A total of 37 points stood between Sam Ecroyd and his closest challenger in BE’s 3* challenge, the Fairfax Britannia League, seeing him and his own Wodan III crowned the winner of the 2016 series.
Heading the table from the series’ opening 3* event, Burgham International in March, the 19 year old ran away with the league never dropping from his position at the top for the entire season.
“I am delighted to have won this very prestigious award - the Fairfax Britannia League is a serious league for serious competitors, as shown by past winners and the other riders in the running this year,” commented Sam.
Calculated as a horse and rider combination Sam, a member of the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Podium Potential squad, and the Dutch bred gelding Wodan III have racked up some impressive results including four top ten 3* placings to help them to their 145 point total.
Sam added, “I have had a wonderful season contributed to by many people to all of whom I am grateful. I am hoping that the generous prizes for winning this league will enable me to have as good a season next year! I shall be working hard over the winter to achieve it.
“I would like to thank Wodan specifically - he has been a wonderful exciting generous horse to me and this is his prize too.”
The duo finished second at the hotly contested Bramham CCI3* under 25 adding 100 points to their league tally ensuring they kept a healthy margin between themselves and eventual second placed riders in the league, Lydia Hannon and My Royal Touch. Twenty seven year old Lydia impressed with Mrs and Mrs Christopher Harris’ 12 year old mare at the recent Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials where they were best of the Brits in the prestigious CCI3* class taking 90 points along with their top ten finish in the Chatsworth CIC3* in May to help accrue their sum of 108 points.
Completing the top three in the 3* league is 24 year old Emily Prangnell and her own, Mrs Maxine and Mr Dennis Prangnell’s DHI Beaunesse on 103 points. On board the 10 year old mare, Emily claimed a double of top ten 3* placings this season which included finishing in third place behind league winner Sam in the Bramham CCI3* under 25.
The Fairfax Britannia League, now in its third year, gives British riders who have never represented Great Britain at senior level (excluding Nations Cups) the opportunity to compete for an impressive prize pot of a £5000 rider bursary fund for the leading rider, £3000 for the second placed rider and £1000 to third. Nigella Hall, founder of the league, also donated the owner of the leading horse with a beautiful perpetual bronze trophy
Commenting on Sam’s win, Director of Fairfax saddles, Vanessa Fairfax; “The Fairfax Britannia League recognises the strengths and talents of up-and-coming British riders and Sam is a worthy winner this year – he’s had an amazing season with Wodan III.”
Points are collected at British CCI3* and CIC3* based events as well as all FEI Nation Cup competitions. Riders in the top three at the end of the season also take home products from the Fairfax range with the winner selecting a Fairfax saddle and Performance Girth of their choice plus generous rider bursaries.
More information on the league can be found HERE.
Sam will receive his award at the Event Horse Owners Association (EHOA) Annual Dinner and Awards Evening on Monday 7th November 2016, more information can be found on their website HERE.
The top ten are as follows:
1st Mr Sam Ecroyd and WODAN III owned by the rider - 145
2nd Miss Lydia Hannon and MY ROYAL TOUCH owned by Mr and Mrs Christopher Harris - 108
3rd Miss Emily Prangnell and DHI BEAUNESSE owned by Mrs Maxine Prangnell, Mr Dennis Prangnell and the rider - 103
4th Miss Lauren Shannon and QUALITY PURDEY owned by Miss Claire Poole - 100
5th Miss Ibby Macpherson and BALLINGOWAN DIAMOND owned by the rider – 93
6th Mr James Sommerville TALENT Mr James Sommerville, Mrs Jennifer Sommerville 88
7th Miss Dani Evans and SMART TIME owned by Mrs Luana Edge - 81
8th Miss Gina Ruck and REHY TOO owned by Mrs Lesley Ruck and the rider -70
9th= Mr Matthew Heath and ONE OF A KIND II owned by Mrs Hazel Livesey and the rider - 63
9th= Mrs Dee Hankey and CHEQUERS PLAYBOY owned by the rider – 63
Full league results HERE.