The first Ride-away Express Eventing Challenge took place this weekend at Bolesworth International in Tattenhall, Cheshire.
The compact form of traditional three-day eventing ran across two arenas at the CSI**** event, including the main display arena and international arena, where ten riders competed for the chance to win £1,000 worth of Ride-away vouchers.
Alex Hua Tian took first place riding Pip Higgins and Pam Dews’ Don Geniro, the pair lead from pillar to post having scored an impressive 23 mark dressage.
The dressage phase consisted of a freestyle dressage test to music marked by three judges, including celebrity judge Jodie Kidd who was scoring each combination on artistic impression.
Mary-Anne Carpenter and her 13-year-old gelding Alles Klar were in runner-up spot going into the cross-country phase – a 700 metre long track over 18 obstacles – with Jodie Amos and Matt 0.5 penalties in arrears in third.
The final showjumping phase, held in the atmospheric international arena, saw penalties strewn across the ten combinations in the class.
Jodie Amos had the top spot in her sights going into the showjumping, however she picked up an unfortunate 24 penalties with the good-looking 15-year-old gelding.
“It’s a really different atmosphere to what they are used to,” said Jodie. “He’s been feeling great so I thought I would go for it, but he didn’t really come up with the goods today. The surface here is perfect so there are no excuses, he just didn’t jump well enough – not his day today.” she added.
The winner of the competition, Alex Hua Tian, was presented with the Ride-away Express Eventing trophy by the Director of Ride-away, Matt Stead.
Alex commented: “I have competed at every Express Eventing Challenge since its inception and I have watched the format evolve.
“I am a great supporter of the concept – and with the exciting news of Ride-away’s sponsorship – I think that the organisers will be able to establish this as a sport for the future.”
The Ride-away team were at Bolesworth from Thursday to Sunday giving people the chance to enter a fantastic prize draw and giving away some goodie bags which were enjoyed by all.
Winners of the VIP competition also enjoyed a three-course dinner in the hospitality suite as well as a course walk with Express Eventer, Nick Gauntlett.
The next Ride-away Express Eventing Challenge is set to take place at this year’s CLA Game Fair, to be held at Harewood House in Yorkshire from Friday 31 July until Sunday 2 August.