Top talent at Royal Norfolk Show

Jessica Reed Else

Jessica Reed Else - Credit: Archant

Competitors from across the county flocked to the most highly anticipated event of the year, the Royal Norfolk show. The true talent of our county's riders was seen over the two days, with many local riders taking the honours in the showing and showjumping classes.

Humberstone Equestrian Centre put forward a triumphant trio to win the team competition. Conor Sharpe, Lucy Walsh and Natasha Newby made up the team, who all wore matching show gear, tack and even colour co-ordinated their horses.

Great Yarmouth rider Joanne Masterson and her OAP Black Monday, stole the show for the oldies in the ridden veteran class. The 21-year-old mare then went on to win the ridden veteran championship class.

'To win and then be champion at the Royal Norfolk, was brilliant and also very nostalgic, as the last time we competed here as a partnership she was Champion Working Hunter Pony,' said Jo. Tig, as she is known around the stable, is now semi retired and hacks out most days with her five-year-old son.

Other riders from across the region who took advantage of the high profile show included Jessica Reed-Else from Wisbech who claimed the mountain and moorland first ridden class on her mother's Rosemarche Ribbonwood. Jessica, who is only nine, has been with Woody for three seasons and will be heading to the Royal International and HOYS again this year after qualifying at the Norfolk Show.

You may also want to watch:

'He has been just brilliant,' said mother Lorraine. In the hugely popular Retraining of Racehorse class, competitors were keen to impress Grand National winning trainer Jenny Pitman, who had travelled especially to judge the event.

Newmarket-based owner Sara Cumani won the class on Purple Moon, who was described by the legendary racehorse trainer as 'such a sweety'. Bury St Edmunds rising star, Chloe Winchester, was once again on top taking the winning position in the Maureen Holden Memorial 1.20m on Zandokan H. Not only did she scoop winning position in this class, but came third in the International Stairway competition on Avoka Valyrie, up against huge competition from the likes of Hickstead Derby 2013 winner Phillip Miller, who went on to win the class.

Most Read

The Private Driving classes were particularly well attended, with a variety of classes showcasing this elegant and stylish sport. The horses and ponies varied hugely, from a magnificent pair of gelderlanders to small Welsh ponies pulling a variety of vehicles.

The non-hackney classes were well supported and it was a beautiful Welsh Cob X Hackney that took the honours in the over 13.2hh section. Seven-year-old Maylands Magpie was bred by owner and exhibitor Liz Edmunds who travelled from her yard in Hertfordshire to compete. Magpie's beautiful looks were matched by his extravagant paces and Liz explained: 'His paces don't need any help from me – they're completely natural.'

Although Magpie's dam was also shown in harness, he was actually an 'accidental' foal.

'Orchid, his mother, went to a show and when we got back we were all exhausted and we put her away but when we got up we found the mare running around the yard with the stallion. We didn't think he had got to her as she's pretty feisty but then Magpie was born on Valentine's Day – a happy accident.'

Horse enthusiasts had a thrilling treat as carriage drivers from all over the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland, Australia and South Africa competed in qualifying classes and in the local club's event at Sandringham estate last weekend.

Para drivers, several of them in wheelchairs, also held their championship.

The smallest horses stood at only 34' and despite being vertically challenged they fended off competition from horses over 16.2hh. Cerys Gilbert, 10, from Guyhirn, was the youngest driver with Pepper, her granddad's 19-year-old Welsh Section A pony, with mum Cathy as groom.

In the introductory pre-novice class, Alysha Lane of King's Lynn drove Welsh Daydream Believer in the pre-novice class to take third place and Ellis Shelton, 16, from Thetford, drove her father's pony Sonic into second. However, it was Emily Viller, 15, from Spalding, who won the class with Welsh/Hackney Ryan. Deirdre Luff of Hedenham topped the pony tandem class with Connemara Iffie Liffey Luna and Bunty. Liz Harcombe took the best dressage, fastest marathon and overall winner's prizes home, beating seven other open pony drivers with World Horse Welfare Yogi Bear. Tabitha King from Soham was second and Janet Seaman of Beccles was fourth. Chris Patrick of Halesworth won the novice horse ribbon, while Danielle Twitchen from Sudbury topped the pony fours class.

After last year's disappointment with the show being cancelled at the last minute because of a third party's equipment failure, the Wayland Show Committee have been working flat out to make this year's event on Sunday, August 4, better than ever.

Unlike other shows of comparable size – around 15,000 people through the gates in 2011 – it is run by volunteers in order to raise vital funds for local charities.

Schedules are available on line at

The show organisers need your help too – helpers are needed to set up the show, or on the day itself. Contact Adrian Soskin on 07808 001687.

The Beccles and Bungay Riding Club hosted BRC's Area 14 show-jumping qualifier at their showground at Geldeston Hall, Norfolk.

Sponsored by Natural Animal Feeds, winning teams and highest-placed individuals outside the qualifying teams go forward to the BRC National Championships in September.

The hosts were strong, taking the junior and senior novice team competition, with an individual accolade in the senior novice class going to Davina Cattermole on Hugo Boss, who also ride for the Beccles and Bungay. Four individual juniors were in the Area 14 Style Jumping qualifier.

First was Daisy Murray from the Halesworth and District Riding Club on Churchside Garnet, with Lydia Sida-Page from the Beccles and Bungay close behind.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter