Sonia Chapman reports ..
Dan Jocelyn and Duke of Champions claimed top spot in the Advanced Intermediate courtesy of a speedy cross-country round, while for good measure Dan also picked up third on Lissyegan Rory. Apparently, it made the long trip to Devon well worth it and it was good to see a long winter of training had paid off. Giovanni Ugolotti and Swirly Temptress were a very close second and Giovanni was really happy with her performance. Best dressage in this section went to Ryuzo Kitajima and Cekatinka JRA, who are looking to win a place on the Japanese team for Tokoyo, although the Japanese team is looking extremely competitive.
Nici Wilson and Fine Fleur gained a personal best in the dressage followed up with a fast double clear to land the top spot in Open Intermediate Section C. Nici hopes that she has not set the bar too high for the rest of her season now! Although she was quick to thank all her trainers Jezz Palmer for dressage, Stuart Harvey showjumping and importantly Tom White for kicking Nici herself into shape! Tom McEwen and Dreamway II were close second with Gubby Leech and Epica in third. The best dressage in this section was Christopher Burton with his long time campaigner Graf Liberty on 20.9, who ultimately finished 5th. There closest dressage competitor was Tom and Toledo de Kerser on 24.1 who completed on a double clear but had a steady cross country round. Chris Burton was very quick to thank the Bicton organising team for making a massive effort on the ground cross country by spiking and watering. Bicton also have the advantage of the showjumping running on a great surface, but everyone has positive about the well designed showjumping courses with modern fences.
Phoebe Locke was back to eventing with a bang with 4 out of 4 double clears, which cumulated in a win in Open intermediate section D on Bellagio Declyange, with his stable mate Cooley Challenger snapping at his heels. Phoebe has recently moved out of her family yard in Somerset to a beautiful yard in Gloucester, where she is available for teaching and schooling. Sammi Birch and Kincooley Cruising a new ride (well after 5 seasons with Tim Price after Minnie was started by Sammi) for Sammi produced the best dressage. Sammi was another person to commend Bicton on the fantastic ground they had done on the ground. Although the jumping tracks were all tough they were educational and that is why people continue to make the long trip to Devon. The excitement in this section was the return to eventing of Arctic Soul after not running last season, who was extremely happy and doubtless pulled Gemmas arms out!!
Jess Rimmer and Diamond Bobby lead from the start to claim the win in the competitive Open Intermediate under 21 section. Apparently, Bobby felt really class throughout the day and produced a speedy clear inside the time on the cross country. Jess and Bobby are currently based with William Fox Pitt, what a great learning experience. Jaymee Savill and Grange Ash Sparrow claimed second in there first year in juniors.
Dani Evans and Velma, who is described as being all heart and enthusiasm when it comes to jumping, got the win that according to the Dani she deserves in intermediate section A. Nici Wilson and Horace Slughorn claimed second with Alex Bragg and Shannondale Aristo picking up third. There were a couple of hard luck stories in section with Georgie Campbell taking one for the team and parting company with Darcy de la Rose after leading the dressage on a personal best of 20 at a simple fence. Then poor Kitty King and Monbeg Hendricks were in a competitive position, until Hendricks stood on himself in the cross country warm and had to be withdrawn, good to see horse welfare paramount.
Ricker Ridge Ricochet produced the first win of the 2021 season for Sam Lissington in Intermediate section b. This combinations biggest achievement to date was claiming the 2019 Nation Young Event horse championship in New Zealand. Apparently if Ricky was a human she would be the most popular girl in the class and loves a nice sparkly browband, another interesting fact is that Ricky broke her wither when she was 4 years old. Georgie Campbell and the ever impressive Speedwell were second with Tom McEwen and the equally impressive MHS Brown Jack in third.
Laura Collett and catch ride Jalba O claimed Novice section U, Laura is currently deputising for Georgia Bartlett who had a mishap going into a cross country start box and unfortunately has broken her arm.
The lovely Coral Keen gained a win on her class new ride Impuls V with a final score of 20 in BE100 section M.
Bicton ran a full three busy days of competition from BE90 up to Advance Intermediate with competitors coming from far and wide to attempt the challenging tracks. Everyone was extremely grateful and thankful to Helen West and Becky Barrett for running such a fantastic event and cannot wait to see what surprises the team have in store for the Four Star in June.
IMAGES COURTESY OF TANZY LEE