Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Sarah Carless reports…..
The first day of dressage proved to be a corker with a truly international flavour across the three leader boards.
New Zealander Jesse Campbell ended the day atop the Equi-Trek CCI3* with his own Cleveland. A flowing test gave the duo a score of 39.5, the only sub 40 score of the section. “He’s getting good at this phase. He’s had a year at three star level and things are more polished as he’s more established. I’m very pleased and he’s feeling good,” said Jesse. “He’s very talented but that has its costs! He’s great one minute and really naughty the next – a bit of a diva!” he added.
Thibault Fournier, a who combines a riding role at the Ecole Nationale d’Equitation, Cadre Noir, in Saumur, with a university course studying Biology to become a physiotherapist, was the first day leader in the Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI3* section. Riding Isabelle Fournier and his own Siniani De Lathus, Thibault impressed the judges with all three having him on top including a 76.15% from Andrew Bennie for a final score of 40.0.
“It’s my first time at Bramham and only my second three star so I’m very happy. It’s an amazing place and I’ve never seen anywhere like it. My horse was amazing from start to finish today. He can be tense but today he really concentrated,” commented Thibault.
Seventeen years after his first victory at Bramham, Australian Paul Tapner occupied the top position in the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* with Fred and Penny Barker and his own Prince Mayo with a penalty score of 42.1.
“This beautiful Park holds a special place in my heart and I’ve bought very capable horses who could all win if they perform to their best,” said Paul. “I’m not surprised by today’s result as Prince Mayo is in prime form and has already won at three star level. I’m a little disappointed in Yogi Bear’s score but he’s a little older and not in the ‘Spring’ of his career like the other one.”
On the second day of dressage, the inform partnership of Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V has continued their good run to produce a stunning dressage display which the judges duly rewarded with a penalty score of 36.7 for the lead in the Equi-Trek CCI3*. Gemma commented: “She was a little star in the arena today and just loves to perform. She was really settled and enjoying her work. It was a lovely test and I’m really pleased with her. She’s improved so much in the last year, and so have I! I now have a much better understanding of dressage and what the judges want from a test. Today I had her connected and through meaning she was rideable and really confident in her work.”
First day leaders Jesse Campbell and Cleveland held on for second with their 39.5 but there’s a new face in third in the shape of two time Bramham winner Pippa Funnell. Riding Sandman 7 she scored 40.6 for what she felt was a ‘clear round‘ test.
In the Bishop Burton College CCI3* u25 section, it was a day of French domination with seven of their riders filling the top ten. The lead was held by Thibault Fournier with Siniani de Lathus but countryman Aurelien Leroy scored 43.4 with Seashore Spring to relegate Emily King to third.
Paul Tapner maintained the ascendency for Australia with Prince Mayo on 42.1 in the British Equestrian Association CIC3* but last year’s winner Gemma Tattersall made it a truly excellent day at the office to slot into second with her new ride, Clive Smith’s Pamero 4 with 2015 CCI winner Flora Harris lying in third with Monarts Masterpiece with 43.3.
The buzz amongst the riders in the Equi-Trek CCI3* was that this was one of Ian Stark’s trickiest tests to date with the rain adding to the difficulty factor. It was a test of the bond between even the strongest partnership with a number of technical questions, challenging lines and accurate riding.
The first of our major challengers was day one dressage leader Jesse Campbell with his own Cleveland and they set off full of determination. They were going well but a big leap over the ditch at 17a, the Hollow made the distance to part b difficult and they ran past, dashing any hopes of victory.
It was then on to the overnight leaders, Gemma Tattersall with the Pebbles Syndicate’s Quicklook V. The pair made little of Ian’s course but for a slight waiver off line in the influential Equi-TrekR Roundhouse where they took the flag on the second corner. ‘Pebbles’ isn’t a full thoroughbred and the undulations of Bramham and Gemma said the conditions were testing for the mare. “She galloped as fast as her little legs could go,” she said. The clock stopped on 10.39, 16 seconds over the time allowed for 6.4 penalties, enough to overtake Oiwa for the overnight lead. However, drama followed as the fence judges at fence six felt that both of Quicklook’s shoulders hadn’t passed inside the flags and 50 penalties was awarded. An appeal was lodged for the Ground Jury could then review the CCTV footage. After watching carefully, they all agreed that ‘Pebbles’ had jumped clear and the 50 was duly removed, leaving Gemma as the overnight leader.
Ian Stark’s course also proved influential in the Bishop Burton College CCI3* u25 class with a real shake up of the top five. Third placed Emily King was the first of the leading pack to set off was Emily King and Dargun and they started promisingly but picked up 20 penalties at the Woodhead Seeds Offset Rails at nine, and later retired on course.
East Sussex rider Will Furlong set off with his 2016 Hartpury CCI2* winner Collien P 2 looking like they meant business and were impressive, making light of every challenge, despite this being their first three star three day together. They passed through the finish flags to stop the clock on 10.25, agonisingly two seconds over the time for 0.8 penalties but this was good enough to promote them from sixth to first.
Will said; I was a fraction disappointed with my dressage test, she was tense and lost a couple of marks. I’ve never been to Bramham before and was warned that the jumping is influential. It’s the mare’s first CCI*** and I had a fantastic round, there was some massive fences out there so I was pleased to be just two seconds over the time. I had a hairy moment at the second water jump but she’s really gutsy and gave 100% today. The ground was really good and I was lucky that the rain eased for my round, I saw some slipping this morning so I put bigger studs in! She has a bit of a funny technique in the show jumping, she tends to go quite flat but she did jump clear at Hartpury. I’m lucky I’ve got over ten penalties in hand, I might need them!”
