Lancaster ride to first victory at Roses

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The Lancaster and York Teams with their rosettes. Photo by Lauren Heeley.

Official Results:

1st place: Lancaster A Team- 26 Penalties
2nd place: Lancaster B Team- 84 Penalties
3rd place: York A Team- 135 Penalties
4th place: York B Team- 158 Penalties

Lancaster started as they mean to go on with today’s first win for the Red Rose. After a tense half an hour waiting for the York team to arrive the event  finally got under way.

The sun was shining, the horses were gleaming and the riders were raring to go as the dressage event kicked off the start of the competition.

Both the A and B teams for Lancaster and York rode well, with a particularly outstanding performance from Lancaster’s A captain Sophie Forster, scoring a phenomenal 210 points. The test comprised of 20 metre circles, smooth transitions between walk trot and canter, loops, and half circles.

Joe Hinde of York, the only male rider in the event, did well to keep his horse Val moving in the increasing heat, a problem all riders faced throughout the day.

The judge Valerie Hodgett noted: “It was a pleasure to judge the competition and to see some really excellent riding. This is my third year judging at Roses and it is great to see the riders improve year on year.”

Once all 16 riders had taken their dressage test there was a short break for lunch where both teams intermingled and reflected on the morning’s performance.

At the half way point Lancaster A was in the lead with Lancaster B a close second, putting pressure on both teams to step up their game in the jumping rounds to follow.

The jump course consisted of nine jumps of approximately 80 centimeters from the ground. Fresh horses were brought in for the afternoon, an adjustment all riders adapted well to after warming up.

The majority of competitors from both Lancaster and York received clear rounds. The notoriously difficult pony Jazz proved a challenge for all riders but he was put through his paces forcefully by both York and Lancaster teams.

The fast paced action of jumping was proving tiresome for both the horses and riders, but the York Captain, Katrin Jones, willed her horse Whisper on in the final heat resulting in a fast, clear round. She stated that “the day had been really well organised and enjoyable. The food provided was awesome, I’m really proud of how hard my team have worked, and most importantly everyone had fun.”

With the excitement of jumping over, the all important scores were calculated; Lancaster A and B teams retained their half way positions of first and second place, resulting in an outright win for Lancaster. York A team were placed third and York B gained fourth place. Hannah Yacob won on individual points in the Lancaster team.

Lancaster A team Captain, Sophie Forster, remarked that the day had been a great success. “I’m really proud of all the riders, everyone rode fabulously and the atmosphere was great. We also secured the first of many victories for Lancaster! ”

The result means Lancaster were awarded the full six points available, a trend that will hopefully continue throughout the rest of the tournament.

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