Cross Country Champions crowned
BHS Gold members from across the UK converged on Eland Lodge in Derbyshire for the BHS Cross-Country Championships at the weekend.
XC Championships at Eland Lodge
John and Veronica Coupland produced two beautiful courses, which challenged even the very best riders and required bold riding.
The open victor was long-time supporter Phil Snelson riding his daughter’s 14-year-old mare Bella, who she has owned since she was a three-year-old. Phil, from Knutsford in Cheshire, has competed at the championships six times and spends his spare time competing with Bella and hunting with the Cheshire Foxhounds.
Winnr of the Novice class was local rider Louise Gattoni from North West Leicestershire, on her own Mardi Grass, a grand 23 years old and owned by Louise for 12 years. She describes him as a true gentleman of a horse and even her niece can ride him! He absolutely loves cross-country and she also does a bit of eventing with him.
As she works full time, horses are just a hobby for Louise but she has always wanted to win this event, having previously achieving a second place. Louise thought the course was lovely and says there is always a really friendly atmosphere at Eland Lodge, making it her favourite place to compete.
The Pairs class was won by Jema Henderson on Tonto, partnered by Kelly Grey on Diefenbaker. They travelled from Co Durham, their third visit to this event.
Sales coordinator Jema was really pleased with Tonto – a rescue pony, believed to be around 13-years-old, owned by Sammy Jo Wilson. Kelly is a nurse and has owned Diefenbaker for 11 years and he is a 17-year-old ex-racehorse. The pair were delighted with their win, despite a few sticky moments around the course where Jema lost both her stirrup and her reins! Jema and Kelly are sponsored by SIB Sportsware of Consett, who provided their very smart matching kit.
Qualifiers are already underway for the 2011 Championships and dates can be found on the website www.bhs.org.uk