Strathearn Pony Club asserted their dominance across the discipline of eventing in Scotland by taking a landslide victory in the South Cup.
Hosted by Fife Hunt Pony Club the competition at Auchlishie Eventing saw junior riders contest a variety of classes to score points for their respective Scottish Pony Clubs.
The competition was making a welcome return to the fixtures list following a year’s absence as a result of adverse weather last year.
Kicking off proceedings with the open class win was Laurencekirk rider Leona Blacklaws and her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Eclipse vant Schuurken.
The partnership, now in their second season together, also contest British Eventing and British Showjumping competitions competing to novice and Foxhunter levels respectively.
“Oakley performed really well in the dressage,” commented Leona, who trains weekly with local coach Hamish Cameron. Although showjumping is usually their strongest phase, she added: “She found the combinations very short, resulting in an uncharacteristic two poles.”
Nonetheless, a fast and clear cross country left them in pole position with a 12.8-point margin over the remainder of the open field.
“She felt fantastic,” added Leona. “She is definitely a horse that fills you with confidence across the country. No fence is really too big for her and she always helps me out along the way.”
The win stands the duo in good stead for their international debut in the CIC* contest at Hopetoun, following a double clear and third placing at early Scottish event Kirrie as well as qualifying runs at Wee Burgie and Dalkeith.
Backing up a recent spring hunter trials win, 14-year-old Morrisons Academy pupil Eilidh MacAulay was just one rider to help Strathearn pony club towards their overall win.
She took the first eventing red rosette riding her grey horse Casper. She bought the eight-year-old from the Lohoars at Drumcarrow Equestrian, outside St Andrews, at the end of last year and continues to get showjump training from Angus.
Notching up a staggering 18.8 penalty dressage in the 90cm class Eilidh said: “I really wasn’t expecting to win.”
She has worked hard to improve both Casper and her other pony JoJo’s flatwork with event rider and coach Julia Craig. As a result, JoJo also achieved a top score of 21.8, ultimately finishing in third place in his 1m intermediate section. “Both the boys were absolute stars,” said Eilidh. “I was so happy with both of them.”
SOUTH CUP 1 Strathearn (23); 2 Fife Hunt (17); 3 Lanark and Renfrew (14); 4 Deeside (12); 5 Strathblane (10); 6 Linlithgow and Stirling (8).
OPEN 1 Leona Blacklaws, Eclips Vant Schuurken, 33,8,0,0=41; 2 Maisie Sharp, Utah Babe (East Aberdeenshire), 49.8,4,0,0=53.8; 3 Clair Beaton, Irish Skipper (Lanark and Renfrew), 34,8,0,14=56.4. Dressage: 1 Hanna Cheape, HobNob (Fife Hunt), 30; 2 Ellie Gudgin, Spot O’ Bother (Fife Hunt), 31.2; 3 Leona Blacklaws, Eclips Vant Schuurken, 33.
OPEN INTERMEDIATE 1 Lisa Kernaghan, Cals Lad, 32.3,0,0,0=32.3; 2 Bruce Law, CVS Aquila (Deeside), 34.5, 4,0,0=38.5; 3 Dougie Dorrington, Lenamore San Jose, 32.8,10,0,0=42.8. Dressage: 1 Rosie Keith, Pru (Fife Hunt), 28.5; 2 Jessica Zajda, Nanteglwys Taliesin (Strathearn), 31.3; 3 Debbie McGregor, Megajackpot (Glenrothes), 31.8.
PONY CLUB INTERMEDIATE (16and under) 1 Jessica England, Get Set II (Strathearn), 20.8,0,0,0.4=21.2; 2 Daisy Cross, Ebony (Strathearn), 21.2,0,0,0.8=22; 3 Eilidh MacAulay, JoJo (Strathearn), 21.9,0,0,2.8=24.7. Dressage: 1 Jessica England, Get Set II (Strathearn), 20.8; 2 Daisy Cross, Ebony (Strathearn), 21.2; 3 Eilidh MacAulay, JoJo (Strathearn), 21.9.
PONY CLUB NOVICE (15 and over) 1 Lucy Wood, King of the Cats (Linlithgow and Stirling), 32.3,0,0,0=32.3; 2 Flora Lind, Zahira Lux (Bennachie), 34.6,0,0,0=34.6; 3 Hannah Aitken, Maydown Star (Fife Hunt), 33.5,4,0,0=37.5. Dressage: 1 Nicola Broad, Lovelyhill Poacher (East Lothian), 30.4; 2 Hannah Cuthill, Coco (Strathearn), 32.3; 3 Lucy Wood, King of the Cats (Linlithgow and Stirling), 32.3.
PONY CLUB NOVICE (14 andunder) 1 Eilidh MacAulay, Casper (Strathearn), 18.8,0,0,0=18.8; 2 Daisy Cross, Mr Tumnus (Strathearn), 20.4,0,0,0=20.4; 3 Tara Brisbane, Reuben (West Perthshire), 27.5,0,0,0=27.5. Dressage: 1 Eilidh MacAulay, Casper (Strathearn), 18.8; 2 Daisy Cross, Mr Tumnus (Strathearn), 20.4; 3 Freya Hartley, Kiltealy Bowe (Deeside), 22.5.
OPEN NOVICE 1 Isla Thomson, Umoristico, 25.5,0,0,0=25.5; 2 Lara Bayley Kerr, High Flight, 30.5,0,0,0=30.5; 3 Sophie Bultitude, Manhattan Skyline, 32,0,0,0=32. Dressage: 1 Isla Thomson, Umoristico, 25.5; 2 Kara Craig, Ned, 25.8; 3 Terri Lindley-Hurrell, Ultra Special, 29.5.
PONY CLUB NURSERY NOVICE (12and under) 1 Elliott Atkinson, Kaleidoscope Callisto (Eglinton Hunt), 27.9,0,0,0=27.9; 2 James Houlden, Pebbly Principal Boy (Strathearn), 29.6,0,0,0=29.6; 3 Iona Bruce, Zara (Angus), 34.2,0,0,0=34.2. Dressage: 1 Elliott Atkinson, Kaleidoscope Callisto (Eglinton Hunt), 27.9; 2 2 James Houlden, Pebbly Principal Boy (Strathearn), 29.6; 3 Jemima Cross, Lindesfarne Whinberry (Strathearn), 30.8.
PONY CLUB NURSERY NOVICE (13and over) 1 Milly Morrison, Delilah (Fife Hunt), 28.5,0,0,0=28.5; 2 Molly Barclay, Idris (Scholland Equestrian), 28.8,0,0,0=28.8; 3 Flora Wilson, Falfield Silver Willow (Strathearn), 35,0,0,0=35. Dressage: 1 Rebecca Scott, Silent Whisper II (North Argyll), 20.8; 2 Milly Morrison, Delilah (Fife Hunt), 28.5; 3 Molly Barclay, Idris (Scholland Equestrian), 28.8.
OPEN NURSERY NOVICE 1 Andrea Spence, Dutch Jewel, 24.3,0,0,0=24.3; 2 Kirsty Blackmore, Granite Girl, 26.8,0,0,0=26.8; 3 Emma Findlay, Holmside Valentino, 28.3,0,0,0=28.3. Dressage: 1 Andrea Spence, Dutch Jewel, 24.3; 2 Georgina Black, Budmeister, 25; 3 Kirsty Blackmore, Granite Girl, 26.8.