A capacity entry ensured dawn-till-dusk show jumping at another of our popular unaffiliated show jumping days.
Good preparation at home certainly paid dividends for Leah Anderton who made a winning debut with Erne Valley Oisin (Oliver).
After buying Oliver unbroken last year, Leah backed and rode away the Irish bred Connemara herself and this was their first outing which resulted in second place in the 80cm and victory in the junior 90cm intermediate class.
Leah was last to go in the 90cm and pulled off two very tight turns, one into an imposing wall.
“As I was busy warming up, I didn’t see anyone else go, but I had made my mind up where to go in the jump-off.
Oliver is very laid back. Nothing seems to bother him and he was spot on everywhere,” said Leah, who has lessons every week with British Showjumping (BS) accredited coach Andrew Millin.
Coincidentally, it was another Connemara pony that pipped Leah at the post in the 80cm junior novice competition.
Winning this class with a very economic round was Holly Townsend riding Wannie Michleen (Michael).
Holly, 14, has been riding her Irish bred nine-year-old for just over a year and Michael has proved ultra-versatile as he is also a successful plaited and Heritage (M&M) working hunter pony.
Last year Michael qualified for the BSPS summer and Heritage championships.
The pair are also accomplished arena eventers, qualifying for the Croft Top finals.
“Michael can be quite lazy, but he loves to jump and he is very focused in the ring.
We tried all the short cuts and they came off, but we just missed out and finished second in the 90cm,” reflected Holly, as Leah and Oliver reversed the places in that competition.
Shannon Sheffield gave her mum Karen the perfect birthday present when the youthful 18-year-old Arab x Welsh pony Kathbarr Shatima (Hattie) produced a brilliant double clear to win the junior 70cm pre-novice competition.
The 14-year-old Texas born rider spotted two influential jump-off turns when walking the course and she executed them to perfection.
Drawn tenth of 15-combinations winning through to the final round, Shannon steered inside lines everywhere and made her tightest cut inside to an oxer three from home.
“Hattie loves to go forward to her fences and she goes off any stride,” said Shannon, who has lived in England for five years.
Local rider Charlotte Hodson likes nothing better than to win on her own ‘stamping ground’ and Indian Summer (Saffy) provided the full-time Pharmacist with a decisive win in the senior 90cm intermediate class.
Charlotte has owned her Welsh Section D mare for 11-years, the pair enjoying lots of cross country and farm rides.
“She can be quirky, but in the ring, she is a point and shoot pony and a real speed freak who can turn on a sixpence.
I was determined to win and spotted a couple of turns I knew she could do,” said Charlotte, who set an unbeatable target.
Other winners on the day were Virginia Hewitt (Dreamer), Hannah Wallwork (Little Acorns Able), Ruby Ward (Immy), Zara James (Princess And The Pea), Nikki Priest (De La Gold), Donna Morphet (Kan Can), Faye Davies (Lachstone Lily) and Charlotte Bennett (Lilian).
Aintree’s next Unaffiliated Showjumping show will be held on Sunday 4th March 2018.