Riders get chance to return to Great Yorkshire venue

Miss J Tildesley
Miss J Tildesley
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THE cancellation of the Great Yorkshire Show last week after one day, because of relentless rain, was a major disappointment to many competitors who travel from all over the country for this event.

The show hosts a large number of Horse of the Year Show qualifiers and organisers have decided to re-stage the ridden classes that are qualifiers, which should have run on the Wednesday and Thursday, at a one-day show to be held on August 14.

The show’s director, Bill Cowling, said: “It was devastating to have to cancel but it is important that these classes, which are part of the qualifying calendar, are held.”

The deadline for new entries is August 3, otherwise all original entries will stand.

All horse boxes and wagons will be parked on hard standing and classes will take place in the main ring, the White Rose ring and the all-weather arena. Entry will be free to the public.

Among those hoping to return to the showground in August is Sally Iggulden whose horse, Oathill Take the Biscuit, should have been competing in the ladies side-saddle class last Wednesday.

“We got our class done on the Tuesday – he came second in the middleweight hunter class – and we hope to go across in August,” said Sally. “It’s always good when shows make an effort to re-schedule.”

Sally achieved the ambition of a lifetime when Oathill Take the Biscuit was Supreme Hunter Champion at the Horse of the Year Show last year, ridden by Danielle Heath.

Hovis, as he is known at home, also began competing in side-saddle classes and won the championship at the National Hunter Show.

This week, he was competing at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in the middleweight hunter class and the Ladies side saddle.

As the manager of Beverley racecourse and clerk of the course, Sally has had to take similar decisions to the Yorkshire Show organisers because of bad weather.

“We lost our Friday night race meeting earlier this month, it’s one of our biggest and it was a washout,” said Sally.

“We are used to disappointments this summer with the weather.”

Further details about the classes to be held on August 14 will be announced shortly.

In the meantime check the website, www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk.

The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe was another casualty of the weather and the organisers and British Eventing announced this week that the novice, intermediate and open championships will not be held this year.

But all the riders who qualified will be eligible to take part in next year’s event at Gatcombe.

The chief executive of 
British Eventing, Mike Etherington-Smith, commented: “We are delighted that all those entered in the 2012 Championships, who, like us, have been hugely disappointed by the unavoidable cancellation, will now have the opportunity to roll over their qualification until 2013.”

Whitaker making champion challenge

MICHAEL Whitaker is now in third place with 120 points on the Global Champions Tour league table with Ben Maher just behind him on 115 points.

This follows Whitaker’s second place in the Estoril Global Champions Tour Grand Prix riding his 10-year-old gelding, Viking V.

After three clear rounds, he finished in a time of 45.65 seconds, less than a second behind the winner, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Leoville 2.

Whitaker was on great form earlier in the month to win the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen, which is considered to be Europe’s most prestigious class, riding GIG Amai.

Unfortunately, the horse had time off to recover from an injury before starting this year’s campaign and missed out on selection when Britain’s Olympic team was announced.

Whitaker and GIG Amai have since been named as team reserves.

The arena at Greenwich Park has been given the seal of approval by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) following a final assessment.

Debbie Jevans, LOCOG’s director of sport, said: “With support from the FEI, the contractors and our own team have done a great job to get the make-up of the surface right and we now believe 
this will be a world-class surface for the equestrian athletes in a stunning Olympic venue.”

The surface was changed after last year’s test event when there were some complaints from riders.

The surface mixture of sand and fibre has been improved by the addition of a binder and around 8,500 tonnes will be used during the Olympics.

FEI secretary-general Ingmar De Vos, said they were very happy with the final result. He added: “We were happy to see that the footing is in good shape and ready for the competition and that the recent adverse weather conditions have had no negative effects.”

The eventing season has been particularly badly hit, with Badminton, Chatsworth and Gatcombe among those to be cancelled. An extension of the competitive eventing calendar into November is being considered.

Welcome return as Malton open the stable doors again

MALTON Open Stables Day is making a return after 10 years on August 26.

In previous years, the event attracted racing enthusiasts from all over the country and this year the organisers are hoping it will do the same again.

Twenty-five of the yards around Malton, Norton and further afield across Ryedale will be opening their doors to the public. Trainers in this area have been very successful over the past few months and visitors will be able to see some of racing’s star horses.

Among them are the two horses trained by Malcolm Jefferson, Cape Tribulation and Ataglance, which won at both the Cheltenham Festival and at the Grand National meeting at Aintree.

Trainer Richard Fahey celebrated his first British group one winner last Saturday when Mayson, ridden by Paul Hannagan, won the July Cup at Newmarket.

Tim Easterby’s yard has also been doing well along with many others in this area.

The yards will be open from 9am until 1pm and admission is £10 which includes free parking and coach transport to the yards in Norton and to Richard Fahey’s stables at Musley bank.

In the afternoon, visitors to the stables will be offered a discounted entry price at Beverley races.

The event will also be raising money for Malton Hospital, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Jack Berry’s Rehabilitation Centre which is to be based in Malton.

For more information go to www.maltonstablesopenday.co.uk.