Allerton Park lure attraction for Wilson

OLYMPIC ace Nicola Wilson says she will be targeting glory at one of her favourite one-day events at this weekend’s Allerton Park Horse Trials.

Nicola Wilson rides novice horse Hero Motivator.

When the Northallerton star is not conquering the likes of London 2012, prestigious CCI four-star events such as the Burghley and Badminton Horse Trials are regular stomping grounds.

Comparatively speaking, this weekend’s Knaresborough showpiece is a few rungs down the ladder but Wilson says she relishes the one-day Allerton Park tests which the Northallerton star regards as perfect for educating her younger horses. Proof of the importance that the 36-year-old places on the event comes in the shape of eight entries for this weekend’s action with Wilson’s octet led by Annie Clover in her Advanced class.

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Hero Motivator will also strut his stuff at Novice level with Night Porter on Intermediate Novice duty and three other horses – Watermill Vision, One Two Many and Ngong Hills bidding for glory at Open Intermediate level.

Two others, Spot On Jeeves and Dartans Greenlough Tom, will attempt to shine at BE100 level.

Wilson – 11th on Opposition Buzz at Burghley recently – will be a busy woman over the next two days but the popular Yorkshire ace would not have it any other way. “The one day events are the preparation really to get the horses educated and such like for the three-day events which are bigger events and more prestigious,” Wilson told the Yorkshire Post.

“But as far as a one-day event goes, Allerton Park is really lovely and it’s up there with one of my favourite one-days.

“The cross country courses are really well designed and built and they are very educational for the horses which I think is important,” she said.

“They always walk a little bit challenging which again is a good education for the horse and if you go well round there then it just sets you up well for a three-day event.

“And also, as with all the Yorkshire events, everybody is really friendly and welcoming and it’s nice to have the support. We always look forward to Allerton Park and hopefully the horses will go well!”

Another female rider very much looking forward to this weekend’s event is Pocklington’s Harriet Morris-Baumber – who approaches the Knaresborough Trials in winning form. Morris-Baumber will be represented by Olympic Belle in an Intermediate section this weekend – fresh from winning a Novice class at Hutton In The Forrest last weekend.

Olympic Belle is also Yorkshire owned by Emma Clark from Wistow, near Selby, who bred the horse known as ‘Nel’ herself.

Now Morris-Baumber hopes to give Clark something to shout about both at Allerton Park this weekend and also at Aske Hall next weekend when Olympic Belle will target his first CIC one-star test.

“Mrs Clark is delighted that ‘Nel’ ran so well last weekend,” said Morris-Baumber.

“I am very excited about what’s coming up in next few weeks!”

Reflecting on last weekend’s success, Morris Baumber added: “We had a very good day and I won my Novice sections at Hutton in the Forest by over ten marks.

“Although the conditions were very testing due to the wet weather and the ground being muddy – all the other classes were abandoned – Olympic Belle was outstanding and produced a superb test for a mark of 29 then jumped double clear adding only two time faults to her excellent dressage score.

“We finished on 31 and the nearest person to us in second place was on 41.2 so a clear victory.

“The cross country course was a real test of stamina and accuracy with the steep Cumbrian hills and some challenging combinations to jump, but ‘Nel’ stormed round despite horizontal rain and 60mph gales she felt superb.”

Action at Allerton Park begins at 8am both today and tomorrow with Beverley’s Gary Parsonage, Stokesley’s Badminton Grassroots winner Katie Hardisty and Market-Weighton’s Lucie Cawood among the other big names on show.

Admission costs £10 per car with all occupants admitted thereafter.

For more info call 01423 330585.