Gala Performance Entertains the Crowds
With a great atmosphere in the packed grandstand and hospitality, the popular Kingsland Equestrian Junior Challenge commenced. Eight riders competed over a course of show jumps and then took part in an obstacle course against the clock which certainly had the spectators entertained.
It was then onto the master class with Trevor Breen, twice winner of the Hickstead Derby in 2014 with Adventure de Kannan and in 2015 with Loughnatousa W B. Trevor demonstrated the basics of grid work on a 6 year old horse pointing out that grid work is essential when producing a young horse’s confidence, balance and rhythm. With the atmosphere in the building the young horse at first rushed the grids and veered to one side which gave Trevor an ideal opportunity to show how to correct the horses action by sitting very central and straight which gave the horse a sense of balance which lead him to take the grid in straight correct rhythm making the last fence out of the grid so much easier to jump.
Throughout the demonstration Trevor emphasised how a riders action makes the difference to the way the horse is going and that if the horse is not performing it was down to rider technique to make corrections that enable the horse to perform at its best.
The highlight of the evening was the prestigious Blue Chip Grand Prix with a prize fund of £7,500. Paul Connor designed a challenging 12 fence course for the 49 starter total and the spectators warmly applauded the 15 clear rounds going forward to the jump off. Ben Walker and Roulette H took the lead until Philip Miller and Unbelievable Lady beat his time but the competition was by no means over as in entered a determined Kerry Brennan who displayed brilliant tight turns and a brave gallop to the last fence to win with 2.64 seconds to spare. Kerry was delighted with the win as ‘Welly’ had just come back off holiday after Liverpool’s New Year Show.