A weekend of cloudy weather didn’t dampen spirits at Belsay Horse Trials which were held at the weekend.
Visitors enjoyed a fantastic two days of sporting action, family entertainment and fun, with highlights including a brand new water complex, the Barbour Splash, a wide selection of different trade stands, fair-ground rides, dog agility and, new for 2018, an Inter-Hunt Relay competition.
Entries were full and Belsay was delighted to welcome a host of well-known local, regional and international event riders. Nicola Wilson, still recovering from a nasty knee injury sustained at Richmond Horse Trials in May, brought just one horse for the Novice Regional Final Section D and won. Elite Jaguar, owned by Pauline Fletcher, who lives locally and hunts with the Tynedale, will now head to the Novice Championships at Gatcombe in August.
The Auchindenny Carnegie Trophy for the highest-placed Northumbrian rider across the Novice Classes went to Veera Peltokangas, who although Finnish, lives in Longframlington and was second in the Brewin Dolphin Novice Section A on WaterLily XI. The section was won by well-known regional rider, James Adams, riding Mrs Tracey Milner’s Bejewel.
The winner of one of the biggest classes of the day, the Barbour sponsored Intermediate Section F, was Sam York from Newark in Lincolnshire on her own Oakring Dalliance. Sam was absolutely delighted with her visit to Belsay and praised the organisers for such a professionally run and friendly event. Local 3* eventer, Jay Ryder from Wooler, was third in the class on Faith Full, owned by the Northstar Syndicate.
Jessica McKie, also from Wooler, is always successful at Belsay and this year was no exception. She won the Cussins Homes Open Intermediate Section G on Mrs Victoria McKie’s Ask the Boss. Veera Peltokangas from Longframlington was second on Silver Minnie.
On Sunday, competition started with the BE90 Sections and local riders did very well. Kirsty Cordner, from Stamfordham, rode her own Goulane Swatchey Boy to victory in the Rural Solutions BE90 Section L, with Jackie Tait from Choppington was second on Manor House Merry Mate Boy, and Laura Fenwick from Angerton Steads third on Completely Starkers, owned by David Nicholson who lives in Belsay.
Philippa Nixon, from Little Whittington, was a popular winner in the Equine Products BE100 Open Section P riding Mrs Jane Peters’ Wyndham Spring Watch. Event Organiser Martyn Johnson from Alnwick Ford was second on Patrickswell Scorpion and Helen Self Dodd from Elsdon was third on Wee McPea.
Laura de Wesselow, organiser commented: “We have had a brilliant, action packed weekend with no injuries to horses or riders.
“Competitors were full of praise for the event, our team and all our fabulous volunteers. We had done a lot of work to ensure that our ground was good and I think it was perfect – the best in the country. We are now pushing for an international event here at Belsay so watch this space!”