Posted on 24th August 2021 by Joe Lethbridge
This weekend saw the infamous Dassett Eventing Advanced 8/9-year-old class at Aston-Le-Walls, as part of their third affiliated horse trials of the 2021 season. Our team was out in force across the weekend, with eight horses competing at Novice, Intermediate and Advanced levels and posting some fantastic results.
Kate had three advanced horses running on Saturday, starting off the day with Call Me Dassett in the ‘regular’ advanced section. He put the demons of the Barbury water complex firmly behind him to jump a fantastic double clear, just adding a few time penalties to his good dressage mark. He looked incredible, showing off his experience at this level to make the tough cross country track look very easy.
In the 8/9yo section, MBF Dassett Legacy put in a lovely showjumping round, unfortunately just lowering a couple of poles, and then stormed round the cross country for an easy clear with a few time. Craig has done an amazing job to produce ‘Zam’ up to advanced and 4* level, and Kate only took on the ride earlier this season. This was his first advanced run with Kate, and he gave her “one of the easiest advanced cross-country rounds she has ever ridden”. Their partnership has developed so much in the short time Kate has been riding him, and we are very excited to see what the future holds for them as a combination.
HHS Dassett Class was also competing in the 8/9yo advanced, and posted a super 31 dressage before jumping a great showjumping round. Kate chose not to run him cross country, allowing him to save his energy for his next run in the 3* at Burgham.
As Dassett Eventing HQ is only ten minutes down the road, it meant that the whole team were able to get over and watch the advanced horses in their jumping rounds. It was really inspiring to see the end-product of all the hard work back at home, and we can’t wait to see these fantastic horses out again. Lesley, Sheena and Alice were also out fence judging, and Ella did a great job assisting with her whistling skills!
The novice horses really came up with the goods; all three jumped double clears, finishing on their dressage scores to end up in the top five.
Kate started off the day with the ever-consistent Dassett Forever Autumn, who started her day with a 30 dressage and then jumped a fantastic double clear. She has become so established at this level, and made the cross country look like a walk in the park, coming home easily inside the optimum time to claim a well-deserved third place. Owned by Andrea Burdett, this lovely mare now has her eyes firmly fixed on her season aim of the long format CCI-2* at Blair Castle in a few weeks’ time.
Not to be outdone, Kate’s second ride Dassett Showgirl, who took home fourth place in her novice section by finishing on her brilliant 29 dressage score. Seven-year-old ‘Lola’ has built up a lot of experience at this level in the last two seasons, and today showed how comfortable she is jumping round these tracks, putting in a faultless showjumping round and an excellent cross country clear. A natural galloper, she cruised round inside the time to secure her rosette. We were delighted for her owners Lesley Rocher and Sheena Hawkin, and we can’t wait to see what more she is capable of this year!
Amelia was also riding six-year-old Keynote Dassett in his first novice, and he rose to the occasion. Starting off with a 30 dressage and then jumping an immaculate double clear inside the time, which was enough to secure him a fifth place in his section. ‘Wilson’ has the most fantastic attitude and breezed round the novice jumping tracks despite his limited experience, looking like an experienced top-level horse. Amelia let him gallop in his natural rhythm and wasn’t pushing for the time, but as he was travelling so well she found they easily made the optimum time, meaning they had nothing to add to their dressage score. This handsome gelding has become a real favourite on the yard thanks to his endearing personality, and he is sure to produce more fantastic results in the near future!
The intermediate horses also had some great runs. Dassett Code, owned by Alice Rocher did a lovely dressage test to score 32, and then jumped a fantastic clear cross country round his and Kate’s first intermediate together. He is improving all the time as his and Kate’s partnership gets stronger, and it’ll be exciting to see what else they can achieve this season!
Seven-year-old Dassett Select (aka ‘JJ’) was contesting his first intermediate, and he put his best foot forwards to jump a great double clear. He really showed off his scope over the influential showjumping track, and then cruised round the cross country. The bigger fences and more challenging combinations didn’t faze him in the slightest, and he added just a few time penalties to his good dressage score. It was a fantastic first run at this level and we can’t wait to see him build on this in the remainder of the season.
All the horses have gained valuable experience this weekend, and it’s been great to get amongst the ribbons with some of them. As always a big thank-you has to go to the team at Aston for putting on this fantastic horse trials. We are so lucky to call it our local event, and will undoubtedly be back again soon!