Weston News Items
Happy 40th Birthday Weston Park Horse Trials
- Published: 02 February 2018
Once again for many riders Weston Park in the spring will be their last outing before Badminton so we have high hopes for April 2018. As usual the April dates will include Advanced, Intermediate and Novice sections. We will also be hosting the European Team Preliminary Trial for both the Pony Championships and the under 18 and under 21 Championships so plenty of chances to see the rising stars of the future.
2018 will be a special year as it is Weston Park Horse Trials 40th Birthday. Weston Park Horse Trials was started by BHS Staffordshire County Committee in 1978. I remember this well as this was the year that James was born and I was Chief Dressage Steward when I was very pregnant. From 1980 – 83 Kit Dwerryhouse was organiser of the Horse Trials. At the end of 1983 I was sent in to talk to Lord Bradford on behalf of the British Horse Trials Association by Peter Hodgson and as a family we agreed to take over the Horse Trials. Not sure I really knew what I had let myself in for as I had only organised one other affiliated Horse Trials during the summer before in 1983 at Uttoxetor.
We also had the pleasure of running the Pony Club Championships from 1984 to 1998 until the V Festival started at Weston and the Weston Park Pony Club team moved to Sansaw Park.
So for 35th year the Plant family have run Weston Park Horse Trials. We have very fond memories, lots of laughter, tears but most of all a great deal of fun. We have kept records going back with lots of letters. I recently dipped into the 1984 file to find Midland Bank on the front of the Programme, nostalgic reading down the 51 Advanced entries to name just a few, Rachel Baylis, Marjorie Comerford, Andy Griffiths, Mark Phillips, Jane Starkey, Karen Straker, and John Tulloch, just a few that tackled my first ever Advanced track, they were great days.
I am sure that many of you have great memories and we would love to hear from you, just a few words and maybe a special old photograph, perhaps go on the Weston Park Horse Trials Facebook page and start the ball rolling, one day I will put it all together. There is a great deal of satisfaction and pride in seeing just how many of our original volunteers and founder sponsors we still have, where would our sport be without them.
So as the event enters its 40th year we look forward to welcoming all the competitors, sponsors and volunteers for another thrill packed year of eventing by amazing equine and human athletes at the wonderful Weston Park.
Joint Organisers: - Janet Plant & Vicky Plant
Win a year’s Sponsorship with Blue Chip 7th October 2017
- Published: 07 September 2017
Weston Park is one of the Midlands premier venues, visitors are attracted from all over the world, home to the Earls of Bradford which today is run by a charitable foundation. Weston Park Horse Trials has experience stretching over 30 years' in show casing Championship level events with educational Cross Country Courses, respected for bold and encouraging beautifully built and dressed fences at all levels.
The weekend will be packed on Saturday the Blue Chip BE90 and the Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge, Sunday the Rookery Park Novice sections including under 18's plus the Blue Chip BE100. Each day will run a Mitsubishi Regional Final which is a qualifier for the Badminton Grassroots Championship. The organisers of Weston Park Horse Trials are thrilled to be working with all our Sponsors.
The Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge was designed to enhance the education of the BE80(T) competitor, attracting new competitors to British Eventing and last year provided the Grassroots of our sport within the region an exciting end to their season.
The challenge has run qualifiers within The Central North West at the 8 qualifying events
The final proved to be so popular with competitors that they had to be split into two sections with Blue Chip Feed providing a year's sponsorship to the winner of each section. This great prize will also include the winner starring in Blue Chip promotions. What a fantastic prize!
Clare Blaskey, founder of Blue Chip Feed, said "Blue Chip is thrilled to continue with their support of the Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge. We were thrilled with last year's championship which had two great winners who Blue Chip are sponsoring this year. As a company we have always supported grassroots riders and Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge is the perfect championship for riders starting out their eventing career."
One of last year's winners Chloe Fairley is delighted the Challenge is continuing and commented: "It is very exciting to hear that the wonderful Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge is being held again in 2017 and with the final at the beautiful Weston Park. Winning was the highlight of 2016. The final at Weston Park had a real 'championship' feel. To be able to gallop around the stunning parkland and over such beautifully presented fences was a massive thrill.
It is testament to the excitement of the event that both my sister and husband have been inspired to have a go at qualifying for the championships. My husband only started riding in his late 30's and my sister hasn't competed for more than 10 years. There is going to be fierce competition in our yard to try and be the face of Blue Chip 2018!"
Our other section winner Georgia Butler commented: "Thank you so much to Blue Chip for running the Central North West BE80(T) Challenge. 2016 has been my first full season eventing since I was a teenager (approximately 25 years ago!!!) and the Challenge was absolutely tailor made for people like me."
