3 mei 2014
Ashfields National – so farConditions at Ashfields are good for the 90 starters on the marathon today after some rain during the week to soften the ground and sun and wind to dry it out and the prospect of a cool but sunny day. A dozen four-in-hands are battling for selection and, after dressage, Boyd Exell (AUS, 32.5) has a 16-penalty lead over Georgina Hunt but Wilf Bowman-Ripley is close behind.
Busy Barry Capstick (IRL) heads the advanced horse pairs on 34.23 by almost 20. He also judged the novice, para, horse fours and tandem classes. Open horse pairs’ leader Karen Scott-Barrett is neck-and-neck with South Africa’s Wayne Van Niekirk and fellow countryman Rodney Forster is on their tails. Local newcomer Wendy Embleton, who won the class at the club event at Easter – her first time competing with a pair – lies fourth in a class of ten. Local Terry Bailey is setting out to replicate his Easter club event win in the advanced horse class with a half-penalty lead over BC Chairman Jock McFarlane. Maxine Ingham equalled Terry’s sparkling dressage score, 39.36, in the open horse class. Sara Howe’s Section A Welsh ponies top the pony fours, 46.19, and second, Tim Bradford’s new greys, have some distance to make up. The eight para-drivers are behind Debbie Daniel, 37.0: it’s their World Championship at Sandringham at the end of June but it could be anyone’s this weekend. Minta Winn is ahead of Tracey Fletcher in the advanced pony class. The novice and intermediate classes are well supported: spectators will have plenty to watch and enjoy in the spring sunshine.