The medals presentation - Photograph by Bill Parrot

The medals presentation - Photograph by Bill Parrot

Eland Lodge EC gets into the spirit of the games

By Imogen Johnson

General news

29 June 2012 11:20

With the run up to the Olympics looming Eland Lodge Equestrian Centre got into the spirit of the Games and ran its own E.L.Oympic Team One-Day-Event, on Sunday 17 June.

Teams of four horses and riders were each allocated a country to ride for and completed a dressage test, show jumping round and timed cross-country course with the best three scores to count. One team member needed to compete in each class (E70, E80 and E90) and the fourth rider could choose which class they rode in.

The Gold winning team, Sri Lanka, was made up of two sisters from Sutton Coldfield and their two friends. The Team Leader Fay Butlin on her mare Freckleton Melody led her team, Laura Butlin on her gelding He’s Murphy, Caroline Bark on her gelding Reo and Kate Connor on her gelding Wilfred, to victory.

The winning members all undertook dressage training with the international dressage rider Kate Cowell at the dressage clinics run at Eland Lodge and Jump training with 4* eventer Ginnie Turnbull.

As well as team gold Fay Butlin managed to win individual gold in the E70 on her horse Freckleton Melody with a score of 25.5 and Laura Butlin took individual bronze in the E90 on a score of 26.5 with He’s Smurphy.

“Smurfy is a superstar, buying him is the best thing I ever did. He always tries his best for me,” said Laura Butlin. “The competition on the field today was really first class and so many of the horses and riders looked fantastic in their countries colours, there was a lot of effort made.”

The team for Great Britain managed to scoop team Bronze and also took their place on the podiums for the medals presentation, rising of the flags and the National anthems.

Fay, who composes music and floor plans for horse and rider to compete in dressage to music at all levels, said she was impressed with the team spirit shown by the triumphant squad, who had revealed great technical knowledge over the cross country section of the competition, great rider strengths in the dressage part and composure and power in the show jumping segment.

“Melody has a lot of talent, but it is containing it that is the challenge. She has been fantastic today,” said Fay. “John who runs Eland Lodge and his team have done an amazing job at organizing such a fantastic event. The detail and effort put in has been amazing, there has been such a good atmosphere to the day.”

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