Riders play their part in Suffolk’s title triumph

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Suffolk were the convincing winners of this year’s Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Eastern Region Inter County Championship.

Reserve champions last year, Suffolk went one better at the World Horse Welfare Centre on Sunday, taking top honours with 49.5 points.

The dressage team of Johnny Friendly and Anna, and Newmarket’s Charlotte Kerton with Nettis, got the competition off to a flying start for Suffolk, by finishing third and fifth respectively in the prelim class, before Friendly won the novice section, Kerton finishing sixth.

A strong performance was then played out by Suffolk’s showjumping team of Sandra Middleton, who works for Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe, and Leahurst, Kelsey Love and Chilli Boy, Newmarket’s Megan Quinlan and Benefit Evening and Lauren Hassen and Laylas Lad.

In the 2ft 6in class, everyone collected points with Quinlan and Benefit Evening just beaten for the win following a jump-off.

Quinlan finished in the same spot again in the 3ft class, with Love taking fourth.

As the teams embarked on the final discipline of showing, there were only two points separating Suffolk and Essex.

That gap was soon to be extended with Chantal Wootten and Purple Moon collecting wins in both the in-hand and ridden classes, with the pair ably backed up by Sarah Fear, who works alongside Wootten at Fittocks Stud in Upend,and Cape Vincent, who finished third in the in-hand, and Nicky McAllister and Aston Boy taking third in the ridden class, to give Suffolk the title.