Isleham event kicks off eventing season

LOCAL INTEREST: Nat Dixon featued in a number of events and managed a second-placed finish in one of them
LOCAL INTEREST: Nat Dixon featued in a number of events and managed a second-placed finish in one of them

While other events of its kind fell by the wayside due to the weekend’s inclement weather up and down the country, the annual Isleham One Day Event beat the elements to get the British Eventing season off and running.

Although down on entrants to previous years, the two-day competition still attracted some of the sport’s biggest names with Rio Olympian Pippa Funnell joined by the likes of Ollie Townend, Issy Taylor and Simon Grieve out in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

OLYMPIAN: Pippa Funnell competed at the Isleham event

OLYMPIAN: Pippa Funnell competed at the Isleham event

Grieve was in particularly impressive form on Sunday as he saddled up three winners to make the trip from Leicestershire worthwhile.

It also proved to be a positive outing for Townend, who had two winners, two runner-up spots and three further placings.

Closer to home, former King’s Ely pupil Nat Dixon competed in four events, with her best display coming in the BE90 Open, in which she finished second onboard Vic.

Joint organiser Jackie Seddon said of the weekend: “The big thing is we beat the weather. We will always run at Isleham because the ground and drainage is so good.

“We were a little disappointed with the level of entries.

“We think it was down to the wet weather this winter and the January frosts which meant a lot of horses were not fit.

“Even so, there was still plenty of big names and it was an event all the riders enjoyed. We are already looking forward to next year.”

The event raised between £5,000 and £6,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

n For a full run-down of the results see: www.britisheventing.com