Bega Showjumping Cup 2016
|Bega Showjumping Cup 2016 - 3rd Jan 2017|
Priestley Performs to Perfection|
The 21st Bega Showjumping Cup kicked off Wednesday 28th December in very warm conditions. The heavily watered ground and flowing courses set by Graeme Watts set the scene for some equally hot competition. All four classes in Ring One provided highly entertaining and fast jump-off with each rider trying to better the next. Club President Brett Clarke scored a last-minute ride on Ron Easey's Body Builder and took out the 1.10m under 16 points. The open 1.10m was won by last year's most successful rider Milly Fisher and Vivienne. Russell Morrison and the well performed CP Richard beat a large field to take out the 1.20m and Ron Easey posted his first win for the show, winning the 1.30m with Simplistic. Winners in ring two were Tilly Anderson, Braedy Armstrong, Cohen Wade, Emma Brauer and Kimberlee Davidge.
The second day featured many highlights including the Helen Slater sponsored Futurity and the Brian Mallyon Memorial Open Sixbar. The day kicked off with a win to well known eventer John Twomey and his flash Conquistator pony Blitzen Ben in the 1.10-1.15m under 16 points. Twomey said that if all shows were like Bega he would definitely change disciplines as he thoroughly enjoyed competing in the mornings and then enjoying a bike ride and beach visit in the afternoons. Milly Fisher claimed her second win of the show in the Open 1.15m, this time riding the smart bay Mo Jo Jo Jo. The 1.20m class was taken out by James Arkins and Belhaven Sanskrit and he also claimed third place with Rosthewaite Ballet. A total of thirty one quality horses entered the prestigious Bega Futurity proudly sponsored by Helen Slater and Family. Nine horses jumped clear to proceed into the jump-off which lived up to the expectation of the event's reputation of always being a highly entertaining spectator's class. In the end it was young Jamie Priestley and the lovely grey Courage edging out Melissa Backman, Russell Morrison and Tom Sutherland by a second. The final event in ring one saw Club President Brett Clarke rise to the top again, posting the fastest time in the jump-off event with the beautifully quiet GH Blossom's Little Brother in the 1.35-1.40m. The day ended with the highly anticipated six bar events. The Club were excited to display their brand new six-bar jumps which featured photos of local jumping legends on each wing. It really was a walk down memory lane with these wing attracting a lot of attention and creating much discussion throughout the show. The open six bar finished with an outstanding seven horses in the final round which stood at 1.70m. Only two combinations cleared this to finish in equal first; Aaron Hadlow and BP Albury and Leon Carroll and Delisch. Winners in Ring2 were Kayla Hagg, Bella Griffin and Kimberlee Davidge won two events.
Day three was unfortunately the warmest of the days with the humidity reaching over 90%. Although some riders opted to visit the beach, the competition was still of a very high standard particularly the first event of the day, the first Junior class to take place in the main arena. With 12 combinations through to the jump off which boasted some challenging turn options and a tricky distance to the last, it was a great event that built in intensity as it went on. Ironically, it was the very first rider on course, Victoria Hoy all the way from Nyngan NSW who was declared the eventual winner by placing just enough pressure on the rest of the field with her very tidy pace setter. Other winners from the day were Brett Clarke who claimed his second win on Ron Easey's Body Builder in the under 16 points, Tori Stuckey rode a great round in the 1.20m to narrowly beat Ron Easey riding Diamond B Vanhelsing and Brett Clarke and his stallion again won the 1.40m which was our final look at the Bega Showjumping Cup horses before heading to the Grand Hotel for the Calcutta. Winners in Ring 2 were Bella Griffin, Emily Quodling, Jess Stalling and Emma Brauer.
The final day of competition was, much to the relief of all involved, a much cooler day, slightyly overcast in the early 20's. Course Designer Graeme Watts was doing really well to find what was left of the good ground on the arena. The started again with the second Junior class of the show which was just one round this time. With clear rounds very few and far between, it was the very last rider of the event, a smiling Jess Davies and Emmaville Cedar who narrowly pipped Georgia Goff to take the win. The open 1.15-1.20m saw many young horses step up. No clear rounds were recorded in the jump off and Brett Clarke and Body Builder claimed their third victory of the show with one rail down. This combination were ultimately declared the Most Successful combination in Ring 1 and were awarded the Malcom Slater Memorial Trophy at the end of the show. The Mini Prix saw local crowd favourite Grant Hughes from Canberra not only win but also claim second position with Emmaville Define and Emmaville Atlantis respectively. An outstanding effort in a class that only saw four go through to the jump off. Ring one then enjoyed a break while the course was set for the last and feature event of the show; The Grand Hotel Bega and Antares Australia Bega Showjumping Cup. Winners in Ring 2 for the day were Cohen Wade claiming both the Under 14 Junior and the 80cm and Riley Cottrell the 1.00m.
At 6pm the riders of the 21st Bega Showjumping Cup were presented to the swelling crowd. Sixteen horse and rider combinations faced a very challenging course set at a solid 1.45m in height. The course consisted of many winding turns and really tested rideability and concentration. At the end of the first round, 18 year old Jamie Priestley was sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard with both of her horses KS Optimus and MVNZ Amaretto being two of six horses to jump clean. Eight were invited back to the second round with Melissa Backman and Ron Easey the lucky 4 faulters invited back for a second chance. The second round was quite long and really tested the endurance of both horse and rider. Unfortunately for Izabella Stone, her horse Kinnordy Giuliani decided to stop abruptly half way through sending his rider head-first into the wing. Izzy was not hurt. Bega boy and current leader of the Australian World Cup Series Clint Beresford elected to not enter his top string horse Emmaville Jitterbug, choosing not to risk him on the deteriorating surface. He instead rode the fabulous grey SL Donato to post the very first double clear of the competition and straight into the lead. After the fairy tale year Beresford has had, a win in his home town would have been the icing on the cake. Beresford held on to that lead for the entire jump-off up until the final rider, Jamie Priestley and KS Optimus. Priestley came second in this event last year and has come so far since then showing the composure of a professional well beyond her years. The crowd held their breathe as Priestley cantered openly to the final oxer and her super smart pony cleared it with style, stopping the clock almost 2 seconds faster than Beresford. The tears flowed as the young rider was met with a heart-warming embrace from her proud coach and Dad, Kel in the gateway. It was such a beautiful way to finish the very last show for 2016. Jamie celebrated with many showjumping friends well into the night - it was New Years Eve after all! All photos, results and details can be found on the Bega showjumping Cup Facebook page or go to www.begashowjumpingclub.weebly.com