Chester Hall Events (Speedgate), Kent, 12-14 August
Featuring riders, Claire Allmett, Sarah Williams, Claire Lewis, Alison Turner, Zoe Golding, Hayley Bates, Avery Maude, Shirley Babb, Alycia Port, Philip Gover, Corrie Fautley, Georgie Kneller, Laura Greenwood, Megan Oakey and Karen Oki
A PERSONAL BEST 68.29% Prix St Georges made Claire Allmett and Soloyst (pictured above) the highest scoring small tour combination at the Chester Hall Events Area Festival. It was one of many personal bests achieved by riders in classes that were scrutinised by a panel of three judges. Mark Ruddock at C commented: “I have never seen this combination before, but they were a pleasure to judge. Although there could have been a bit more power it was fault free and it looked happy, easy and fluent.”
Claire has had her Blue Hors Hertug-sired gelding, known as 'Max’ since he was three and backed him herself. She said: “We’ve taken our own pace. We have learned and done everything together: all his faults are mine. He has a forgiving nature which has allowed us to improve.”
Max and Claire are still on a learning journey. After time off in 2016 recovering from a wear and tear injury, Max was called upon to be field companion to Claire’s youngster. It led to a massive life style change for 15-year-old Max as he now lives out 24/7. Claire commented: “It’s proved to be the best thing ever for him. It keeps him mobile and his tendency to put on weight when stabled is regulated.”
The life style change continues into Max’s training which often takes place while hacking the headlands on the farm in Staplehurst where Claire keeps her horses. She said: "It takes a little bit of confidence as a rider but it’s made me focus on creating the feeling of connection, straightness and a correct way of going that I used only to be able to achieve in an arena. I think that Max has benefited from not being always worked on artificial surfaces and it has strengthened him no end."
Downe, Kent-based rider and trainer Sarah Williams — now also a list 2 judge — was the sole rider in the Silver Inter I, scoring 64.47% and 66.67% respectively with Felia and Bohigas W. Sarah has had Felia since she was a two-year-old
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