Equifest 2016 kicked off to a great start, with hundreds of fabulous horses and ponies impressing the judges. The day’s events included a wide range of classes from Ridden Hunters to Best Turned Out, Working Hunter and M&M’s.
There were also some very useful training classes to give combinations helpful tips before going under the judges.
Show secretary Betsy Branyan said: “It was a brilliant day all round we couldn’t have asked for more.”
The first Evening Performance of the show created much excitement and anticipation. Proceedings got underway with the Amateur Cobs who contested their championship. The title went to Its Abracobdabra ridden by Rachel McCourt after a great performance.
The Amateur Part Bred Championship was claimed by Savannah Kemplay aboard Yealand Paschel. This beautiful 10-year-old brown mare performed with grace and sparkle to impress the judges.
The Amateur Hunters were the next to enter the championship ring, with several stunning horses in the line up. The lightweight winner, the chestnut Magic Moments II ridden by Louise Fox was the judges’ choice to take the championship and continue their success from last year’s show.
The Amateur Hack Championship went Lucy Bowden riding Stage Knight, a stunning six-year-old bay gelding who was initially called in second in the Large Hack class before strutting his stuff in the championship round.
The Amateur Ridden M&M championship provided a fantastic spectacle with a variety of quality native ponies vying to impress. The red rosette was handed to Emma Jones and Healdtown Bonny, a stunning Highland.
The TSR members waited eagerly to enter the ring to compete for the TSR Horsezone.co.uk Finals. To much delight Fielding Fairytale and Angela Hesketh were crowned Champion.
The Amateur Riding Horse Championship was won by the winner of the Large Riding Horse section, Applaud ridden by Kate Pitt another great performance.
The BSPA Members Championship saw a fabulous performance from Mrs A Miller and the three-year-old Astonend Bellissima.
Side Saddle rider Sue Vincent and Bally Sprigan took the Concours D’Elegance Period Costume Drama title to much applause.
The Amateur Small Hunter championship was taken by Liz Cowley and Miracle Mickey, a big winner at Equifest over the years and a former Supreme Champion.
The Penina Property Management Amateur Maxi Cob Championship was won by the Clantara Shadow Play ridden by Avril Bartolomy while Ringside Costa Lotta and Katie Goulding were declared Champion Amateur Ridden Welsh.
Dynamite ridden by Joseph Shaw was called forward as the champion Amateur Piebald/Skewbald Championship to massive cheers from spectators.
At around 10pm the evening was concluded with the Barley Hill Stables & Hood Hill Farm Supreme Amateur Championship. This eagely awaited class was the culmination of a fantastic day’s display of amateur combinations and saw Liz Cowley and Miracle Mickey crowned the worthy winner of this brilliant championship.
So after a great first day at Equifest, we look forward to the rest of the week’s competition. Betsy Branyan concluded: “It was an amazing first day at Equifest 2016, with some great championships in the evening performance after a glorious sunny day of showing.”