In a Leg that promised fierce competition from the get-go with nine of the top 20 FEI Ranked Riders in the World among the entries, it was the Cross Country that proved to be the most influential phase of the weekend.
Putting in a foot perfect performance across all three phases and winning by a margin of over 8 marks, Australia’s Chris Burton and Polystar I gave owner Trish Rickard her third top level win in 6 weeks. Posting an impressive 23.6 and knocking over 10 marks off their Leg 2 dressage score Burton sat in second place going into the show jumping. A clear round inside the time over the coloured poles put them into the top spot before Cross Country meaning they headed out on the XC course last. Living up to his “fastest man in Eventing” title, Burton guided Polystar I home 2 seconds under the 6 minute optimum time to become only the second person ever to make the time in the CIC3* at Arville.
“I’m thrilled, he gave me such a lovely ride in all three phases. He’s a fast horse and he loves galloping so I figured there was no point in two of us pulling!” Burton commented after his win.
Jumping an incredible clear round in the Show Jumping this morning, Britain’s Laura Collett and the 9yr old gelding London 52 (Dan), continued their stellar Leg 3 performance with a speedy clear round around a very technical 3* track. Having not actually completed an International competition at this level before, the pair finished just 3 seconds over the 6min optimum time on a score of 32.3 taking second place.
With the ERM Podium so far eluding our most capped pair, Australia’s Bill Levett and Masters specialist Shannondale Titan, today was their day. With a solid dressage score of 29.8 leaving them in 13thplace overnight, a foot perfect clear Show Jumping round enabled them to climb the leader board to 4th before the Cross Country. Putting in another amazing clear and adding just 2.4 penalties to his score, Bill finished 3 seconds slower than 2nd place Laura on 32.3 earning 3rd place.
Sarah Cohen and Treason were the first combination ever to beat the clock in the CIC3* here at Arville, who finished in 6th place; a rail down in the show jumping prevented a podium finish for them..
“He was on cruise control the whole way round – I’m not sure I even took a pull to be honest. I did think more would make the time, but he is an absolute star.” Said Cohen of long term partner Treason.
Images courtesy of Anna Franklin Event Rider Masters