Horseheath Racecourse, part of the Thurlow Estate, played host to its very first British Eventing affiliated horse trials on its news course.
Months of hard work and planning seemed to pay off with riders from around the eastern region and beyond praising the efforts of event organiser Tim Barling and the committee for the amount of effort that was put in to produce such a welcoming, friendly and well-run event in its first year.
Despite the rain not falling as much as organisers would have liked in the run-up, praise for the ground rained in from competitors.
Joanne Foley commented: “Yes the ground was firm underneath but you could feel the effort the team had put in and the excellent grass cover really made a difference.
“Plus it really helped that the track was flat and even. I certainly didn’t mind running my horse on it.”
Foley later went on to win the PwC BE100 Section C on a score of 26.9 on Mr Eric Coan’s Chakir S Z.
“It is only his second BE100, and his first win,” she said. “We’ve kept him at BE90 to allow him to mature and he now feels really ready for the 100 tracks.
“He really tried his heart out and made it feel easy. I’ll definitely be back next year and it’s great to have a local event with so much potential to run the bigger classes and international events.”
The positives did not stop at the ground, as riders praised the expertly-designed track from Tina Ure, of the popular Little Downham Horse Trials, that was constructed by David Carpenter.
Following her BE90 win on Paula Twinn’s Desert Fox III, Lisa Clarke Spence praised the event as ‘a really lovely course that was well laid out and really nice to ride around’.
“I had two BE100 rides and one in the BE90 and both courses were great,” she said.
“What was really good was the great viewing, which was excellent for the owners watching, who are ultimately the ones paying the bills.”
The event also raised £628 for the late Hannah Francis’ Willbery Wonder Pony Charity, a charity that is close to the heart of the whole eventing community.
Horseheath Racecourse is four miles to the east of Haverhill and forms part of the Vestey families’ Thurlow Estate.