The main arena at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials was the venue for the final qualifier for the 2015 SEIB Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship on Sunday the 6th September. This is the fourth time the qualifier has been given a Sunday prime time slot at this world famous three day event. The entries were of an exceptionally high standard and were judged in front of a packed crowd. Class sponsors, SEIB and the team at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials have worked hard together to facilitate the staging of this qualifier in the main ring.
Top showing producer, Justine Armstrong-Small won this very competitive class with Ann Leftley’s former chaser, Beware Chalk Pit. Second place went to Mark Rimell riding William Stroud’s grey gel, Just Blue and in third was point to point trainer, Lizzie Harris with her seven year old chestnut gelding, Wild West. Just Blue and Wild West took the two Horse of the Year Show qualifying tickets for the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Championships as Beware Chalk Pit had previously qualified.
Ride judge was David Ingle and Alan Edmunds assessed the conformation of the quality group of horses that came forward for judging in this unique arena with all its undulations and wonderful atmosphere.
The winner of the 2015 SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Beware Chalk Pit was one of several horses belonging to Ann Leftkey that was in training with Jonathan Geake. The 11-year-old bay gelding, by Ansham out of Rakiura (IRE), won twice from 24 runs over fences and hurdles. Beware Chalk Pit last ran over hurdles at Plumpton in January this year. Burghley was just his sixth show and since beginning his showing career he has never been out of the top two places. He was pulled up from eighth after giving David Ingle, a super spin round the arena.
Conformation judge, Alan Edmunds, said, “The winner was exceptional; a show horse in his own right. He has quality and temperament, especially considering he is just off the track”.
Justine Armstrong-Small said, “Beware Chalk Pit is such a lovely horse. When we entered this class he hadn’t even been to a show and we thought it could be ambitious!” Rebecca Court who works for Justine and has ridden Beware Chalk Pit in the ring as well added, “He is a star and hacks out and does jumps in the school at home. He has also already qualified for the Hickstead racehorse championship next year”.
Second placed, Just Blue took one of the two all-important HOYS qualifying slots at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, ridden by Mark Rimell the grey gelding is owned by William Stroud. Just Blue has been beautifully produced for the showring by Mark’s wife Anne Rimell. “He is really my wife’s ride, she has done all the work with him, but she could not be here today. He ran in bumpers but it was not his thing and he needed another job. Anne thought he should have a go at this”, explained Mark. “It was our aim to try for HOYS and it is great for his owner, who is not well but gets a huge boost from seeing the horse. He is a star horse, we have had him since a two year old and I broke him in – you could not wish for a better one. He has a home for life with us. He will probably go hunting this winter”. Just Blue is by Silver Patriarch (IRE) out of Miss Millie.
Third place and the final HOYS qualifying ticket of 2015 went to Lizzie Harris with her seven year old chestnut, Wild West, by Galileo (IRE) out of Monumental Gesture. Wild West was in training with Jonjo O’Neil and he ran in seven races over fences earning several places. He was given to Lizzie, a point-to-point trainer two years ago. She has since done showing, team chasing, hunting and side saddle with Wild West. Earlier this season, Wild West and Lizzie won the Hickstead Racehorse Supreme Championship.
Lizzie said, “Wild West has a home for life here, he does everything and is a very special horse. We hunt with the Belvoir and he will go and do a novice team chase before HOYS. We use him as a lead horse when we are schooling the point to pointers as well”.
Ride judge David Ingle said, “I am so impressed with the way the horses all coped, and our first horse was a bit special. The second horse really warmed to his job and got better and better the more I rode him. There were several horses that were a bit raw but will definitely be ones to watch for next year”, he added. “It has been an absolute joy, and very exciting”.
These three horses will compete at The South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship finals at the Horse of the Year Show, 7th – 11th October 2015, at the Birmingham NEC.
1st Beware Chalk Pit, owned by Anne Leaftley and ridden by Justine Armstrong-Small from Essex.
2nd Just Blue, owned by William Stroud and ridden by Mark Rimell from Oxfordshire.
3rd Wildwest, owned and ridden by Lizzie Harris from Leics.
4th Barber’s Shop, owned by HM The Queen and ridden by Katie Jerram from Essex.
5th Chouxdamour, owned by Willie Reason and ridden by Claire Oliver from Glos.
6th Bold Punt, owned and ridden by Tasha Seely from Glos.