Burton triumphs at Belton
Report by Vera Porter
Christopher Burton gave his Badminton preparation a boost by winning the CIC3* at Belton International Horse Trials with Nobilis 18.
The event is held on the beautiful Belton Estate by kind permission of the National Trust and sponsored by Lycetts and Lincolnshire County Council.
There was a weird weather system this year, with rain, snow, hail and sunshine which caused the organisers some problems, and unfortunately the Intermediate classes on Saturday were cancelled. Event Director Stuart Buntine told Eventing Worldwide that [emember_protected custom_msg=’This content is only available to Members, to read more of this article please Join HERE or if you are a member please LOGIN‘] the ground struggled when rain was falling, but once it stopped the surface became strong again due to its underlying sand base. This was proved by the fantastic going on Sunday.
Friday was a trying time for competitors due to constant drizzle all day, but the classes were all well supported. Lauren Shannon on Anne Stayley’s Priorspark Precocious won the Novice Section A, staying on their impressive dressage score of 25.
Sue Wilkinson’s To Be Fair II ridden by J P Sheffield added nothing to their dressage
score of 28 to claim the Novice Section B. Steve Garrod riding Ufonzo whom he jointly owns with Izzy Lawrence took the Novice Section C staying on their dressage score of 28.8. Novice Section D was won by Jodie Amos riding Mrs Jocelyn Riley’s Direct Ballytarsna Duracel. Jodie said that he gave her a dreamy, foot perfect run cross country.
Holly Needham and Cruz V achieved an impressive dressage score of 24.8 with nothing to add, they took the Open Novice Under 18 Section E, with Heidi Coy and Royal Fury second, this being their first Novice.
The only Intermediate class to run was Section F and this was won by Padraig McCarthy riding MGH Kings Street.
Fridays conversation piece was the unlucky Francis Whittington, who with his mount Evento had a mishap at the water. Francis told me later, that he knew it was going wrong at take off – he and Evento, neither of whom were hurt, ended up fully submerged. On getting to his feet Francis told the onlookers it was “ruddy freezing.”
Saturday was a shock to most, with a covering of snow. This delayed the start of the cross country action, which didn’t get underway until 1.30 to give the ground time to recover.
The CIC2* Section K was won by Tim Cheffings and Donateur. Tim was super happy, it was Donateur’s biggest win of his career so far. Ludwig Svennerstal and Master Ping took the CIC2* Section L.
All the days competitors were full of praise for the ground condition, carefully managed by the organisers and their team.
Sunday started bright and sunny, which lasted all day, this was brilliant for the huge amount of excited spectators that arrived to watch this fantastic International event.
New Zealand’s Jonelle Price and Classic Moet claimed the top spot in the Advanced Section M as they finalise their warm up for Badminton Horse Trials. They were followed closely by Britain’s Laura Collett and Cooley Again, with Oliver Townend and Samuel Thomas II coming a close third. Oliver also took first and second in Section O with Dunbeau and ODT Ghareeb respectively, third place went to Perfect Stranger and the ever popular New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson.
Olympic selectors were watching eagle eyed as countries from across the globe sent out their best combinations to compete over Captain Mark Phillip’s testing cross country course for the CIC3*
It was an International leader board in the Grantham Cup CIC3*, with Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis owned by Carolyn and Anthony Townend and Sue Lawson taking first, and with it the second leg of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-star Grand Slam, with an impressive score of 34.5. The pair were only one of two combinations to make the optimum time, the other being Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Eco who finished in ninth.
France’s Thomas Carlisle finished a close second with Quiro Hoy. Germany’s Bettina Hoy riding Seigneur Medicott took third. The leading British rider was Gemma Tattersall and Chico Bella who finished in sixth with a classy double clear.
Afterwards Christopher said he was he didn’t turn around and go home when it started snowing, commenting: “So happy with Nobilis winning the 3* class out of 137. Perfect preparation for his 4* debut at Badminton.”
The inaugural Polly Phillips Memorial Trophy, awarded to the highest placed British rider in the Grantham Cup, not eligible to wear the senior flag, was awarded to Ros Canter, for her ride on her mother’s Zenshera. This was Zenshera’s first 3* for nearly 2 years, and Ros said that he loved it and enjoyed being back in the limelight.
The on-site live streaming was immensely popular, with screens in the BEDE owners facility and by the cross country course. It also streamed the CIC3* online allowing a global audience to enjoy the action.
Photographs courtesy of Lorraine Porter