June 2, 2017

East Region Show - Countryside Challenge and Showjumping

The sun shone all day for us at the College of West Anglia in Cambridge for the 2017 RDA East Region Show. With plenty of immaculately turned-out horses, ponies, riders and helpers, the event was a brilliant showcase of the work that the RDA does throughout the region. Many riders enjoyed fantastic success, with plenty of rosettes and trophies to take home. In fact, there was so much going on that this report has had to be split down into different sections!

1. Countryside Challenge and Showjumping
2. Qualifier dressage
3. East Region dressage, Freestyle dressage, Arts & Crafts and Stable Management

Read on for the first instalment!

Barrow Farm riders with their winnings!

Countryside Challenge
This year’s Countryside Challenge featured former winners alongside plenty of first-timers, the latter of whom demonstrated all that they have learnt in a relatively short space of time. The large Senior class for riders with one helper was won by newcomer, Kodie Lawrence, from Cambs College RDA with a score of 85.8%! Qualifying in second place in that class was fellow Cambridge rider, Rebecca Lawes, who came 6th at the National Championships in 2015.

The Junior events were as competitive as ever, with not only rosettes and qualifying spots being won but also some enormous trophies which dwarfed the young winners! Special mention goes to Jack Atkinson, Isabelle Cox and Charlotte Jessop who won the 2-helpers class, 1-helper class, and VI class respectively. All three ride for Barrow Farm and were riding Tawny, a lovely little Exmoor pony who is clearly a pro!

Isabelle Cox and Tawny

At the 2016 Championships Charlotte came a very close second in the Countryside Challenge with a huge score of 93% before winning the Combined Training with a dressage score of 66.94%. This year for the first time she will be competing solely against other visually impaired riders and, with her uncanny ability to get the apple in the bucket with a perfect shot, it should be very exciting to see how she gets on.

Other senior qualifiers were Aynsley Calvert from the Magpie Centre and Anne Hunt from Cambs College, both of whom rode independently, and both of whom also qualified for Hartpury in the I/D trot test. Aynsley pipped Anne to first place in the regional rounds with some skillful riding but Anne is a great competitor, calm under pressure, so the rivalry continues!

Aynsley Calvert and Ruby (Kodie Lawrence and Danny in the background)


This year there will be four showjumpers heading to Hartpury from the East Region. Chris Bradley was awarded a bye after successfully competing in Level 4 events in the past, whilst Eleanor Currington, Olivia Cornick and Lizzie Bennett submitted a video to qualify. All three riders were filmed at the College of West Anglia in early May. Eleanor participated in the Level 2 class in what was her first showjumping competition. Riding Minstrel, she successfully negotiated the 30cm trot course without a hitch, scoring a huge 92%. Not bad for a first try!

Olivia Cornick and Ya

The Level 3 class has jumps up to 60cm and is tackled in canter. Olivia Cornick introduced Ya to an arena for the first time, and although he was clearly quite excited by the pretty poles she remained calm as always and put in a really tidy clear round, with a 78% score for style. The enormity of this achievement with an inexperienced horse should not be underestimated - it was a very classy performance by them both. At the other end of the spectrum lies Lizzie’s ride, Rolo - a horse who is even featured jumping on CWA marketing! Lizzie and Rolo also jumped clear and received a score of 99% - 1 mark dropped on the approach to the spread!

Last updated: June 2, 2017 @ 22:44