Local event rider reflects on season ahead of National Championships

By Chew Valley Gazette in Equine

East Harptree’s Frankie Sommerfield is a rising star in the three discipline equestrian sport of eventing . This season Frankie and her horse Ffynnocadno Jupiter (stable name Buzz) have been competing at some of the most prestigious horse trials in the region including Nunney International Horse Trials. The pair also have been continuing on from their Pony Club success of last year to represent Mendip Farmer’s Hunt Pony Club. This month Frankie and Buzz qualified for the Pony Club National Championship finals which will take place in August. Ahead of the finals Frankie reflects on the highs and lows of her eventing season:

"Buzz is a 15.1 10-year-old Arab x. We are now in our 3rd event season together. After a very successful 2016 in Pony Club competitions, British Eventing (BE)90 and BE100, the goal was to be fully established at BE100 in order to step up to BE Novice at the end of this season and possibly qualify for the South West BE100u18 squad and the Pony Club National Championships.

The season didn’t start off quite as planned because Buzz fell into a sink hole in his paddock a few days before our first scheduled run at Moreton in the BE90. Firemen from Bedminster and Chew Magna, local farmers and our vet Phil Richards rescued him. Luckily he wasn’t badly injured but we withdrew from both Moreton and Aldon BE100u18 qualifier, as he was not quite right after the fall.

His first event of the season was then Larkhill BE100 in April. He did not disappoint by gaining a 33 dressage score and double clear inside the time for 10th. He then went double clear at Millfield BE100 and Bicton BE100u18, being placed 9th and 7th respectively after finishing on his dressage score.

As always, the event season was not all plain sailing. At the BE100u18 qualifier at Pontispool after a great dressage test we knocked a single pole down in the show jumping which scuppered any chance of qualifying for the BE u18 Regional Squad. We followed this up with a difficult day at West Wilts BE100 and then Buzz fell badly at Nunney International Horse Trials after misreading a fence. Luckily I was thrown clear however Buzz needed 8 stitches in his mouth from the Vets on site but he was otherwise OK.

After having some time off, by far our best success of this season has been with our team from Mendip Farmers’ Hunt PC. Competing in the Intermediate section at 100cm, the team not only qualified for the National Championships in Show Jumping after finishing 2nd on a score of 8, but the weekend after we then qualified for Eventing as well after all 4 of us jumped double clear, again finishing 2nd. The whole team will now head to Cheshire for the National Championships in August.

I have been very lucky to have been selected to be in the teams and cannot wait to return to Cheshire with them."

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