Record entries and bumper attendances at Floors Castle

Alex Mundell of Galashiels, riding Coolrock Gold Dust at the Floors Castle Trials (picture by Jim Crichton).
Alex Mundell of Galashiels, riding Coolrock Gold Dust at the Floors Castle Trials (picture by Jim Crichton).

Izzy Taylor led from the start to claim the £1750 top prize in the Floors Castle Cazenove Capital CIC** with Monkeying Around.

Izzy Taylor led from the start to claim the £1750 top prize in the Floors Castle Cazenove Capital CIC** with Monkeying Around.

The seven-year-old is the reigning Le Lion d’Angers six-year-old world champion and made light of Ian Stark’s cross-country course to finish well under the optimum time, reports Melanie Scott.

The Oxfordshire rider brought four horses to the Kelso at the weekend, for the Borders’ biggest annual horse event, and also finished ninth with Impromptu II.

Hector Payne filled second and fifth spots with double clears with Top Biats and Dynasty, while Sam Ecroyd also showed consistency with double clears for third and sixth with Kasseedorf and Renegade Marmalade.

Northumberland rider Emily Parker was eighth, with Hawick owner David Mactaggart’s Highly Delighted.

German young rider Antonia Baumgart dominated the hotly-contested Anderson Starthearn CIC* with Rapunzel, their first BE competition since travelling over to train with Great Britain eventing manager Chris Bartle four weeks ago. Antonia has ridden the Westpoint Ragazzoni 12-year-old mare for four years.

Claudia Claydon, from Selkirk, jumped a double clear to be 20th, with King Ralph, and Alex Mundell, from Galashiels, was also double clear to be a bit further down the line.

Matthew Wright topped the OI with Prince Mayo, a new ride for Matthew, although experienced at this level.

Northumberland’s Ben Hobday was runner up with the eight-year-old Shadow Man II.

Best of the Borders riders in this class was Kirsty Stark, with her experienced campaigner Harbour Lights in 12th place.

Robert Brickell from Melrose topped the Galedin Veterinary open novice with his nine-year- old gelding Gloutane Lord Lincoln.

Runner-up was Connie Wishart from Gordon with Devonair SH, while Jedburgh rider Anna Galbraith rode her sister Emily’s Caugherty Red Adair for fourth in the BE100 class.

There was a host of Borders riders in BE90 sections. Best result came in section N, where Kelso rider Jenny Christie enjoyed a win aboard Bellindene Rhuaridh, ahead of Jo Luton from Melrose in the runner-up position, with Birkhill Bronwen, while Perisa Bhatia from Peebles fourth with Aughnacliffe Gem.

In section E, Jennifer Lange, from Peebles, rode Flashed By into seventh spot, with Louise Hebdon and Danavery Bay eighth, Rachel Shiell and Glam Gerry ninth, and Amy Brown 10th with the former racehorse Croft Allure. Amy had, on the opening day, also won the Floors Castle Thoroughbred championship with Croft Allure, after winning the best National Hunt racehorse to riding horse class.

Katie Stephen was runner-up in BE90 section G with her own skewbald gelding, Ballyrobin Quiet Boy. Sophie Mason was sixth with the eight-year- old grey gelding Curravordy Builders Boy, following their success the previous weekend where, at the Ian Stark EC, they qualified for the JC/JC Showjumping Championships at the Royal Highland Show.

Amy Ralston was seventh with Alex Mundell’s Pebbly Limited Edition.

Eilidh Macaulay won the BE100 under 18 class with Casper Z, while and Daisy Job, from Melrose, was fourth, with Player.

With record entries of more than 1000 horses over the four days, plus a bumper attendance, the organisers were buoyant at the positive feedback and are already planning ahead to next year.