The following is a report written by Trisna Tungadi detailing the Show Jumping Cuppers competition held at Hill Top Equestrian Centre on 16th March 2014.
Present: Lindsey Tate, Beth Jones, Lydia Sinnett-Smith, Tamsin Spelman (Queens’)
Trisna Tungadi, Kirsty Jones, Ellie Parrott, and Caroline Appleby (Murray Edwards and Newnham)
On Sunday 16th March we hosted the annual show jumping Cuppers at Hill Top. It was a warm, breezy spring day. We gathered at the usual spot outside Sigdewick Site car park before departing together to Hill Top. The late timing of the Cuppers this term meant that the number of participants was not as high as in previous years. However we still managed to get a total of eight participants, seven of whom had attended the show jumping Clinic held the week before (9th March) where we received expert jumping advice from first team members Clark Glasgow and Alice Watson. Everyone had a brilliant time at the Clinic and thus spirits were high on the day of Cuppers.
There were two teams competing, the first was Queens’ team (Beth Jones, Tamsin Spelman, Lydia Sinnett-Smith, and Lindsey Tate) and the second was Murray Edwards/Newnham team (Caroline Appleby, Kirsty Jones, Ellie Parrot and Trisna Tungadi). Upon reaching Hill Top, we started building the course with help from Sharon. Fortunately we were able to use the larger arena for the Cuppers, as for the Clinic in the previous week, we had had to use the smaller arena which actually made some of the turns and rounds rather interesting, especially that of Georgia Vann on Astra as Astra tends to jump big and lengthens her strides considerably upon landing after a jump, so one needs to be prepared to collect her immediately, otherwise you find yourself very quickly arriving at the far side of the arena! The course was built, however we then spent a while deciding what the best approach to the last fence would be – as it was situated in a rather tricky location… We then did our best to walk the course and memorised the order of the fences to be jumped. Soon, the first four riders mounted their horses and starting to warm up. The warm up session went smoothly.
Cuppers kicked off with Ellie Parrot on Pebbles from Newnham for the 50 cm class. Pebbles and Ellie had a lovely round, with Pebbles ever so keen and Ellie maintaining a steady rhythm over the fences. Unfortunately due to the excitement of the day and the earlier slight confusion when we had to decide how to jump the last fence, being the first on the course, Pebbles and Ellie jumped it from the wrong side, so sadly had to be eliminated from the competition.
The second rider was Kirsty Jones on Holly from Newnham, still in the 50 cm class. Both Kirsty and Holly produced a nice and steady clear round, which then put Newnham in the lead due to the earlier elimination of Ellie and Pebbles. Next on the 50 cm course was Tamsin Spelman, also on Pebbles, from Queens’. Tamsin and Pebbles jumped a clear round up until the second to last fence, where the tightness of the course and the keen excitable Pebbles resulted in both Pebbles and Tamsin making an unforeseen sharp turn and narrowly avoiding jumping the wrong fence. Unfortunately this manoeuvre lead to Tamsin falling off. However, Tamsin wasn’t hurt and got back on Pebbles to finish the course in perfect fashion.
The fences were raised to 70 cm, and the first rider up was Caroline Appleby from Murray Edwards riding Chocolate . Both Caroline and the genuine, although laid back, Chocolate did a lovely and tidy round. Next up was Lydia Sinnett-Smith from Queens’ riding Travao. Lydia and Travao rode a faultless clear round.
The fences were then raised to 85 cm for the last class. Trisna Tungadi from Newnham rode Holly and acquired four penalties due to a refusal at the second fence. Holly was ever so keen, and Trisna’s attempts to control her were slightly too late – thus resulting in Holly making a sharp turn towards the fence and losing the rhythm of the canter, leading to a refusal. Trisna and Holly then proceeded to jump the rest of the course clear. Following them was Beth Jones from Queens’ riding Travao who produced a fast, tidy clear round. Lindsey Tate was then last to go. Initially riding Bramble, a newcomer to Hilltop, Lindsey discovered that Bramble wasn’t on top form during the warm up and mutual agreement between Sharon and Lindsey resulted in Lindsey swapping Bramble for Travao. After a very limited warm up time, Lindsey and Travao rode an exemplary clear round, putting Queens’ in the lead. The three combined clear rounds for Queens, by Beth, Lydia and Lindsey, put them in the lead to win Cuppers with a total score of 318 points (highest score wins here). The Newnham/Murray Edwards team came second with a total score of 265 points collectively. Both Lindsey and Beth were tied on a score of 112 points apiece for the best round.
Overall, it was a good day out at Hill Top – with the sun shining and a spot of show jumping, you can’t really ask for more!