There were mixed fortunes for Scottish competitors at the 2019 National Championships held at the beautiful Bywell Hall Estate near Corbridge, Northumberland.
Hamish Reid became the National Champion in the Intermediate Horse class – fantastic result – well done Hamish!
Louise Kaiholm driving Ruth Martin’s Storm took the title of Open Single Pony National Champion, winning both the dressage and the cones phases of the competition. Susie Don was Reserve Champion – well done to both of them too!
In the Advanced Single Horse class, Ian Bertram was Reserve Champion, with Carol Boswell in 3rd place. It was a close thing – only 0.76 points between them!!
Margo Smith had a great championship. First in dressage and first in cones in the Horse Tandem class! However John Wilkinson’s faster time in the marathon phase dropped Margo to second place overall – but that’s still the Reserve Champion. Well done Margo!
Bex March looked set to do well in the Advanced Single Pony class. She was first in dressage on Friday and on Saturday was flying through the first four obstacles when disaster struck. The end of one of the carriage shafts sheared in the middle of obstacle 4, and sadly that was the end of the marathon for Bex and Jamie. All three of them were ok, and just to make up for it on Sunday, Bex drove a text-book double clear to win the cones.
Bex wasn’t the only competitor with a carriage problem – SCDA member Rosie Mould also had to retire in the Marathon phase.
Sanchia May had a great start to the competition, coming first in the dressage phase in the Pony Tandem class. Unfortunately mistakes in the cones phase proved costly and she finished in 4th place overall.
Pam MacArthur and Pat Watson were placed 3rd and 4th respectively in the Novice Pony class, with Sam Fawcett finishing in 7th place. Sam had a superb marathon – 3rd in the class was a great result driving Janet Pilling’s Kappi. Pat was presented with a special award on Saturday evening as the “Most sympathetic Novice driver” – a fantastic achievement.
Patsy Muir-Simpson finished 3rd in the Intermediate Pony class.
In the Open Single Horse class, Jane Isaac took first place in dressage. However, although she posted fast times in the marathon, an error of course in obstacle 5 meant elimination. Gordon Watson finished 7th in the same class.
The most unfortunate incident of the day during Saturday’s marathon was a tip-up for Mary Kusin in the pony fours. Having finished second in the dressage, Mary was well placed going into the marathon. However, in obstacle five, the carriage clipped one of the posts, and despite Mary, Callum and Mandy’s best efforts, the carriage turned over. Somehow, Mary managed to hang on to the ponies long enough for Callum and Mandy to get to their heads and a very swift response from spectators and stewards meant that the ponies were held in the obstacle, safe and unharmed. However, Mary sustained a hip fracture and was transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where she has undergone surgery. The good news is that the surgery has been a success and Mary is now up and walking, albeit with the aid of a zimmer! Thanks to everyone who has been sending Mary messages of support and good wishes – they have all been very much appreciated.
Thanks to the Scottish contingent helping out as organizers, stewards and volunteers – Patti and Keith are very grateful for all the help they received to make the event such a success.
Thanks also to the sponsors of obstacles and prizes: Sanchia May (Riding and Harness Stuff), John and Ruth Martin (Halspan/Paddockhall Cottages), Gerald and Margo Smith (Pentonbridge Inn), Suzi Law (Topspec).