Emily King, daughter of Olympic rider Mary King, triumphed in the Advanced Intermediate class at Aldon Horse Trials this weekend. The event which ran over three days saw over 750 competitors complete tests in dressage, showjumping and cross country at the popular West Country venue. With classes from BE100 up to Advanced Intermediate, international riders rubbed shoulders with local riders in a weekend of hot competition.
The course, designed by Adrian Ditcham, included a newly upgraded water jump and held up well with going proving excellent from start to finish. The high level of entries meant that some riders were starting their dressage phase at 8am but with an experienced team of stewards and judges the days run smoothly.
Local rider, Alexa Palmer, scooped first prize in the BE100 Section B on her own Ogue Caviar. The eight year old gelding by Ars Vivendi posted an impressive 18.8 dressage mark and added a double clear to the board to beat Olympic Rider Kitty King by less than one point.
In the CIC*, the major international competition of the weekend, Adam Harvey headed up an impressive field with his own Picasso V. The dapple grey eight year old, by Van Gogh, gave a consistent performance from the start leading the dressage on 39.2 and remaining calm under pressure to produce a clear showjumping round. Across country the pair incurred no penalties and finished on their dressage mark.
Aldon also hosted a prestigious Charles Owen Pony Trial for young riders. This class had entries from youngsters across the country all riding ponies of 14.2 or smaller. Tom Bird from Shipston on Stour lead the class from the dressage phase on the eight year old bay gelding Night Fury. His second ride Brockington Jessie Hall a bay mare by Pilgrims Excaliber posted an equally impressive dressage mark and Tom proceeded to steer each pony to a clear in the showjumping and cross country. With Jessie picking up a 0.4 time penalty across country, Night Fury took first place with Brockington Jessie Hall in second.
The highest level competition of the weekend was the Advanced Intermediate which boasted a field including riders from Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong and Finland. Olympic riders Sam Griffiths, Pippa Funnell, Paul Tapner, Jonty Evans and Austin O’Connor were all in attendance hoping to win the coveted Aplin Silver Horse. Emily King, daughter of six times Olympic rider and Badminton winner Mary King, rode the nine year old Dargun by Vaillant owned by Mrs Jane Del Missier. Twenty one year old Emily King who is based at Sidmouth, Devon posted an impressive 28 dressage and proceeded to stay clear showjumping and cross country picking up just 2 time penalties. She secured victory ahead of Ireland’s Austin O’Connor riding Kilpatrick Knight and collected the Aplin Horse accompanied by her proud mother who had also picked up a first and second place in the Open Novice. There were other wins for Pippa Funnell, Carolyne Ryan-Bell and Andrew Nicholson across the weekend.
For the first time this year Aldon operated a live online scoring system which meant riders and spectators could keep up to date with the scores as they happened via the internet. Organiser Tessa Mackenzie-Green said ‘the new live scoring system has gone very well this weekend. Its been great that people are able to keep up to date with every score live on their phone. At our autumn event we hope to TV screens in the Secretary’s tent to replace our old fashioned scoreboards’. Tessa also paid tribute to the team of volunteers who help put the weekend on ‘we have a great team of happy helpers who volunteer their time to do every job from cooking lunch to putting up jumps and without their amazing commitment we would not be able to run’. Full results from the horse trials can be found at www.eventingscores.co.uk. Aldon Horse Trials returns on 20th – 22nd October at the Yeovil Showground.