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Chatsworth International Horse Trials 2010 - Meet the winner of the Derbyshire Life trophy

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The sun shone on this years International Horse Trials staged in Chatsworths beautiful park and thousands attended to enjoy the weekend of excellent competitive riding in spectacular surroundings. Saturday featured Novice and Intermediate Sections. Around 15 riders from Derbyshire were competing among over 500 entries. The Derbyshire Life award for the topscoring rider across the Novice sections living within a 25-mile radius was won by Sarah Healy from Bamford on Matthew Hinckleys Money Counter.


Sundays Advanced sections included the HSBC FEI World Cup Championship an important event for riders hoping to compete in the FEI World Equestrian Games being held at Lexington in Kentucky in September. The cross country course, designed by former Olympic silver and European gold medallist Ian Stark, provided a scenic and challenging ride. An exciting show jumping finale, which had its share of thrills and spills, ended with the last to jump, Australias Sam Griffiths, taking first prize. Britains Lucy Wiegersma was runner-up on Woodfalls Inigo Jones and Fiona Hobby on Roma ML came third. New event director Mrs Tissie Reason was delighted with the event and is already looking forward to next year.


Bakewell Silver Band, Burbage Band and Pilsley School with a maypole dancing display were among local organisations who helped entertain the crowds and trade stands covered the whole range of rural crafts, equestrian and designer goods. The Duchess of Devonshire announced that Stewarts of Bakewell had won a competition for the best shop window display in and around Bakewell that had taken place during the previous two weeks. The chosen charity supported by the event was the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.


Sarah Healy, the winning local rider of the Derbyshire Life trophy, talks about her life and love of eventing ...


Tell us a bit about yourself - I live in Bamford in the Hope Valley, with my husband Simon and children Ellie (8) and Finn (6) and work part-time as a dental hygienist at Diamond Court Dental Practice in Bakewell.


When did you first start riding?


My Grandad Bill, who was a farmer, gave me my first pony, Robbie, when I was 18 months old. My father, Tearle, who is a dental surgeon, had ridden briefly as a child. When he married my mother Lynne in 1971 and they moved to the Hope Valley, they were given a horse as a wedding present. My parents became regular followers of the High Peak Hunt and I joined the pony club. My first introduction to eventing came when I visited Chatsworth Horse trials at the age of 8. I was inspired even more on a visit when I was 14. My mother, father and I joined Lucinda Green in a team celebrity show jumping competition for the Bob Champion Cancer charity I was hooked.


What do you like best about riding?


I love being around horses and enjoy bringing on young horses to competition level.


How much do you practise?


Every day as I have good facilities at home that allow me to school my horse, but dressage and show jumping training has to be on a monthly basis due to the expense.


What is your favourite eventing discipline?


Cross country is my favourite; probably due to my hunting background. Over the years as Ive improved I have learnt to enjoy the dressage and show jumping elements.


Tell us about the horse you won the trophy on. Do you have your own horses?


Money Counter is a 9-year-old gelding belonging to Matthew Hinckley, owner of the Marquis of Granby Hotel at Hathersage the only 4 star hotel within the Peak District National Park. He offered me the ride as I have helped him with the horse over the last three years. Unfortunately for me he is actually for sale. Chatsworth was Money Counters second novice run, following a couple of good pre-novice runs this season. He has a fabulous jump and gave me a superb ride throughout Chatsworth. The 7th place which won us the trophy was earned by a double clear in show jumping and cross country, which won a BE point. I also rode Matthews other horse, Castle Good To Go, who was also competing in his first Novice at Chatsworth this year and was just out of the placings. I have just one horse, Maccallum, who I produced from a 4-year-old up to successfully competing at 3 star level. Unfortunately he was injured in 2007 and is now gently climbing back up the grades. I hope to start soon training another young horse and am always looking for the opportunity to train and compete with more horses and always open to offers from other owners!


What advice would you give to anyone keen to go into eventing


Eventing is a very difficult sport for the amateur rider due to the amount of time and expense required, but as a predominantly one horse rider and mother of two, I firmly believe that if you want to do anything enough you can achieve your goals! My family have been very supportive, as has David Laver at Arnold Laver Timberworld in Sheffield. They have provided me with shavings and sponsorship for the last 15 years.


Any other hobbies and interests?


I really enjoy snowboarding once a year but now that both Ellie and Finn are riding and keen members of High Peak Pony Club there isnt a lot of free time.


What are your future ambitions?


I would like the opportunity to train another young horse as good as Maccallum and reach my ultimate goal of competing at 4 star level. Im also looking forward to seeing Ellie and Finn progress. They are both showing great promise for the future, maybe we have a star in the making!


Have you a favourite place to ride in Derbyshire?


To ride in Chatsworth park is pretty special. Hunting with the High Peak also allows you to ride across the most amazing countryside. We are so lucky to live in the Peak District.


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