Final comment from Chris Farr, BE Sport Operations Manager "The inaugural Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge was an unqualified success with very deserving winners in Chloe Fairley and Georgia Butler. BE are delighted this initiative was so well supported in 2016 and we are sure 2017 will only see it grow. This is a great additional opportunity for members competing at the events involved in the challenge culminating in an exciting final at Weston Park (2)."
Wonderful Weston Park – Everyone enjoyed the wall-to-wall Spring sunshine!
- Published: 26 April 2017
Janet and Vicky Plant and their organising team ran 13 sections from Novice to Advanced across the beautiful Shropshire countryside thanks to the kind permission of the Weston Park Trustees on 8th and 9th April.
Zara and High Kingdom Back to Winning Form
Zara Tindall and her 2012 Olympic horse High Kingdom returned to winning form taking the Rookery Park Stud sponsored Advanced class. Tindall and High Kingdom were the first competitors in the section to jump clear in the show jumping and then added a fast cross country round over the Janet Plant designed course which included four new fences. In the perfect spring weather the ground could not have been better. Tindall said 'I am really pleased I came here and very happy that I won. The course rode really well and it was a good prep outing for us before we go to Rolex Kentucky. High Kingdom did feel good today. I didn't set out particularly to go fast, but the ground is so good it is hard sometimes to get the old boys to go slowly, they know their job and often it is better to just let them find their own rhythm. As High Kingdom is getting on, I just enjoy each time I ride him, winning was just a bonus".
Sam Ecroyd enjoyed a Novice outing as he scored a win in both the Moores Metals Section A and Mirrors for Training Section C. Riding Catena Vant Gellutt Z, owned by Mrs Vicki Irlam, the combination had a dressage score of 28.3 and 0.4 cross country time penalties – total 28.7. Renegade Marmalade, owned by Mrs Penelope Ecroyd and Mrs Carole Sweeney, jumped a double clear to finish on their dressage score of 25.3.
Izzy Taylor was in flying form jumping a double clear to win the Landsbrook Stud Section B riding Mrs Lyssa Sheppard's Ballycoog Guinness with 22.5 penalties and taking 1st and 2nd place in Section E with Monkeying Around 27.5 and Star of Memory 28.6. Also, 1st and 2nd place in the Friends of Weston Park Open Intermediate Section J riding Miss Emily Rothschild's Cadilac 29.0 and Extreme II owned by Mrs Nicola Taylor 37.3.
Open Novice D went to Ben Edwards riding Mr Paul Tapner and Mrs Jenny Waaler's Wickstead Kangaroo 32.8.
Heidi Coy led the under-21 Open Intermediate from start to finish with her own Royal Fury adding just 1.2 time penalties to a dressage score of 29.5.
Dhi Babett K, owned by Mrs Julie Record, Mrs Katy Carver and Mr. Gury Wealthall, ridden by Becky Woolven were the winning combination in Intermediate Section I with 28.6 penalties. Spencer Sturmey suffered a nasty fall at fence 12, the sunken road that left him with a dislocated and broken nose and a broken cheekbone. He was taken to hospital but released on Sunday evening.
Millie Dumas riding Mrs Ellie Guy's Cameya won Intermediate Section M after an impressive dressage score of just 17.7.
The Rookery Park Stud Open Intermediate Section N went to the Swedish rider Ludwig Svennerstal riding his own Win and Love 28.1.
The Charles Owen Pony Trial – Sections F and G
The Charles Owen Pony Trial Sections were two hotly contested sections. Section F went to Saffron Creswell riding her own Cuffesgrange Little Ric who finished on their dressage score of 25.0. Second place went to Saffie Osborne riding Lucy Robinson's Red Dandy 32.7.
Winners of Section G were Connie Gill riding her own Hotshots who also jumped a double clear to finish on a score on 29.0. Bizzy Loffet and Starflower finished in second place on a score of 30.8.
Joint Organiser, Janet Plant said 'It has been absolutely beautiful weather for both days. Often we have rain but this has been perfect'. Weston Park now look forward to their Autumn fixture which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, 7th and 8th October 2017 boasting classes from Novice, BE 100, BE 90 and the Blue Chip Central North West BE 80 Challenge Final.
For further details please contact Janet Plant – 07836 579810
World Class Competition
- Published: 31 March 2017
The world's leading riders including Zara Tindall, William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd and Izzy Taylor will be competing at this highly popular event, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th April.
Situated on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, the house was built in 1671 and has been the ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford. Today the House and Park is a Charitable Foundation, the family collections of porcelain, antiques and portraits are available for all to enjoy. It is through staging events such as the Horse Trials that the ongoing restoration and maintenance of this historic Estate is financed.
