For the first time since the early 1970s, affiliated eventing returned to Cirencester Park. And as organisers Muskateer Events said after the event, “its return has been warmly welcomed by riders and supporters alike” with more than 700 horses competing over the three days.
Kitty King and Cristal Fontaine followed up on their superb CCI4*S win at the FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials a couple of weeks ago with a win in Advanced Section K.
“I was over the moon with Cristal Fontaine’s win,” said Kitty. “He was fantastic in all three phases and gave me a wonderful ride cross country. To be able to come out here and win after his great performance a fortnight ago, really shows what a consistent performer he is. It was lovely to be able to run the horses on such good ground, with all three feeling in great form.”
Tom Jackson had two horses in the top five of that same CCI4*S Section at the FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials, and both progressed to great results here at Cirencester. The Jewson’s mare, Billy Cuckoo finished on her dressage score (28.1) to take the honours in Advanced Section I and Capels Hollow Drift finished second in Advanced Section J.
“We are delighted with Billy Cuckoo,” said Tom. “She has had a great start to the season with a good result at Burnham Market as well. Her aim is to go to Luhmuhlen and we are hoping she can continue with her recent form.”
Advanced Section J was won by Alexander Bragg with Quindiva – the only combination in their section to avoid time faults on the cross country. “Quindiva did a very professional job today,” said Alex. “Her dressage test was mistake free and she made light work of the jumping phases. The ground was good to gallop on and I’m thrilled that we have Cirencester in the Eventing calendar.”
In an extremely competitive Advanced Under 25 (Section H), it was a fantastic day for Bubby Upton who filled three of the top six places. She finished third with Cannavaro and sixth with Magic Roundabout IV but the performance of the day came with Cola III. A super performance from start to finish saw them finish on their dressage score of 30.1 to take the win.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with how all three of my horses performed,” said Bubby. “It was great to secure the win and to have all three of them in the Top 10. I was so proud of how they all jumped, as I’ve been working hard on the show jumping over the winter. It was also very special as it was Magic Roundabout’s first Advanced, so it was extremely exciting how easily he made the step up. I thought the show jumping and cross country courses were really good and rewarded correct riding and accuracy. It was so nice to compete at Cirencester Park for the first time. What an incredible venue it is and with the rain we had it made the ground perfect for Saturday. I’m very much looking forward to returning next year.”
Amelia Walker and Dassett Eventing’s Dassett Rock Star came out on top of the hotly contested CCIS 2* Section L. for which 68 combinations came forward. However, Amelia led from start to finish, following up an impressive dressage test with clears across the board with a winning score of 26.4. This put the pair narrowly ahead of Piggy French and Cooley Kan Do in second (26.8) with Noemi Doerfer and Billy Black Cat in third (27.5)
“The Dassett Eventing team put a huge amount into producing the young sales horses, so we are all absolutely delighted with Dassett Rock Star’s win,” said Amelia. “He’s been a successful horse throughout his career and it’s great to carry this through to international level too. I’m very proud of him.”
In the CCIS 2* Section M for Ponies, the win went to Ellie Martindale and Little Indian Feather. The combination looked strong from start to finish, completing on their dressage score to finish just ahead of Anna Price and Black Jacko in second.
The final day of competition focussed on the Novice course, with five Novice Sections running alongside an Open Novice, Open Novice Under 18 and Open Intermediate Under 21.
Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal added to his Intermediate Section B win on Friday (Vivero) with victory in Novice Section Q win with Sir Villmer. Local rider Laura Collett also added to her win in Intermediate Section F (Jalba O) topping Novice Section S with Fein Cera Gravelotte. Piggy March was another rider with a duo of wins, topping Open Intermediate Section D with Sportsfield Top Notch and Open Intermediate Section E with Brookfield Inocent.
It was well worth the trip from Suffolk for Tara Murphy who topped Open Novice Under 18 (Section T) with Rincoola Rolo, with the pair finishing on their dressage score of 20.5. Tara also finished second in the Open Intermediate with Monbeg Maximus.
“It’s a beautiful place that gave us such a great canvas to work with,” said Event Director, Alec Lochore. “It’s wonderful to be bringing eventing back here. It’s a lovely piece of ground, this old turf works really well, and the estate has been great to work with; so, it’s really exciting.”
Other section results: Intermediate Section A Harry Meade, Russelljacket; Intermediate Section C Caroline Harris, Amoroso Gigi Z; Open Intermediate Section G Sarah Bullimore, Starbucks; Open Novice Section N Kate Welch, Dicali OHZ; Novice Section O Imogen Murray, Jezebel HDH; Novice Section P Sammi Birch, Jutopia; Novice Section R Flora Harris, Dysart Elite; Open Intermediate U21 Section U Sasha Hargreaves, Woodlands Be Daring.
IMAGES COURTESY OF TB PHOTOGRAPHIC