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Caithness Riding Club saddle up for success at Area 22


By Jean Gunn

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Erin Hewitson and Rio Bravo, second in both the junior 100cm showjumping and 90cm horse trials, with trainers Russell Skelton (left) and James Munro.
Erin Hewitson and Rio Bravo, second in both the junior 100cm showjumping and 90cm horse trials, with trainers Russell Skelton (left) and James Munro.

Caithness Riding Club had an excellent outing to the Area 22 competition at Auchlishie, Kirriemuir, taking home a huge array of rosettes.

The club was represented by a squad of 11 riders – comprising of nine seniors and two juniors – over the two days of competition.

Taking on the role of chef d'équipe was local instructor James Munro, of North Highland College Equestrian Centre at Dale Farm, who travelled down with the team and was kept busy helping warm up the local riders for the different disciplines.

On the first day of competition Mary Miller came first in both the 1.10m and 1m showjumping with her very talented mare Mademoiselle Buffet. Caithness dominated the 1m class, with the team taking the first three places – Jordan Crawford, riding Future King came second and Frances Sutherland on Casmo Z was third.

Second place in the junior 1m showjumping went to Erin Hewitson riding her new horse Rio Bravo. The junior 90cm class was won by Alysha Holmes, riding Drumore Rory, while Lauren Oag, riding Candy Reign, was second in the senior section.

In the 80cm showjumping the Caithness team – Russell Skelton on Riley, Alison Wild riding Cookie and Ruth Alexander on Greannanstown Soolmoy Harry – came second.

Mary Miller and Poppy, winners of the 1.10m and 1m showjumping. Picture: Stephen Hammond Photography
Mary Miller and Poppy, winners of the 1.10m and 1m showjumping. Picture: Stephen Hammond Photography

Meanwhile in the dressage Amy Louise McIvor and Shambo Katies Girl picked up second place in the Intro B test, Frances was third in the Elementary 43 test and in the Prelim 14 class Alison came third and Jordan was fifth.

In the horse trials on the Sunday, the 80cm team excelled themselves, coming first out of a strong field with over 30 entries. Jordan came third individually with a dressage of 32.5, and a double clear with just 2.4 time penalties to add from the cross-country, while, by the narrowest of margins (0.3), his fiancée Alison came fourth, with a dressage of 32.2 and three showjumping time penalties.

Sophie Robertson and Bella Maye en route to their first clear cross country round. Picture: Stephen Hammond Photography.
Sophie Robertson and Bella Maye en route to their first clear cross country round. Picture: Stephen Hammond Photography.

Sophie Robertson, riding her homebred pony Bella Maye, was delighted to get her first clear cross-country with just 1.6 time penalties and came tenth overall. Also in the 80cm horse trials team was Ruth, who decided to retire on the cross-country phase.

Alysha picked up a seventh in the junior 80cm section with a 34.7 dressage and a double clear, however she incurred time penalties in both the showjumping and cross-country phases.

Russell Skelton and Riley completing their first horse trials together.
Russell Skelton and Riley completing their first horse trials together.

Erin came second again in the 90cm junior horse trials section with a dressage score of 36.2 and 3.6 time penalties on the demanding, hilly cross-country course. In the senior 90cm Lauren had a good dressage of 30 and a double clear, but ended up out of the top placings after picking up too many time faults in the last phase.

Coming fourth in the 100cm senior section was Mary with a very good dressage of 29.5 dressage, and just two time penalties, ending on a score of 31.5, while Frances came sixth with a dressage of 30.2 dressage and 5.2 time penalties.

In the last class of the day, the 70cm, Russell was delighted to complete his first horse trials competition with Riley.


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