over the course. Kirsty Geddes took second with her Oatridge winner Temptation Z. This was their first outing since Oatridge due to Kirsty having injured her shoulder. Kirsty said: “We are very pleased with her. We went away home because never dreamt she would get a place with 20 odd time faults, so it was nice surprise to be placed.” The BE100 regional final was won by Rebecca Ferguson and Loanhead Apache. This venue has proved particularly lucky for the pair who won at the event last year as well. Tricia Hynd and Alexis Litton’s Bill took second spot. Section C was won by Wills Oakden on Sara Dudgeon’s Zipilo. Wills reflected: “The first time I took him out, I fell off him – he is so much fun! The course at Aswanley is really educational for horses and riders. It teaches you to get behind your horse and really ride him. Although the courses are straightforward and not technical they need a brave horse and they take a fair bit of jumping.” Section D was won by the consistent Ullapool VU and Joanne Greenup, while the open section was won by No Opposition and Jessica Horne. Fourth year veterinary medicine student Mairi Sinclair rode Mozart II to win their second BE90 this season. Mairi said: “I’m hoping to move him up to BE100 next year. His dressage has improved so much thanks to my trainer Niamh Meehan, and he is just loving being back jumping.” Angus Pony Club member Anna Kidd rode Katrina Geddes’s Colebridge Arabian Gold to win section G. LEADINGawards: BE100 C – 1, Zipilo, W Oakden, 31.5,0,0,0,0.4=31.9; 2, Rhodes Rimmer, L Barge, 31.5,0,0,0,3.2=34.7; 3, Tomahawk II, S Hendry, 31,0,0,0,4.4=35.4. D – 1, Ullapool VU, J Greenup, 36,0,0,0,0=36; 2, Teisha Of Catlaw, K Williams, 36,0,0,0,3.6=39.6; 3, Dartangion Van Het Netedal, J Craig, 36,4,0,0,0=40. E open – 1, No Opposition, J Horne, 38,0,0,0,0=38; 2, Maximum Impact, M MacLennan, 40,0,0,0,0=40; 3, Unitivo De Foja, L Chalmers, 35.5,4,0,0,1.2=40.7. Regional final – 1, Loanhead Apache, R Ferguson, 32,0,0,0,0.8=32.8; 2, Bill, T Hynd, 31,0,0,0,4.8=35.8; 3, Kincather Tomas, R Barr, 28.5,4,0,0,7.6=40.1. BE90 G – 1, Colebridge Arabian Gold, A Kidd, 34.5,0,0,0,3.6=38.1; 2, Kilmacomic, D MacKay, 44.5,0,0,0,0=44.5; 3, Jesters Mate, K Horne, 40,4,0,0,2.8=46.8. H – 1, Mozart II, M Sinclair, 28.5,0,0,0,4=32.5; 2, Polarus, J Stephen, 30,4,0,0,0=34; 3, Ryans Return, E Moyes, 28,0,0,0,6.4=34.4. Novice – 1, Greystone Midnight Melody, W Oakden, 34.5,0,0,0,19.6=54.1; 2, Temptation Z, K Geddes, 32.5,0,0,0,22.4=54.9; 3, Valco II, B Edward, 35.5,4,0,0,15.6=55.1. IN – 1, Bandoshea, M Chalmers, 28.6,0,0,0,6=34.6; 2, U Guest It, D Gatherer, 35.9,0,0,0,6.4=42.3; 3, Greystone Pathfinder, W Oakden, 38.6,0,0,0,7.6=46.2.