Saying goodbye to a special member of the team

Sue White’s Kilfinnie (Scottie) has been enjoying the dry weather we’ve been having with a short brake from work this month as a reward for his fantastic efforts at Badminton.

Martin and Suzi Belsham’s Stormhill Michael (Mike) went to Chatsworth for a World Cup Qualifier at the start of the month where after a good dressage, he had some uncharacteristic problems across country leading to a rather disappointing weekend. However after some serious schooling of the issues shown up, Michael was back on top form at Houghton in the CIC*** class with a another convincing WIN.

Captain Fred and Penny Barker, Vicki Mace-Benson and Georgina Tapner’s Wickstead Didgeridoo (Balloo) had a good run in the Advanced at Chatsworth but also had some uncharacteristic penalties in both the Show Jumping and XC. However, he too was back on top form at Houghton in the CIC*** class, which was his first time competing at this level for a very pleasing 7th place.

Captain Fred and Penny Barker’s Kilronan (Tom) finally got out to play at Hambelden in the Open Intermediate, where he proved he had lost none of his ability for a very creditable 4th place. Unfortunately the splint injury, which delayed his start to competitions this season, decided to reappear straight after Hambelden and so he will now have some further time off before beginning an Autumn competition campaign.

Peter and Libby Saugman’s Caicos (Cai) has been quick to adjust to his new jockey and was very impressive at Hambleden in an Intermediate section for a double clear and a final 4th place. With an improvement in the brakes for the testing Brigstock Intermediate track he put in yet another double clear and was able to go a little faster across country, for one better – a fantastic 3rdplace at Intermediate.

Sally and Colm McGinn’s Indian Mill (Monkee) has busy practising his footwork at home with an unaffiliated dressage competition WIN at Wickstead and is eagerly awaiting his first eventing competition of this season at Great Tew in June.

Andrew Page’s Miss B (Bee) had just the one outing at Brigstock in the Novice this month where she found competing in the main international arena all a little too daunting and so some show jumping penalties kept her out of the top places, but once again put in a solid dressage and XC performance.

Angela Scott’s Carlito (Carlo) went to Aston Le Walls where it was decided that we would try not to over-excite him across country, so after a very good double clear, some time penalties across country kept him mid field in the placings. He then went to Brigstock where he had the first rail of his season in the show jumping, but over the toughest XC track he has yet seen, showed that he is as real star of the future.

Anne Chapman’s Vrolijk (Dude) had a good solid run at Moreton Morrell finishing in 3rd place, but unfortunately decided at Aston Le Walls, that after a spectacular 24.5 in the dressage phase that he was far too big to fit through the difficult Owl Hole jump across country and so incurred a disappointing walk home. However he was back on top form at Brigstock where he finished on his fantastic dressage score of 25.2 to notch up yet another WIN in a novice section.

Jane Gwillim-David’s Supreme Watts (Dai) was very busy during May with three outings, first of which at Moreton Morrell, where he had his best performance at Novice level so far with a 4th place. He followed this up with a good all round performance at Aston Le Walls to finish just out of the placings. He then went to Brigstock where a mishap in the show jumping kept him out of the placings, but a great XC round over a really tough XC track kept us smiling for his future.

Mrs Georgina Tapner’s Clodoline (Katie) went to Moreton Morrell in a BE100 section where she found the show jumping phase just far too difficult and it was then decided not to bother running her across country. Katie has since been sold onto a new owner who is willing to demand far less from her competitively than we were, which she will be much happier with.

Jenny Waaler’s Boomerang (Boo) and Captain Fred and Penny Barker’s Strike it Lucky (Paddy) had their first competition in an unaffiliated dressage competition at Wickstead, where Zoe Wilkinson expertly piloted them into the top 2 slots in their class, making sure they didn’t find their introduction to the white boards too scary!

Georgina Tapner’s Wickstead Ulara (Lara) went to Aston Le Walls where she was just far too keen across country giving rise to some penalties in this phase. After some minor adjustments to the brakes for Brigstock, Georgina had much more fun, finishing on her dressage score for Lara’s best result at this level, a fantastic 4thplace.

Zoe Wilkinson’s We Found Nemo (Nemo) went to Aston Le Walls in the Novice where he put in a good all round performance in all three phases. He then went to Brigstock where he too found the main international arena all a little too daunting and so some penalties in this phase kept him down the order, but he redeemed himself well across country over the very testing track. Zoe’s GHS Calvaruise (Peanut) stepped up a grade at Brigstock for his first attempt at Novice where he just couldn’t quite understand why Zoewas asking him to jump through a stable block but otherwise was very good for his first novice outing.

Emma Owen’s Solis Obitus (Sunny) had just the one party this month at Keysoe where in the BE90 he showed he was starting to get the idea of what this eventing business was all about and gave Emma a somewhat happier time than her last outing with him.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one our devoted Tapner Eventing Team Members, Claus Waaler who passed away after a short illness on Monday 18th April aged 68. Claus’ wife Jenny is the owner of Inonothing, winner of Badminton 2010. The passing of Claus on the Monday of the start of the week of Badminton 2011 put a sombre mood on the teams’ departure for Badminton, but made the success of Inonothing just 12 months prior all the more special for the Tapner Eventing Team and the Waaler Family.

Claus leaves his three sons, Nick, James and Cameron, who invited Paul Tapner to join them as pall bearers at the funeral which was held at Stanford in the Vale, Oxon on Thursday 28th April. Jenny, Nick, James and Cameron asked for Paul’s infamous red “trot up” socks to make an appearance, in recognition that it was “the last trot up” that Claus would be attending.

In addition to close friends and family, the funeral service was well attended by many Eventing enthusiasts, Old Berks Hunt members, Old Berks Hunt Pony Club members, Shipping Industry Executives and Organ Transplant Associates, areas in which Claus had been passionate and active in throughout his life.

A fitting yet haunting blowing of “Gone Away” was performed by Michael Scott, Old Berks Master of Hounds, as Claus was carried from the church at the end of the service.

Jenny, Nick, Cameron and life long friend Dr. Peter Kyle spoke eloquently and fondly in the funeral service of the great man we were privileged to know and now sadly miss.

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