Lunan Novice event
18 April 2004

Even steady rain and freezing wind could not dampen the enthusiasm of the competitors at Lunan Novice Event on Sunday, April 18th. Everyone was so glad to be out and about once more as the season began.

The dressage, judged by Jane McInnes, had a most surprising result, with the overall Dressage Champion coming from the Newcomers class. Driving Hew Blair-Imrie's Welsh Sec. C pony "Kinver Puffin", Haylie Lawson notched up the best score of 41 over Liz Melville on 43.

Hew's cones course, which looked deceptively simple, proved to be a real challenge for almost everyone. There were only two double clears, with the overall Cones Championship going to Susan Gardner. Her very fast time (indeed, this was the fastest time of the day!) of 1 min 12 seconds beat Katie Doig's time by an amazing 12 seconds.

As the format had proved popular last year, we ran the marathon in 2 phases. Four obstacles were driven twice, with about an hour in between each attempt, so that drivers could revise their first plan, or try for a faster speed. Only the best score from each obstacle then counted for the overall score.

Even given the forgiving nature of this plan, some people still decided to eliminate themselves. Last year's winner, David Brown, managed to drive E backwards twice in Obstacle 1, thereby dashing any hopes of repeating his success. Alistair Ballantyne had a similar disaster in Obstacle 4. Ruth Skinner, Susan Gardner, Alistair Ballantyne, Suzanne Beattie, and Michael Walsh all drove 'creative' routes through Obstacle 1, but luckily got it right on another attempt.

Fastest times through the obstacles (all from the single pony class) were:
Obstacle 1: Liz Melville
Obstacle 2: David Brown
Obstacle 3: David Brown
Obstacle 4: Audrey Barron

Our Hazards Champion was Audrey Barron, just beating Liz Melville's times by 2.6 points.

Dressage scores overall
1st: Haylie Lawson - 41
2nd: Liz Melville - 43
3rd: Audrey Barron - 49

Cones scores overall (time allowed 1 min 24 secs)

1st: Susan Gardner - double clear on 1 min 12 secs
2nd: Katie Doig - double clear on 1 min 24 secs
3rd: Zoe Sanders - clear round with 3.5 time penalties

Liz Melville, who had entered a pair but then drove only one pony due to the other's last-minute slight injury, went home after the first round of hazards, and must have been very surprised when she later heard that she was our Overall Champion, pipping Audrey Barron for the title by just 2.4 points. A very worthy result, given that Liz had only one pop at the hazards !

Overall Results

Single Horse (1 entry)
1st: Sue Hendry on a score of 95.3

Single Pony (9 entries)
1st: Liz Melville - 77
2nd: Audrey Barron - 79.4
3rd: Susan Gardner - 95.6

Multiple (4 entries)
1st: Katie Doig (pair) - 89.6
2nd: Zoe Sanders (pair) - 95.1
3rd: Pat White (team) - 134.2

Newcomers (5 entries)
1st: Haylie Lawson - 94.0
2nd: Susan Don - 106.3
3rd: Heather Reid - 112.3

All of the 20 entry fees (360) will go to Hopetoun. Lyndsey Brown, who unfortunately had to pull out of the Single Horse class due to lorry trouble, sportingly donated 30 to the fund as well. I would like to thank everyone who entered Lunan event for their support. I'm sure it is appreciated by the Hopetoun team !

Karen Blair-Imrie