Posted on 21st November 2019

South East Eventers League... End of year report 2019

The 'Vardags' South East Eventers League shares their end of season round up from a successful 2019.

What a year 2019 has been. The most competitive season The 'Vardags' South East Eventers League has ever seen.

The Vardags Leading Horse and Rider has been claimed once again by previous winner in 2017 by Felicity Collins and RSH Contend’or following their second at Wellington Advanced. Felicity also came second in this league with the mare Just Amazing. Hopefully her league is some recompense for her 5* debut at Pau which didn’t  quite go to plan.

Once again Wellington claimed the acclaimed IB Equestrian Services event of the year title. This is their fifth title in five years as they continue to grow the event to ever greater heights. The courses, ground, prizes and venue are really exceptional and the SEEL committee would encourage all competitors to make this event “a must attend” within their calendars especially with the addition of much needed International classes for the south east in 2020.

The Voltaire Saddles Overall Grassroots and the Equi-vation BE100 saw a tussle between Alana Sparrow with Angels Spirit and Katy Lawrence with Whitemoors First Flight. These two competitors ended the season neck and neck and therefore shared top spot in the Equi-vation BE100. However there is only one saddle to be won in the Voltaire Saddles Overall Grassroots so Alana and Katy were eventually split based on the consistency rules, with Alana enjoying 13 League runs in comparison to Katy’s 17.  Alana and Katy have both enjoyed amazing seasons, with Alana winning both of the biggest prizes in eventing at Grassroots level, the BE100 Championship at Badminton as well as the Voltaire Saddles Overall Grassroots League and Katy enjoying incredibly consistent results with Whitemoors First Flight, who is just a six year old. Katy also picked up the Moorhouse Communications BE90 league with her other horse Merlin Mix

Alana also claimed the  Poppinghole Farm Breeding Mares, the prize being a nomination to a choice of three different types of stallion, Carraig Donovan, Brittania Royal, and Prometheus II.

Sam Sweeney and Becky Rignalls’ Burntwood Sorrel have continued their consistency and once again win the Equine Travel Agency Veteran Horse. Ginger is now 20 year old and continues to excel at the BE100 level as well as winning at British Showjumping and pure dressage. Sam has enjoyed a great season with a team of up and coming horses and spent the evening at the Ball collected a large collection of rosettes and prizes.

Isabelle Cook, daughter of Olympian Tina Cook, introduced herself to the SEEL league in a convincing way winning the Comphurst XC U21 league with Caroline Allan’s Silken Crème. This lovely dun has enjoyed previous success in the league with Melissa Johannides, however Isabelle has obviously developed a strong partnership with her in a short period of time to allow her to qualify for the Science Supplements Cup at Badminton as well as win this league, which is always a good indicator of future talent.

Laura Gordon and Carramore Boy have for the second year running claimed the Horsebox Spa Ex-Racehorse League. The Horsebox Spa is a new sponsor for the SEEL league offering a mobile spa which can come to your yard and provide hot baths and spa services for all your equine needs.

The SEEL BE80 League and the Coast Horsebox Insurance Veteran Rider were both won by Suzanne Ashwell and her own Rhomantic. Mouse was purchased by Suzanne as an eight year old having spent a couple of years in a field as his previous owner was struggling with time. In a year and a half he has enjoyed success up to medium level dressage as well as eventing, holding a prized ticket to the Science Supplements Cup and the British Dressage Winter Champs. Suzanne affectionately calls him her granny cob as he is just so perfect at everything he does!

For the first time there was a league for the Breeding Stallions that successfully compete in the South East, this was also kindly sponsored by Poppinghole Farm who stand the lovely ID stallion Carraig Donovan. This league was won by Melissa Johannides and the pony stallion Prometheus II, closely followed by Britannia Royal and Sam Sweeney. Impressively both these beautiful stallions are only six year olds and owned  by the Wise family. Definitely horses of the future under top jockeys!

The Wellington Novice league was won by SEEL regular Gaspard Maksud and Zaragoza II. This six year old stepped up to novice this season with class and picked up four wins all on excellent finishing scores, followed very closely by Sam Sweeney on Julia Sokye’s Just a Jewel.

Special awards were also made to Indra Moriss as SEEL Volunteer of the year, Alana Sparrow was a worthy recipient of the Endeavour Trophy and Carolyn Adby picking up the groom of the year award.

The end of season Ball was as ever a roaring success and as usual completely sold out. The season finale is already booked for next year, on the 14th November for the 25th season of the league. Look out for those silver pieces of clothing boys and girls as the theme will be silver. We cannot wait for 2020! We would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters who help make the league possible and look forwards  to working with you all next year.

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