The superbly constructed course, designed by Janet Plant, will run over a thousand acres of rolling wooded parkland and the fences are solid and imposing. Each class runs over a different course designed to be testing but fair. Janet Plant comments "it is a real buzz and privilege to design on such a fabulous estate. Once again we welcome the Charles Owen Pony Trial, which we have run for a number of years' - this has attracted a large number of entries and will prove to be an exciting competition".
The course for the Novice classes – sponsored by Moores Metals, Landsbrook Stud and Mirrors for Training plus the Charles Owen Pony Trials will run on the central park giving wonderful views from the vantage points which is greatly appreciated by owners and spectators. The Show Jumping has been relocated down near the Kidney Pool. There will be a separate arena each day which should produce good going for everyone. The Show Jumping course will be designed by our new designer Martin Cox who has a great deal of experience and we give him a warm welcome to the 'Team'.
For many of the top riders in the Advanced sections this event acts as an ideal 'warm –up' for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May. The Advanced course includes four new beautifully designed fences!
These horses will run Cross Country on Sunday between 1 pm and 4pm – so be sure to be in the park early! The event are delighted long-standing supporters, David and Catherine Witt, owners of Rookery Park Stud, are kindly continuing their sponsorship of the Advanced class.
Once again the hotly contested Open Intermediate Under 21 section will see our young riders and juniors competing for a place in the British European teams this summer. Friends of Weston Park support the Open Intermediate sections and in addition there will be three Intermediate sections all battling for a place in the British Intermediate Championship qualifier.
Saturday – Novice and Open Novice plus the Pony Trials
Dressage 8am; Show Jumping 8.45 am; Cross Country 9.45 am
Sunday – Intermediate, Open Intermediate and Advanced classes: Dressage 8.O0am Show Jumping 8.45 am; Cross Country 9.45am Advanced horses 1pm to 4 pm.
Admission: Cars with a BE membership card – free. Non-members Adults £10 per person; accompanied Children under 12 years are free.
Walk round the beautiful parkland, enjoy looking at the varied and interesting range of trade stands and indulge in some shopping, with everything from country clothing and equestrian products to fashion accessories on show. Hot and cold fast food facilities are available or bring a picnic to eat while enjoying events in the main arena. There is something for all the family to enjoy!
Location: Weston Park is situated at Weston under Lizard, Shropshire on the A5, 7 miles west of junction 12, off the M6 and junction 3 off the M54.
Interviews and photo opportunities can be arranged. For further details please contact: Vicky Plant - Tel: 07779 017421 or visit the website www.westonht.co.uk
During the event please contact Rachael via her mobile 07889 083194
Location change for Show Jumping
- Published: 13 March 2017
In 2016 the weather conditions caused problems with the Novice show jumping arena. As a result the arena has been relocated down near to the Kidney Pool. There will be a separate arena each day which should produce good going for everyone. We also have a new SJ course designer this year, Martin Cox, who has a great deal of experience and has built some fabulous courses. I am sure you will give him a warm welcome to the team.
Thank goodness for internet entries, Lesley and Paul Hagerty our entry secretaries spend the winter in New Zealand but when Paul had Chicken pox he was not fit for his return flight so they found themselves a week later opening entries on the return flight stopover in Auckland airport, now that's dedication.
With only a week to go before ballot day entries for all sections are coming in and the office is very busy dealing with sponsors, volunteers and trade stands. Looking at the 2016 map of where our competitors originate we continue to be impressed with their dedication, and early starts, as they travel from as far as Scotland, South Wales, the South Coast, Northumberland and Suffolk.
We have been very lucky with the weather and, between wet days, have put out Weston's courses. The team is really enthusiastic about the April Event and we have had such fun putting 59 portable fences out. It is a real buzz and privilege to design on such a fabulous estate. Just as a competitor has a setback in their training so do designers and builders. I had budgeted to build 2 new Advanced fences for 2017 but one old Advanced fence, the Flower Box, just fell apart as James lifted it and another has suffered damage over the winter. Looking on the bright side the Advanced will now get 4 new fences. Intermediate and Advanced courses will run in the same direction as 2016. However the use of portable fences has given us the opportunity to change many of the combinations giving the courses a fresh feel and challenge.
Once again the Novice course will run on the central park without road crossings, as it did last spring. This gives wonderful views of most of the course from a couple of vantage points which I know is much appreciated by the owners. Once again the Novice course will welcome the Charles Owen Pony Trial which we have produced for many years. The good news is that there has been a big influx of Ponies registering for these trials so make sure your Pony entries are in before ballot day.
Competitors please note that you need to allow time to get up to dressage for all sections as dressage will be at the top of the park on very good going.
We look forward to welcoming competitors into the park this April, don't forget to send in your entries so that you're not disappointed.
Janet Plant – Joint Organiser