Ruth Gregory reports….
Burgham International Horse Trials lived up to expectations showcasing a weekend of top quality sport ranging from the elite International classes to Burghley young horse qualifiers and national competition for amateur riders. With the event being the only one located North East to obtain international status it succeeded in attracting the best riders providing an exciting competition.
The current FEI world number 1 Oliver Townend dominated the event taking both the CIC3* and CIC2* sections. Oliver’s regaining Burghley champion Ballahgmor Class, owned by Karyn Shuter, Angela
Hislop and Val Ryan bounced back from their minor blip at the nations cup in Aachen, Germany to take top honours in the highly contested Newton Hall CIC3*. Having stood fifth after dressage on a score of 27.8 the pair jumped a foot perfect double clear despite the downpour, grasping the trophy with only adding 1.2 cross country time penalties to their score. Oliver stated the eleven-year-old gelding, “needed a run to sharpen him up a bit.” And that, “the showjumping round was possibly the best I have ever done at an event.” The combination are short listed for the FEI World Equestrian Games and entered for Burghley with the opportunity to maintain their title, “this was the perfect preparation for whatever the autumn brings.”
On the back of their seventh placing at Barbury International ERM CIC3* earlier in July, Nicola Wilson and One Two Many were runners up in the Newton Hall CIC3*. Having been the overnight leaders after dressage they jumped an effortless double clear, however picking up time penalties from the showjumping and cross-country phases to drop them to an eventual second place.
Third class honours went to local Northumberland-based rider Ben Hobday on Ciletto H adding to their collection of top 20 finishes at CIC3* this season. “I say ‘jump’ and Ciletto H says ‘how high?’” says Ben. “He digs deep for me all the time and allows me to ride him faster.”
Oliver’s weekend was a double cause for celebration as he also took the Howard Russell Construction Ltd CIC2* finishing of a dressage score of 25.7 upon Treglider, an eight-year-old owned by Stephen and Victoria Hazeldine and the Mitchell Fox Group. “I’ve had him since he was a four-year-old and we have liked him a lot from the word go,” said Oliver. “He’s lovely to work with and is very athletic.”
Izzy Taylor and Kilderry’s Cougar Girl finished behind Oliver on 27.7 having accumulated four faults during the showjumping to drop them to second.
The Metnor Group CIC* was lead from start to finish by Piggy French upon the six-year-old Emerald Jonny, owned by her fiancé Tom Marsh. Piggy’s sub 20 dressage of 17.9 set solid foundations with only adding 0.4 cross country time penalties to cement top spot and set a new record for the lowest finishing score at any international event in 2018 so far.” He’s one I think a lot of.” Says Piggy. “Since his little break he’s really come back firing”. The gelding claimed the CIC* win following his ON victory at Aston-Le-Walls last weekend. Piggy has high hopes for him by aiming to be selected for the FEI 6yo World Championships being held in Le Lion, “he’s definitely one who’ll be ready for it.”
The open intermediate section was won by Franky Reid-Warrilow on Dolley Whisper after jumping a smart double clear to finish on their dressage score of 28.9. The pairs win adds to their string of top placings this season with a win in the OI at Aston-Le-Walls in May and third in the CIC3* at Houghton International, finishing on their dressage score on each occasion.
Following Franky, Matthew Wright scored an eye-catching precession of placings in the section for second, third and fourth. “I was really happy with how all the horses ran.” Said Matt “They’d done a lovely job of the ground and had a little help from nature so was nice to let the horses run competitively”. He piloted DHI Paparazzi to second on 29.3, Obos Columbus to third on 30.0 and The Artist Almost Famous to fourth with 30.2. “The three horses placed within marks of each other felt on form from start to finish,” says Matt, “which was especially nice with DHI Paparazzi as it was his first run back since Braham.”
The KBIS sponsored 5YO was won by Charlotte Dennis on Venezuela, securing their ticket for the Burghley Young Event Horse championships at the end of the month.
The 4YO section was topped by Amy Hawley on board her homebred Broadstone Primrose, bagging their place at the Burghley Young Event Horse championships. “I was delighted to win the 4YO class”, said Amy, “she is a super young horse and I am very excited to be heading to the championships with her.”
Other section results; BE90 Section K Claire Ridley, B My Revolution; BE90 Section L Eden Fisher, Clayhill Shady; BE90Open Section L1 Storm Straker, Cragg Hugo; BE100 Section H Jason Wood, The Causeway; BE100 Section I Lucinda Atkinson, PRF Jaguar Elite; N Section D Giovanni Ugolotti, Penhill Celtic; N Section E Aoife Clark, Homme D’Hotot M; N Section F Stephanie Oakden, Cooley Cadbury; ON Section F1 Miss Emilie Chandler, Winning Belle.