Horse trials gallop to a successful weekend

Claire Dunn from north Northumberland in action. Picture Beth Watson.
Claire Dunn from north Northumberland in action. Picture Beth Watson.

The second annual Belsay Horse Trials has been hailed a big success.

Attendance was up by 30 per cent and organisers estimate that around 6,000 people visited the event over the two days to watch just under 500 equestrian competitors take part in dressage, show jumping and cross country.

The most senior class of the weekend, the Open Intermediate Section G, was won by well-known Scottish rider Emily Galbraith on her horse Timing.

Matthew Wright from Retford, who is in the UK top 20 league of eventing riders, was the most successful competitor of the weekend, coming second to Galbraith in the OI with Hugginstown and winning the Jobling Purser Novice Section B on Chelsea Mill.

He also received the Mark Halliday Memorial Trophy for the rider nearest the optimum time in the Novice classes.

The Lycetts Novice Regional Final was won by Tom Carr of Darlington with local rider Amy Young coming second on Melifluous Minx, owned by Semore Kurdi’s South Dissington Stud.

In addition, Jessica McKie, from Wooler, won the Auchendinny Carnegie Trophy for the highest-placed Northumbrian rider in the Novice Classes. She was on Madam’s Law.

Meanwhile, Andrew Winn from Ponteland was triumphant in the Section C Open Novice Under 18 class.

The results of all the classes are available online. Visit and click on Fixtures & Results, then select May in the first display box.

Ronald Alexander’s New Intermediate Cross Country course was considered tough by competitors but everyone enjoyed the challenge, organisers said.

A large number of trade stands were present and family attractions included a climbing wall, fairground rides and bouncy castles, dog agility and pony rides.

A charity raffle in the sponsors’ tent raised £1,682 for the Morpeth group of the Riding for the Disabled Association and the Great North Air Ambulance Service – they both had trade stands at the event.

Laura de Wesselow, who organised the event alongside her husband Peter and Edward and Jane Pybus, said: “We had a fabulous weekend.

“There was brilliant competition, brilliant people, a fun and friendly atmosphere and, of course, brilliant weather. As ever, we are very grateful to the large army of volunteers who made the event possible.”