Dauntsey attracts international crowd 

Dauntsey Park Horse Trials first British Eventing competition of the year attracted more than 550 horse and rider combinations over two days, including international stars such as Andrew Nicholson, William Fox-Pitt, Paul Tapner, Mary King, Lucinda Fredericks and Sam Griffiths.

Dauntsey Park Horse Trials has become a popular fixture since it returned to the British Eventing calendar in 2008 after and 11 year break, and now boast two events a year. Now jointly organised by event rider Beanie Sturgis and Jill Lamont, Dauntsey Park Horse Trials originally hosted horse trials from 1973 until 1997. The bold, galloping cross country course was once again designed by Beanie and built by the Willis Brothers who are based in nearby Malmesbury.

The first day of competition saw riders tackle the BE90, Four Year Old and BE100 classes. Winner in BE90 Section A was Amelia James and Hayestown Donny. The combination have not been out of the top five placings in each of their British Eventing competitions, in their first year of affiliated eventing. In BE90 Section D Julie Bush and Attychree Prince made it their second win of the year, their first being at Mount Ballen in May.

The 4 Yr Old Section E, sponsored by KBIS, was won by Catherine Fear and Destine A Etre. It was the combination’s first affiliated outing and they finished on their dressage score of 27.5. Toby, as he is known at home, was bought by Catherine last year after he was bought over from Ireland. She says: “I wasn’t expecting to win. He’s quite sharp but very sweet and tries hard. We’ve been doing a lot of hunter trials and show jumping competitions to build Toby up. He’s also done Burghley Young Event Horse classes and I’d like to qualify him for the final in  September. We’ll also be taking him to Homme House and West Wilts or Treborough. He’s a horse I have high hopes for.”

The second day of competition saw riders compete in BE100, Novice, Open Novice and Intermediate Novice courses.

BE100 Section O was won by Alexander Whewall and Ellfield Grafifi, with the pair claiming their second BE100 win on the trot, having taken victory at Chepstow Horse Trials. The six year old is owned by her breeder Sheila Rowe and came to Alexander last July. Producing a double clear, the combination finished on their dressage score of 29.3.

He says: “Fifi has gone from strength to strength. It is her first year eventing – she is a big horse and it has taken a long time to get her strong enough as we didn’t want to push her too early. She has such big movement but she just gets better and better. The cross country course always causes problems, ask questions and catches horses out. But Fifi was really bold on cross country from day one and took it all in her stride. When we got her I knew she was nice but you don’t know how they will go until you get them to an event and she has surpassed expectations.  She’ll move up to Novice at our next event at Homme House and we’ll aim will to be to finish the year confidently at that level and then crack on with her next year.”

New Zealander Neil Spratt picked up a double of victories in the Novice classes. The first came in Section J on Valarchin and the second in Section L on Ego W. Another Novice winning combination was Selina Milnes and Iron IV, making it their second victory in a row to follow up from their triumph at Chepstow Horse Trials.

Other winners at Dauntsey Park Horse Trials during the two days of eventing were: BE90Section B Helen L James and Little George; BE90 Section C Harriet White and Partly Puzzled; BE90 Open Section F Daisy Berkeley and Piers Gaveston; BE100 Section G Kirtsy Johnston and Opposition Hemera; BE100 Section H Hector Fethersonhaugh and Mille Fleurs; BE100 Section I Matthew Glentworth and Kandinsky; BE100 Section P Diani Western-Kaye and Noels Sox; BE100 Section Q Georgie Silvey and Choc Ice II; Open Novice Section M Vittoria Panizzon and Super Cillious; Int Novice Section N Mary King and Kings Choice.

The second of Dauntsey Park’s fixtures will take place from October 2-4. Classes include BE90, with an Open and Regional Final sections, BE100, with Open and Plus sections, Novice, Open Novice, Intermediate Novice, Intermediate and Open Intermediate.

Report by Sarah Carless

Photgraphs Courtesy of TB Photographic

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