2 juli 2013

International Para Equestrian Championships in Sandringham

Birgitta Kronqvist (SWE) and Boleyn Clarence took an early lead in this eleven-strong class with a respectable 44.33 dressage score to Mick Ward’s solid 46.5. Lindsey Tyas Paice, driving Lady Iveagh’s Trixies Silver Spirit, held third place with Margaret Lupton fourth. Only 12 penalties separated first from eleventh in this surprisingly evenly matched group of drivers despite their diverse disabilities.

On the marathon Margaret, from Scotland, retired after the first obstacle, Sandringham’s deceptively easy-looking going perhaps taking its toll on Hardys Georgio. Mick’s renowned dare-devil speed round the tough, sometimes tight and varied post-and-rails obstacles put him in front despite Jan Ranzjin (NED) rocketing up from eleventh place to second after driving their six obstacles (instead of the other classes’ eight). The second Dutch driver, Aad Van Marwijk, drove the third fastest marathon with Lindsey coming fourth.

Barry Hunter’s cones course on Sunday was the final decider and shook up the scores even more as Birgitta’s mean 5.37 beat the rest of the pack, giving her third place overall, while Aad’s unfortunate 21.89 slipped him down to fourth. Jan only just retained second place and Lindsey was unlucky to slide down to fifth. Only eight penalties separated second to fifth places: it was a tough contest.

Yes, Mick Ward and Toby hit the jackpot with a clear win of almost 19 penalties to become the Para Equestrian Champion 2013.

Three para-drivers from Scotland’s Sports Driving Unlimited, Charlotte Thomson, Graham Smith, Lindsay May and also Penny Bragg took part in the club event at the weekend, also driving six obstacles, and had their own presentation of prizes and trophies.

Fiona Powell

Click here for the results

Click here for the videos