Linda’s star shines at Well Vale to crown a stunning 2021 season
- Linda Cowperthwaite and Krakatau notch up superb win in three-day 166km National Ride to top off second place in International FEI CEI 2* 120km Royal Windsor back in July
- Para-Equestrian Endurance rider Kirsty Wiscombe, only finisher in FEI International Classes taking victory with Yawl Hill Big Yin in FEI CEI 1* 100km class
- 100km CER was won by John Black and CA Jalmeer with Susannah French and CF Matilda in second place.
- Nearly 100 riders competed over the three days including nine British combinations contesting FEI International classes
- Popular Team Spirit won by local Endurance GB Lindum Group
Lancashire-based rider Linda Cowperthwaite crowned a superb season with her 11-year-old, 15.3hh chestnut Arab gelding Krakatau, by taking the three-day 166km National Competitive Endurance Ride (CER) at Endurance GB’s new venue at Well Vale near Alford on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Sponsored by Emerald Green Feeds and Sheer Endurance, the new event attracted 80 riders to a range of classes across the distances including International FEI classes.
With a stunning venue in front of Well Vale Estate Hall, the course covered varied terrain almost exclusively on private tracks, field margins and rights of way, taking riders over the glorious Wolds countryside.
Linda Cowperthwaite says of the Biddesden Stud-bred Krakatau, known as Kracker at home, that his best feature is a chilled personality and that he “doesn’t know how talented he is”. Kracker is owned by Linda’s aunt Evelyn Helme, who herself is still riding at 74 years. One of the equine stars in Linda’s Team H (for Helme, her maiden name) Endurance, Kracker’s laid-back nature means he has a tendency to ‘power-nap’ in vet gates.
I am super proud of this boy and how he has improved over the years. He covers the miles effortlessly but always with minimal effort. He’ll ride the final phase of a 120km like he rode the first phase. From second place in a fast run CEI 120km back in July at Royal Windsor to this, a three-day 166km CER finishing both in tip top condition. We decided to do the three-day ride rather than the FEI International class and he felt incredibly well through the three days and accepted whatever we asked of him without question. The trust he has in us is incredible.
What an enjoyable weekend not just because we had a good result but a truly fantastic endurance weekend. It was a great course and perfectly marked with varied terrain. There was a superb, relaxed and spacious venue topped off with a great atmosphere. The event put Covid far from our minds and brought our endurance family together. Thank you to the sponsors and to organiser Thay Stephenson and all her many volunteers who gave up their time to make our sport extra special. It’s rest time now for Kracker who will be off for his winter break and back in 2022 for more fun and adventures and maybe to give the ultimate challenge of 100 miles in a day a go.”
Belinda Stewart and Penny Clawd came second in the 166km three-day class.
South West rider Kirsty Wiscombe whose Yawl Hill Stud is based near Lyme Regis, Dorset, was the sole finisher in the International FEI classes scoring a win in the FEI CEI 1* 100km class. Kirsty who competes as a Para-Equestrian Endurance Rider completed the distance at 12.3 Km/hr. She said of her win with Yawl Hill Big Yin or Ash as he is known at home:
Ash is absolutely awesome tough horse. He had taken part in the tough two-day NASTA Stallion grading earlier in the week before going to Well Vale. I’ve been doing endurance 26 years and this is my first Competitive Endurance Ride win and on the grandson of one of my first endurance horses, Burrowshot Lass.”
Kirsty said it had been a tense couple of weeks before the ride as Ash had cut his leg playing in the field and she thought their chances of competing would be slim.
But he healed well and describing his performance, Kirsty said:
He was rather keen on the first loop and gave me a few scary moments by not listening to my weak left leg aid. He got too close to the left-hand drainage ditches whilst going round the headlands as my leg was numb and had little strength for most of the ride. But he was a perfect ride for the second and third loops.
The 100km CER was won by John Black and CA Jalmeer fresh from victory in the 80km Competitive Endurance Ride class at FEI Keysoe International with Susannah French and CF Matilda in second place.
The event hosted the dynamic Team Spirit relay ride won this year by the Endurance GB Lindum Group’s Hannah Lydon, Rowan Ashley, Leanne Hall and Julie Martin from West Riding with Derbyshire in second place and a combination of riders from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in third.
Thay Stephenson said:
As well as sponsorship from Emerald Green Feeds and Sheer Endurance, the ride was made possible by the hospitality of Willoughby Farms and Well Vale Country Ride and with the support of many generous Endurance GB members. We are very grateful to all those who took part and have made this exciting new fixture a reality.
It is fair to say, it was well received with lots of ‘best ever’ comments for the routes and the marking. I am beyond grateful to Kitty Hamilton for providing the beautiful setting and routes, she definitely went above and beyond the normal role of venue owner! Thank you to the many that pitched up and in and helped it all tick along so smoothly, with a calm and happy atmosphere.”
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