Report by Amanda Brown
Photographs courtesy of Tim Wilkinson Eventing Images
The 2015 Bacon.co.uk Burnham Market Horse Trials belonged to Oliver Townend who took top honours in the international classes. With a total of three firsts and four seconds across the three days of competition, Townend really made it an Easter bank holiday to remember.
Townend gave Patsy Mason’s Mr Hiho the best result of his career in the CIC *** leading the huge 92 strong section from the dressage. Townend took over the ride of the 11 year old gelding by San Remo at the end of 2014 from Eventing Worldwide’s own blogger, Emily King (otherwise known as ‘The Olympian’s Daughter’) who had produced him under the watchful eye of her Mother from BE100 level.
Armada also showed fantastic form for Townend in the lead up to Badminton International where they have been accepted into the CCI 4*. Townend was returning with Paul Ridgeon’s gelding, more affectionately known as Moses, to Burnham Market as the winner of the 2014 CIC *** class and completed an additional double clear with the fastest cross country time in the section accumulating just 0.8 cross country time faults.
Tom Jackson rode the family owned horse, Waltham Fiddlers Find, to an outstanding third position with a double clear. The Kent based rider who won the CCI *** U25 at Bramham last year said, “I was thrilled with all of my horses’ performances, especially Waltham Fiddlers Find who thankfully seems to be on good form as he was last year. He is just so consistent. He will aim for Bramham this Spring where we will try and retain our title…Burnham is such a lovely, well organised event and a great place to give the advanced horses a fast run before their Spring three day events”.
In the CIC ** Piggy French lead from the dressage with a cool score of 33.3 which was the only sub 40 dressage score of the section.
French said, “I was delighted with how OBOS Cooley went. He’s a new ride for me and hopefully a very exciting one for the future. It was obviously frustrating not to win after he had lead the dressage but it was the first time I’ve asked him to move up a gear cross country and found his stride to be quite deceptive. I was annoyed with myself losing the class but definitely felt I learnt a lot about him over the weekend.”
“He goes to Ballindenisk for the CCI ** at the end of the month which will be another learning curve with him before we step up a level later in the season. He’s a really exciting horse and I’m honoured that George and Jayne Apter have given me the opportunity to ride him.”
French has an active You Tube channel where OBOS Cooley’s ride at Burnham Market is published,
Unfortunately the drop of a hind leg in the show jumping put the pair back followed by time faults on the cross country which meant Townend once again took the one two showing once more how well the Norfolk based event suited him being the only rider to complete within the time cross country with two more double clears on Cooley SRS and Colonel Joe.
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With Kristina Cook and De Novo News being accepted into Badminton along with Andrew Hoy and Lanfranco the duos showed their confidence by leading the Advanced section. The show jumping proved hugely influential with Pippa Funnel giving up her lead from a 29.3 dressage and just six combinations going forward to the cross country on their dressage scores. Cook, who shares ownership of De Novo News with Jim Chromiak, then flew around the cross country in the fastest time to add just 6.8 time faults to finish on a fabulous double clear winning the section.
As if Oliver Townend’s success knew no bounds he again achieved the first and second in section J of the Intermediate. Red Andes Fanfare made a fantastic 2015 debut winning on a score of 34.4 and Peruising followed close behind taking second.
Zimbabwe’s Camilla Kruger just pipped Townend to the post in Section I of the Intermediate. Kruger said, “Sam (Biarritz II) has come out this season a stronger more confident horse. We changed a lot of things this winter to help with my time cross country and my position and his strength. Everything just fell into place on Friday and he felt fantastic. Sam really relaxed into his job and all went very smoothly! We have Saumur lined up CCI *** which I’m very much looking forward to with him. He has so much still to come, a very special, exciting horse!’
Tom Jackson continued his success from the CIC *** with Dowalda in Section M of the Novice. The rising 7 year old mare by Wizzerd has started 2015 with a bang winning just two weeks previously at Aldon International. Jackson said, “Dowalda is a lovely young horse who has won her past two Novices. She is owned by Suzie Jenkins who is a brilliant supporter of mine and is now aiming for Tatts”.
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Bubby Upton stormed the Under 18 sections in the Novice and BE100. In 2014 Upton won double silver at the Pony Europeans and has carried on her success with her move up to horses. After taking up the rider on Austin O’Connor’s former 3* horse, Fernhill Rock Star, Upton has started the 2015 season successfully and was campaigning the horse at the Novice following a 2nd place at Great Witchingham International in the BE100 PC.
Upton said on her ride in the Novice, “I was over the moon with how he (Fernhill Rock Star) went. I haven’t had him long at all because I have only just moved off ponies, so I’m still getting to know him. He was amazing in all three phases and gave me a dream ride around the cross country. It was our first Novice together and I hoped it would go well but I never thought it would go that well! He knows his job well and the ride he gave me has filled me with confidence for our next run at Belton.”
