Big names set for Witchingham challenge

Great Witchingham horse trials have attracted a record entry of 730 horses to compete at dressage, show jumping and cross country tomorrow and over the weekend.

Great Witchingham horse trials have attracted a record entry of 730 horses to compete at dressage, show jumping and cross country tomorrow and over the weekend.

Leading riders in the intermediate 3ft 9in sections tomorrow include Pippa Funnell, Lucinda Green, Piggy French, Lawrence Hunt, Owen Moore, Anna Hilton, Sacha Pemple and Victoria Carlerback.

Leading competitiors with multiple rides over the weekend include Piggy French with nine horses, Richard Jones with 10, Lawrence Hunt with nine, Owen Moore with eight, Andrew Downes five, John Paul Sheffield four, Nini French three, Matthew Wright 10 and George Davies five.

All entrants compete at dressage, show jumping and cross country with penalty points in each discipline so that the winner of each session has the lowest number of penalties. The cross country courses are ridden to an optimum time which is usually the deciding factor in the final placings.


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Norfolk riders include Kelly Aldous, Sarah Wales, Louise Barber, Clare-Louise Bond, Francesca Rizza, Harriet Ong and Jo Chipperfield.

Tomorrow, show jumping starts at 11am with cross country at noon, the last horse going across country at 5.30pm.

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On Saturday and Sunday, dressage starts at 8.30am, show jumping at 8am and cross country at 10am, with the last horse going across country at 5.45pm.

Blackwater Park is just off the A1067 by the Norfolk Wildlife Park turning to Reepham. There will be trade stands, refreshments and a licensed bar. Entry is £10 per car to include a programme.

The third unaffiliated dressage competition at Poplars Riding Club, Wreningham, near Wymondham, attracted over 50 entries.

Of that total, 22 riders contested the first class, prelim 7, won by Martin Harrison on Traveller. He also came second in class 2, prelim 10, beaten by Kelly Chaston on Dirra Cruise on 71.36pc, the highest score on the day.

Greensleeves, ridden by Pat Webb, won Novice 25 and Susie Claridge rode her mother's experienced campaigner Kasper to win the 'Pick-aTest' class.

The next event at Poplars RC is an April 1 pleasure ride for the East Anglian Trail Riders Association (EATRA). The event starts from 10 until 11.30am over eight miles of country lanes, tracks, and grass margins, and a 2½ mile circuit on grass. A few small cross-country jumps are available as well.

The entry fee is £6 for EATRA and Poplars RC members and £10 for others. Contact 07774 692043, entries close on March 25.

The next unaffiliated dressage competition at Poplars RC is on April 14. The closing date for entries is April 6 - information from 07921 809853.

Results, Prelim 7: 1 Martin Harrison and Traveller 67pc, 2 Rosy Brooks and Understated 65pc, 3 Emma Newman and Brett 64.5pc.

Prelim 10: 1 Kelly Chaston and Dirra Cruise 71.36pc, 2 Traveller 69.54pc, 3 Brett 68.63pc.

Novice 25: 1 Pat Webb and Greensleeves, 2 Jo Jolly and Orlando's Pye 64.8pc, 3 Victoria Salisbury and Percy also on 64.8pc.

Pick-a-test: 1 Susie Claridge and Kasper 69.2pc, 2 Jo Carmichael and Woody 67.2pc, 3 Victoria Griffin and Jupiter II 64.14pc.

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