Report by Sarah Carless
Eventers head north for Burgham International
Elite international eventers from around the world descended on Burgham International Horse Trials (1) for the first CIC** and CIC*** events o0f 2016 on the British Eventing calendar.
With the cancellation of Askham Bryan due to poor weather conditions, the Northumberland event is the most northerly event held to date, and gave many combinations their first run of 2016. The Owen Pugh Burgham International Horse Trials hosted a range of national classes from BE90 through to Open Intermediate, alongside the CIC 2* and CIC 3* classes, attracting entries in excess of 400 horse and rider combonations.
Victory in the CIC** went to Polly Stockton and Imperial Trump. [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‘]
Blyth Tait was a close second with Dassett Courage and Oliver Townend and Note Worthy, with whom he won the Intermediate Championship at last year’s Festival of British Eventing, taking third place. The cross country course gave combinations a good early season run with no combinations picking up cross country jumping penalties, although time was a deciding factor with eight combinations getting under the optimum time.
The CIC*** class was won by Oliver Townend with Dromgurrihy Blue, one of the rides he has entered for Badminton in five weeks’ time. Second went to USA’s Tiana Coudray with Ringwood Magister with Pippa Funnell and Billy The Biz in third. Again the CIC*** cross country provided little trouble with only two combinations collecting jumping penalties whilst only three made the optimum time.
Burgham International also saw Ben Hobday return to international action following his first competitive outing at Lincolnshire the previous week. In the CIC** Ben was 13th with Ciletto H, and he followed this up with a top 20 placing on the popular Mulrys Error in the CIC***. Ben also had rides in the BE100 (Ekamorka) and the Novice (Shadow Soldier) finishing 12th and 14th respectively.
The event has teamed up with New Zealand international event rider and Rio contender Blyth Tait who assisted with the design of the BE90 and BE100 cross country tracks.
A Mitsubishi Motors Cup competitor was the winner in BE90 Section I proving that Burgham is a lucky venue. Having qualified for the grassroots championships BE90 final here in July last year, when they came eighth in the regional final, Caroline Taylor and Castlelawn Fantastic tool victory in their first outing of the 2016 season. The pair scored 28.o in the dressage, the second best in the class, and added just 0.4 time penalties on cross country to take the win.
Storm Straker and Well Designed were victorious in the Open Novice Under 18 Section E, and she also placed third with her second horse William Wordsworth. Storm has ridden Well Designed since 2013, and a year later represented Great Britain as an individual at the European Junior Championships at Bishop Burton. She is aiming for a place on the Junior team in her last year in this category.
Seventeen year old Storm, who is the niece of Olympic eventer Karen Dixon, told Eventing Worldwide; “I am extremely happy with how they both performed at Burgham. Well Designed has been in the family since he was four. My sister originally brought him on and I started riding him when I was 14. It is amazing to have a win under my belt so early on in the season. I certainly wasn’t expecting it. We had a great day and both horses loved the ground, it was in an amazing condition. The show jumping at Burgham is also always very good as it creates a big atmosphere with all the flags, which helps to prepare the horses for the bigger events later on in the season. My plans for the season ahead are to do another ONU18 at Breckenbrough and then move up to OI at Belton and then Withington for the Junior Trials as this is my final year in juniors and I am hoping to make the squad again.”
Burgham International’s second fixture (July 28-31) will form part of the Shearwater Insurance Tristar Grand Slam which offers a £50,000 prize for any rider who can win three of the five CIC3* events held at Burnham Market International, Belton International, Houghton International, Hopetoun International and Burgham International.
Section results: Intermediate Section C Samantha Hobbs, Treblare; Open Intermediate Section D Emily Parker, Howick Freedom; Novice Section F Kristina Hall-Jackson, Slaney Cruise; Open Novice Section G Andrew James, Benelux Casino; BE90 Section H Jackie Tait, Manor House Merry Mate Boy; BE90 Section J William Bower, Primative Primrose; BE100 Section K Shauna Carman, Frogertie; BE100 Section L Sara Bowe, Kilcoltrim Mermist; BE100 Section M James Adams, Reuben Rialto; BE100 Open Section N Philippa Nixon, Arctic Cruising; Novice Section O Wills Oakden, Cooley Ghareeb.
Photography courtesy of Dave Cameron