Blue skies, sunshine and excellent riding were the hallmarks of the third British Eventing Horse Trials held at Askham Bryan College near York.
The event attracted top riders from across the country who thoroughly enjoyed the challenging cross-country course set by course builder Adrian Ditcham, who has only recently been involved in helping to create the cross country course for the London 2012 Olympics. Talks are already underway to look at the feasibility of extending the event next year to a second day.
The event included three sections, BE90, BE100 and BE100 Open with some 260 competitors taking part and three young riders from the Whitby area were among the placings in the BE90 classes.
Alice Smith from Sleights gained fifth place in the Section E class on her coloured gelding Singing Fontino whilst in the Section G class Megan Dale from Glaisdale took fourth place riding Roxy III and Sarah Little from Sleights, pictured right, came seventh with her talented grey, Blue Admiral.
It has been a busy year for Sarah who only began eventing in March but has been attending Badminton qualifiers throughout the summer and narrowly missed out on qualifying for next year.
“It was our first time at the horse trials and I found the cross country course challenging but Blue gave me a great ride and we really enjoyed the day,” said Sarah.
Liz Philip, chief executive of Askham Bryan College, said: “It was an amazing day and we got off to a good start with near perfect going. The weather could not have been better, there was some superb riding, and across a broad range of ages and ability.
“It was good to see one of our former equine students, Amie Slinger as one of the BE 90 Section winners. It’s a great opportunity for our learners to gain competition experience and also get to grips with the principles of event management. We’re now looking at how we can possibly expand and improve the event for 2013.”
College students were very much involved in the day, helping build the course, marshal jumps and writing up the judges’ scores for the dressage.
The College has an impressive equine centre with an indoor arena, an outside school and stabling and support for up to 50 horses, including a new horse walker.
As well as the horse trials, it hosts a number of equine events across the year and has recently launched an equine clinic to be hosted by Christopher Bartle who guided the German Olympic team to a gold medal.