Day to remember in Fife Show’s showjumping ring
Strong entries and great weather meant a marathon stint of competition in the affiliated British Showjumping ring at Fife Show.
With four classes offering some of the last qualifications for this year’s Royal Highland Show, as well as two new feature BS club level classes, good prize money and sponsored awards across the competition sections, the ring was kept busy for more than 12 hours.
In something of a coup, Fife Show BS organisers brought Irish FEI course designer JamesTarrant over fromTralee, in County Kerry, to officiate at the event.
His tracks utilised numerous bright fillers and were built up-to-height but according to the grass conditions.
They proved tight on the clock, with many riders falling foul of time penalties throughout the day.
With Culross-based young rider Mark Turnbull bagging pole position from the Foxhunter class (incorporating the Andrew Hamilton Coach Highland qualifier) with his already qualified seven-year-old gelding Cuarento, a son of elite stallion Larino, the tickets to the Highland for this championship were passed down the line to the benefit of another two local talents.
First past the post into the qualifying positions was St Andrews rider Stephen Lohoar, from Drumcarrow, with his home-bred Calvados-sired mare Debertha.
She had previously picked up qualif ication for the Grade C championship final at Rowallan, but made the most of her first run on grass to finish in the money at Fife.
“She’s a big horse, so she’s taken that little bit of extra time to come good,” explained Stephen. “She really is quite seriously scopey, though,” he added.
Enjoying a marathon day at the Kinloss Estate, Stephen was on site at the crack of dawn to help some of his pupils warm up ahead of the new 80cm and 90cm BS club classes, which began the day, and was still on site when the competition in the BS rings drew to a close at 9.30pm.
Bagging the second available qualifying slot was Leo Lorimer, who rides from his base at Rowanlea, outside Carnoustie.
Success came to him on this occasion with relative new ride Hi Candy – a seven-year-old mare, which he took on just three weeks previously from girlfriend and fellow rider Shannon Kelly.
For the Dutch-bred daughter of Jumbo Jet, which Shannon imported at the beginning of this year, Fife Show provided just a second-ever crack at a Foxhunter track.
Drawn midway through the jump-off, Leo and Hi Candy rolled a pole during their fast round, but Leo remained full of praise for the low-mileage mare.
“She jumped so well. She is one of the sweetest horses with genuinely the biggest heart.”
Now headed to Area 15, en-route to Bolesworth, before coming back north to the Highland, Leo said he is concentrating on giving her a steady progression while retaining a view to her being for sale.
“She’s got all the jump and has scope to burn,” he added.
In the later Power & Performance Grade C Royal Highland qualifier HorseScotland’s 2013 Coach of the Year David Harland soared to the top of the leaderboard with Fauber.
David has been riding the eight-year-old gelding for his owner Suzanne Craighead for the last three years.
The result provided the partnership with their second ticket to the Highland, after they gathered an early qualification for the Foxhunter championship at northern venue the Cabin.
“It was really quite nice to ride tracks designed from a different perspective,” David commented.
“The times across the classes were set relatively tight, with lots of riders in the earlier classes racking up time penalties, but I think it actually improved the level of competition as the day went on.”
Reflecting on Fauber’s performance, David added: “He really knows now how to do a jump-off well.
“He took a stride out of the last related distance and I think that’s how we clinched the win.”
David, who rides from his base outside Kirkcaldy but travels all over Scotland coaching riders, said he plans to head from the Highland to the new feature BS classes at Hopetoun International Horse Trials.
He also has his sights set on a return to Blair Castle, in the hope of bettering their fifth placing in the Blair Grand Prix last year.
Chasing the last of the daylight hours, proceedings finally drew to a close in the BS rings at 9.30pm when Lucy Guild was crowned winner of the 1m30 open.
Once again stealing the spoils was her 14-year-old regular partner Titi D’Oase.
“This is the third year in succession that we’ve won this class at Fife Show,” said a thrilled Lucy, who works full time for her father’s building company in Forfar to fund her riding.
More often than not in the money, Titi – a Burgraaf-sired gelding – took Lucy to the top of the 2011 Young Riders Championship of Great Britain title at the Horse of theYear Show. Their successes to date for this season include first place in the 1m30 and second in the Grand Prix at Kingsbarn.
“He jumped just fabulously at Fife,” she said.
80cm BS Club (inc unaff open): 1 Rosie Stenhouse, Hamilton Hill; 2 Emma Webster, Top Match; 3 Jade Sturrock, ILPH Little Rock.
90cm BS Club (inc unaff open): 1 Emma Pilkington, Phantens Bucks Fizz; 2 Jodie Maher, Avenue; 3 Jodie Sturrock, Cullaun Boy.
1m10 open: 1 Laura Templeton, Vurelise; 2 Stephen Lohoar, Whisper XII; 3 David Harland, Icardo Van De Molendries Hoeve.
Foxhunter (inc Andrew Hamilton Coach RHS qualifier): 1 Mark Turnbull, Cuarento; 2 Douglas Duffin, Hi Midnight Millie; 3 Ian Warnock, Harperland Micky Finn. Also qualified: Stephen Lohoar, Debertha; and Leo Lorimer, Hi Candy. Aurora Hotel RHS Amateur Championship qualifier: 1 Scott Linford, Leen; 2 Gillian Anderson, Congeniality B; 3 William Oakden, Merikano.
Power & Performance RHS Grade C qualifier: 1 David Harland, Fauber; 2 Ian Warnock, Harperland Micky Finn; 3 Rachel Payne, Zonieke II.
1m30 Open (inc the James Smith Fencing RHS Young Masters qualifier): 1 Lucy Guild, Titi D Oase; 2 Laura Hutt, Zidane X; 3 Nicola Mcarthur, Ben Quicke; Also qualified: Daniel Scott, Fame Van Thiunas.