Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Jumping and Style Championships, Hartpury

Novice winners with British Eventing and Baileys branding
When I set out my plans for the 2015 Eventing season, two trips to Hartpury for the British Eventing Jumping and Style competition featured in the early part of the year. So it was that Sunday 22nd February saw me at Hartpury to video the Novice and Novice Open Championships. The two competitions covered 90+ entries so my main aim was to video all the Open class, as that would ensure I videoed the major placings; but I also studied the form from the qualifying competitions for the Novice class to see if I could capture the major placings for that competition as well.

My foresight, together with the fact that when I arrived the competition was running about 30 minutes late, meant I successfully videoed 1,2 and 3 in the Novice by videoing 30 out of the 50 entries. The result is a playlist of approx 2 hours and 20 minutes of video across both Open and Novice competitions. Follow the link below to access all nine videos.

JAS Championship 2015 Playlist

The playlist comprises nine videos in total, 3 for the bulk of the novice competition, 4 for the entirety of the Open competition and 2 videos showing the top 3 riders in each class. As I did not video all the Novice riders there is a list of the riders that do appear in an appendix below. Apologies if I missed you but there is a limit to how much video I can process!

The Hartpury Course is set
In Jumping and Style riders take on a continuous course of show jumps and cross country style fences (all supplied by "Jump for Joy"), the cross country section being timed. Riders are also judged on style with the overall winner being the combination with the best score across style penalties, show jumping faults, cross country time faults and cross country jumping faults.

Master Maverick
(Julia Knight-Jones)
takes in the course
When I was reading up about JAS prior to the competition I read something along the lines of the XC time being based on a good cross country rhythm and not normal show jumping speed. That may be so but certainly I found that to get anywhere near the optimum time riders needed to kick on around the course, takes some narrow angles and tight turns and definitely not hang about! And all of this has to be done with style of course as in the event of a tie it is the better style mark that wins.

An indoor competition and lots of turning back on yourself won't suit every horse of course, I wondered as well if the late running and cold had had any impact on the result? Horses do turn off, especially when they've been left hanging around, and there were one or two who looked like they'd rather be tucked up snug in their stable watching "Songs of Praise" than working up a head of steam and completing another five laps of Hartpury Arena.

Naomi55 and Nici Wilson
I must stress these were a minority and the majority came out and took on the course with gusto. For example the eventual Open winner, Naomi55 ridden by Nici Wilson, was still on its toes in the prize giving and really didn't seem to want to stand still for the photographer.

On a technical front I decided to use Hartpury to try out the super slow motion setting on the Sony camera, with mixed success. I gave it a go, thought I'd read the instructions when I got home only to find there aren't any. The slow motion is superb, especially the one where Jordan Phelps knocks the corner down, but the images are a bit dark and so it'll be searching the Sony forums for tips and advice on how to get a better result; I'd describe it as hit and miss at the moment.

As always please watch the videos, give me your feedback, share with your friends and don't forget the like button. I haven't quite made up my mind where to go for my first event but hope to get out before Gatcombe 1. Obviously it's now all down to our great British weather!

The Party's Over?
Appendix 1 Novice riders featured in the three videos

Riders who appear in Part 1

Samantha Elliott
Florence Bellm
Flora Insley
Natalie Pettitt
Laura Walkden
Sophie Wragg
Jessica Shopland
Hannah Gadras
Southerley Roberts (FIZZ)
Sophie Beaty
Phoebe Locke
Nici Wilson

Riders who appear in Part 2

Daniella Johnston
Richard Coney
Caroline Dyer
Alice Edgedale
Flora Elliott
Heidi Coy
Alida Tysterman
Freddie Fawcett
Emily Grace
Alice Hobhouse
Southerley Roberts (TINX)
Amy Hulls

Riders who appear in Part 3

Julia Knight-Jones (whose Master Maverick I used for one of my custom thumbnails!)
Daisy Charlier
Victoria Leabeater
Clara Peake
Kylie Roddy
Emily Roser
Catherine Sadler
Holly Watson
Isabel White