Friday December 15, 2017
Bicton May 2016

BICTON INTER-AREA TETRATHLON

Tuesday 31st May – Wednesday 1st June 2016

The 2015 trip to Bicton must have looked irresistible, as we were inundated with Beaufort Tetrathletes keen to take part in the 2016 event.  We were able to field teams in 6 different classes which was quite an achievement and one not matched by any other branch.  No less than 28 set off for Devon, some on Monday evening and the rest at the crack of dawn on Tuesday.  Exmouth was our destination, a seaside leisure centre that was to host the Shoot and Swim phases.

We saw some great shoots from Henry S (900), Josh B, Belle E & Rachel H (920), Millie S & Poppy C (960) & Will C (980).

Swimming’s notable results were Thomas K (2nd), Zoe D (3rd), Poppy C (2nd) and Will C (3rd).

We played cricket on a sunny but windy beach at Exmouth in between phases and then it was time for everyone to head off to Bicton Arena, some fifteen minutes drive away.

Tents were pitched and horses made comfortable in the temporary stabling.  The Monday evening travellers had reserved a substantial area so that we could all be close together and create a hub for the barbecue to follow.

The cross country course looked very well presented. The ground was firm but perfectly acceptable. The Junior courses upwards were big and bold, asking fair questions. The Mini course was a little smaller and shorter in length than 2015 and would encourage us to send more Minis next year.

And so for the barbecue – efficiently co-ordinated by Antonia Tucker, each family brought a contribution and we managed to feed around 60 people with sterling work on the cooking front by the Beaufort dads. After eating the children went off in different directions, many to play the annual rugby match open to all comers!

Mercifully there was only a little rain overnight and we emerged from our various forms of accommodation to receive yet more delicacies from the barbecue in the form of bacon rolls and scrambled eggs. Great stuff.

Concentration descended as we all prepared for the remaining two phases: ride and run.

It must be said, the run phases was a disappointment.  Last year’s course was too short and so this year they made an effort to move it.  However the new location featured cramped wooded paths and tracks and was entirely unsuitable for running in packs.  The first few heats were chaotic with missed times (luckily Paul Barker was on hand with his own back up timing). The Mini Girls’ first heat set off and took the wrong course (not enough stewards) and so the following heats had to take the same shortened course. There were a few tumbles on the rough tracks and it was certainly a phase that needs rethinking for next year.

Notable run results as follows: Poppy C (1st), Rachel H (3rd) and Will C (2nd).

The ride phase went very well for the Beaufort team.  Well done to everyone who has worked so hard all winter and spring to get out schooling cross country, go hunting and attend the various camps at Stonar and Pontispool.  This homework put our team in a strong position despite the wet spring which cancelled so many events.

The pick of the Intermediate boys was Tom E who took his horse round clear with just a few time penalties.  Thomas K took his young, inexperienced horse round by far the biggest course it has ever seen and brought it home safely.  Charlie C took his grey mare round very well and he generously lent the same horse to help Ella Harries-Jacob achieve a good round over the Junior course later in the day.

The Intermediate Girls: Sasha G, Zoe D and Emma H produced a hat trick of clears. They have shown themselves to be very reliable in this phase.

Junior Boys next: Henry S, Tom C & Jack T all clear and Harry B just a few penalties for a minor mistake.

Junior Girls, all eleven of them, made quite a picture zooming round the collecting ring in their distinctive hooped silks and Beaufort skins. Just great to have so many. Seven clears, one clear with time faults and nobody scoring less than 1270 out of 1400. Thank you again to the Clark family who lent a pony to Lucy P for this event.

Our sole Novice Junior Girl was Alice E. The Novice Junior class is a great opportunity for first year or inexperienced Juniors to do all the Junior phases except for the riding where they do the Mini course instead of the 90cm Junior course.  The Mini course that Alice jumped clear round was less than she is capable of but at the time of entry, many weeks ago, it was hard to tell which was the best class. However I have no doubt she will be back to take on the Junior course next year.

Finally the minis: our three Mini Girls were Millie S, Anna D and Belle E. The Mini Boys Will C, Josh B and George S. Mille S jumped a lovely clear despite being agonisingly held up by someone having too many stops.  Although we are pleased to see those in trouble allowed to continue, they do need to be moved out of the way to allow a faster competitor to overtake…. Anna D and Belle E had just a few penalties each and rode superbly.  Anna had to ride her mother’s horse at the last minute due to a minor injury to her own pony. Her only faults were for getting a leg up after the slip rail!

In the Mini Boys Josh B also had last minute dramas with an injury to his own pony meaning he had to ride his younger brother’s green and inexperienced pony round the biggest course it will have seen to date.  His eventing genes came out and he gave the young pony a great ride that will have brought it on enormously.  George S and Will C were clear but all three boys were held, following a fall. I think they had a chance to discuss team tactics before being re-launched over the last two fences!

Big thanks to Marj Stratton & Helen Russell who nobly travelled to Bicton to assist the team by fulfilling our obligation to provide a pair of fence judges.

Stables were cleared, tents dismantled and packing ensued while the scorers crunched the numbers.  For the Beaufort teams it was a highly successful event, showing that if you can field teams you can (a) have more fun and (b) win more rosettes!

Intermediate Boys Beaufort Team 1st (Tom E, Thomas K, Charlie C)
Intermediate Girls Beaufort Team 1st (Sasha G, Emma H, Zoe D)Zoe D Ind 4th
Junior Boys Beaufort Team 1st (Tom C, Henry S, Jack T, Harry B)& Henry S Ind 6th
Junior Girls Beaufort Blue Team 1st (Amy P, Isla G, Poppy C, Rachel H)Beaufort Buff Team 3rd (Maddy A, Lucy P, Grace T, Meg S)

Beaufort Red Team 5th (Finnola S, Ella HJ, Tegan W)

Poppy C Ind 1st, Rachel H Ind 3rd

Mini Boys Beaufort Team 1st (Will C, Josh B, George S)Will C Ind 1st, Josh B Ind 6th
Mini Girls Beaufort Team 3rd (Belle E, Anna D, Millie S)
Inter Area Int Boys Team Area 9 Team 1st (Tom E, Thomas K, Charlie C)
Inter Area Int Girls Team Area 9 Team 1st (Sasha G, Emma H, Zoe D, Jess M SH&RH)
Inter Area Junior Boys Team Area 9 Team 2nd (Tom C, Henry S, Jack T, Harry B)
Inter Area Junior Girls Team Area 9 Team 1st (Isla G, Poppy C, Rachel H, Lottie R CVFH)
Inter Area Mini Boys Team Area 9 Team 1st (Will C, Josh B, George S)
Inter Area Mini Girls Team Area 9 Team 2nd (Anna D, Millie S, Penny S Cotswold, Erin Kemple CVFH)

Beaufort Juniors Rosettes Area 9 Mini Boys Int Girls Area 9 Team Picnic Group Small