THE first qualifier in this season’s Baileys Horse Feeds flexi-eventing series at The Meadows was held last Saturday when it was cold, dry and often sunny although showers late on made life less pleasant for those competing over the higher tracks.

There was a very large entry for this campaign opener resulting in the use of five arenas – three for dressage (which started at 9am in each), one for show jumping (where there were two courses in use all day) and one for cross-country (where there were four full tracks up from 9.30am).

Show jumping started at 70cms, where three combinations recorded double clears, while five combinations were clear over the 70cms cross-country track which, by demand, was a late addition to the series schedule. Three combinations were also clear over the day’s highest show jumping track, 1.20m, with 10 being unpenalised over the highest cross-country track of 1m. The cross-country arena was filled with an excellent selection of fences including a water complex.

As ever, in addition to organisers and officials, there was a large team of helpers on duty across the three disciplines. Hopefully these, and others, will answer the call to assist as the series, which is open to all, continues today and each Saturday up to February 25th with points being awarded for performance and attendance up to the final qualifying round on February 18th.

Those with thoroughbreds are reminded that while it is not compulsory to register with Treo Eile to win the prize for the top-placed thoroughbred in this series, and other competitions the not-for-profit organisation sponsors during the year, they are encouraged to do so. Registration is free and this data will help Treo Eile source funding to continue its support of retraining and competitions (