Dressage leader, Thibault Fournier with Siniani de Lathus were going great guns until a misunderstanding at the Equi-Trek Roundhouse that ejected Thibault out the side door resulting in elimination.
It was all change at the top after a tricky showjumping course and influential cross country kept all the riders on their toes and audiences captivated in the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC***.
There was movement on the leaderboard after the show jumping, a twisty course in the morning downpour left many adding faults onto their dressage score. Dressage leader, Paul Tapner on Prince Mayo, had an unfortunate eight faults to drop to 14th place, and Gemma Tattersall moved from second to fifth after rolling a pole with Pamero 4. Whilst those with clear rounds were rewarded and moved up the leaderboard. Solid clears from Franky Reid-Warrilow, Willa Newton and Izzy Taylor pushed them right up into contention and Laura Collett moved up into second place on Grand Manouvere. Taking the lead was previous Bramham Horse Trials winner, Flora Harris upon the nine-year-old Master Imp-sired Monarts Masterpiece with just one phase to go.
Though kinder than the intense CCI*** course, Ian Stark’s cross country course was still ‘fast and furious’. The most influential fence on the course was 12ab, the Hollow, a rail with a steep slope down to a coffin back up to a brush arrowhead, which left some grinding to a halt at part A and many taking the longer route. It was an exciting finish to the afternoon, with the top fifteen running in reverse order, it was clear the time was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Then, with a flying round, the
USA’s Tiana Coudray, managed to sneak inside the time, eventually proving to be the fastest of the day, and flew up the leaderboard from 19th to the top, proving it could be done and inspiring speed queen, Izzy Taylor.
Despite a sticky moment at the Carter Jonas moon fence when Trevidden left a leg, Izzy rode in her usual quick style to secure the second clear inside the time of the class and take the lead. Many within the top ten rode confident clear rounds but added too many time faults to stay in contention – including leader Flora Harris who, despite kicking for the finish, added 9.2 time penalties to move down to fourth place.
Paul Tapner had a rollercoaster of a day by his own admission, with his dressage leader, Prince Mayo, unfortunately retiring on course. However, he was thrilled to take second place on the experienced Yogi Bear VIII, “Yogi saved the day for me today! He’s a three star specialist and once I got the clear in the show jumping I knew I’d be in the money, it was a great result for him. It was a tough course and the time didn’t feel too achievable. There were several ‘S-shaped’ combinations on a bending line so it was easy to add strides and waste seconds making the time difficult.”
It was a fantastic win for Great Britain’s Izzy Taylor, who was thrilled with Patricia Turner’s Trevidden, a twelve year old by Fleetwater Opposition. “I haven’t even had him for a year yet but he’s proving to be a great cross country horse, he’s tough and did a super double clear today. The time was tight, with not many galloping stretches, but it suited my horse who is fast and you just need to get on and go! We’ve taken the CIC route with him this year to gain more experience but we might go to Burghley in the autumn.”
On a day where clear rounds were at a premium, Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa produced an faultless display with his Holstein bred Calle 44 to claim the 2017 Equi-Trek CCI3*.
Lying in third place after the first two phases, Yoshi had some pressure relieved when the two riders below him when defending champion Andrew Nicholson and Nicola Wilson had 12 and eight faults respectively, dropping them out of contention. Riding in a beautiful rhythm, Yoshi guided the 10 year round expertly giving most of the coloured poles inches of clearance, leaving him on 45.4 penalties.
Sammi Birch for Australia who had no room for error aboard Hunter Valley II. Sadly, they lowered one rail which moved them behind Yoshi. Overnight leader Gemma Tattersall with the and the Pebble Syndicate’s Quicklook V had never previously faulted in a three day event, and were going well until ‘Pebbles’ uncharateristcally didn’t quite make the extensive spread of the triple bar and hit the back rail. They also added one time fault and victory was Yoshi’s.
It was a historic win as Yoshi became the first ever Japanese rider to win a CCI outside Japan, and our first winner from Japan at Bramham. Yoshi has spent his Spring in Britain based and training with Pippa Funnell alongside his girlfriend who’s training with William Funnell with a bid to make the Japanese show jumping team. With Calle 44, he’s had a great few months with top 13 placings at Belton and Burnham Market CIC2* and Chatsworth CIC3* last month and Bramham was the last event before he and Calle return to
Germany and Dirk Schrade. The pairing competed at Bramham last year and finished 30th.
“I wanted to be competitive but winning wasn’t planned! He’s really careful showjumping, but sometimes a bit too careful XC!” declared Yoshi. “We will continue three competing him at three star this year. We’re heading back to Germany after today and will then make plans for the rest of the year.”
It was an exciting finish to the Bishop Burton CCI*** U25, Will Furlong had two fences in hand after the cross country and he needed them both after runners-up Gina Ruck and Rehy Too put the pressure on with a fast clear round. However, after such a strong cross country performance yesterday it was a deserved win for Will and his own Collien P2 who are now crowned U25 National Champions.
After his win he said: “It was nice psychologically to have a few in hand but she felt really fresh today. It’s only her first CCI*** so I’m really pleased. It was a tough course, quite twisty and the oxers were big and square, and this is her weakest phase.”
Photographs courtesy of Gary Horner