Section C in the BE100 saw a hotly contended title between Isabella Stagg with Quite A Compliment and Sophie How with HRS Great Expectations. With a score of just 1.3 between the pair going into the cross country with the hot favourites being How with the 6 year old gelding having won his two previous events this season.
Quite A Compliment maintained the lead adding just 1.2 time faults onto a fantastic dressage score of 22.5 to win the section. How, who also had successful runs in the Open Intermediate commented, “I was very pleased with all three horses, they all jumped very well. HRS Great Expectations is doing his first Novice at Belton in a couple of weeks so I was very happy with how confident he was this weekend, fingers crossed he lives up to his name”.
The best finishing score of the event went to Willa Newton and Erythronium finishing on their dressage score of 21. The pair are on exceptionally strong form having won all three of their events this year with double clears every time. The Leicestershire based 24 year old brought four rides to the event with every single one going clear and within the time cross country.
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Section B CIC *** International Advanced
1st Oliver Townend & Mr Hiho 39.8, 2.8 XCT
2nd Oliver Townend & Armada 42, 0.8 XCT
3rd Tom Jackson & Waltham Fiddlers Find 44.7, 6.8 XCT
Section A CIC ** International Intermediate
1st Oliver Townend & Cooley SRS 43 double clear
2nd Oliver Townend & Colonel Joe 44.1 double clear
3rd Piggy French & OBOS Cooley 33.3, 4 SJ, 10.4 XCT
Section O Advanced
1st Kristina Cook & De Novo News 30, 6.8 XCT
2nd Andrew Hoy & Lanfranco 31.8, 8 XCT
3rd Nana Dalton & Abbeylara Prince 31.8, 12.8 XCT
Section I Intermediate
1st Camilla Kruger & Biarritz II 27.5, 2.4 XCT
2nd Oliver Townend & Power Drive 28.2, 4 SJ, 1.6 XCT
3rd Richard Jones & Alfies Clover 32.3, 1.6 XCT
Section J Intermediate
1st Oliver Townend & Red Andes Fanfare 30, 4 SJ, 0.4 XCT
2nd Oliver Townend & Peruising 32.1, 2.8 XCT
3rd Julie Tew & Sir Perirose 29.8, 4 SJ, 10 XCT
Section P Open Intermediate
1st Aiofe Clarke & Fernhill Adventure 20.7, 4 SJ, 11.6 XCT
2nd Michael Owen & The Highland Prince 32.3, 5.6 XCT
3rd Andrew Nicholson & Calico Joe 26.1, 12 SJ, 5.2 XCT
Section K Open Intermediate
1st Andrew Hoy & The Blue Frontier 20.9, 4 SJ, 2 XCT
2nd Michael Owen & Bradeley Law 25.7, 1.6 XCT
3rd Nicola Wilson & Ngong Hills 21.8, 8.4 XCT
Section M Novice
1st Tom Jackson & Dowalda 30.5 double clear
2nd Samantha Hobbs & Tretawn 26, 5.6 XCT
3rd Daniel Megson & Galant II 28.5, 4 SJ,
Section G Novice
1st Noah Brook & Deo Volente III 29.5 double clear
2nd Nini French & Corbett 30.3 double clear
3rd Oliver Townend & Kanga Rouge 30.5 double clear
Section H Novice
1st Alex Postolowsky & Akolien 27, 3.6 XCT
2nd Izzy Taylor & Direct Cavalier 29, 4 SJ
3rd Jane Buchan & Dukeofganymede 28.8, 8 SJ, 2 XCT
Section N Open Novice
1st Stine Hoff & Leo M 30 double clear
2nd Matthew Wright & Olympic Expression 30.3, 3.2 XCT
3rd Blyth Tait & Darius IV 32.5, 1.2 XCT
Section L Open Novice Under 18
1st Bubby Upton & Fernhill Rock Star 25.8 double clear
2nd Annie Keir & Roma ML 27.5, 8.8 XCT
3rd James Brown & One Way 35.3, 2 XCT
Section E BE100 Under 18
1st Pip Taylor & Sherkin Island 34 double clear
2nd Bubby Upton & Eros DHI 34, 0.8 XCT
3rd Alexa Regis & Glenayre Knight 35.3 double clear
Section C BE100
1st Isabella Stagg & Quite A Compliment 22.5, 1.2 XCT
2nd Sophie How & HRS Great Expectations 23.8 double clear
3rd Izzy Taylor & Serafina 29.8, 1.2 XCT
Section D BE100
1st Caroline Powell & Ballintoher Harry 21.8 double clear
2nd Izzy Taylor & Constance O Cool 19.5, 4 XCT
3rd Virginia Wells & Cassino Reeb 22.5, 1.2 XCT
Section F BE100 Open
1st Willa Newton & Erythronium 21 double clear
2nd Melanie Darling & Malakie Imp 30.5 double clear
3rd Esther Anderson & Eldorado II 31.5, 1 SJT