Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Sarah Carless reports …
King claims crown at Hartpury
Kitty King led a class field from start to finish in the Superflex CIC*** at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials with her young pretender Vendredi Biats.
With a top dressage score of 39 and clear-round in the show jumping, King went on to fly through the cross-country into well-deserved first place.
Italian rider Stella Benatti had been in second place after the dressage but had an unlucky four faults in the show jumping to drop her out of the top 10 heading into the cross country. Joint third place competitors, Franky Reid-Warrilow riding Dolley Whisper and Lauren Kieffer aboard Veronica II, both jumped clear to set off for the final phase in joint second.
It was all to play for setting out on the cross country, with the top 14 all within 10 marks of each other.
Vendredi Biats and Kitty King added just 3.2 time to finish on a score of 42.2, staying clear of the rest of the field.
But it was all change for the rest of the top five as Reid-Warrilow picked up 9.2 time to drop to eighth place whilst Lauren and Veronica II picked up 20 penalties and 28 time to drop out of the placings. Willa Newton stepped up into second, having just added 1.2 time to move up from tenth place on a final score of 48.2 with Ludwig Svennerstal just behind, adding two time penalties cross country to finish on 48.5, completing the top three podium placings with El Kazir SP. Australian rider Paul Tapner finished with two horses in the top ten, with Burghley-bound Bonza King of Rouges finishing in fourth, and the retiring Yogi Bear VIII finishing sixth.
King said: “I’m delighted with Vendredi’s performance. He’s only eight years old and has just moved up from two to three star eventing. He can really pull through my hands though and I nearly withdrew him a week ago because of it. I had a lot of support and found a new bit-combination for him that’s really worked. It was my birthday on Thursday so this is a great belated birthday present!”
Maintaining her lead from the start, Willa Newton took the top spot in the Magic CCI**. After taking second place in the Superflex CIC***, Willa has topped off her competition by riding Moonlight Dance S into first place.
Newton added just 0.4 cross country time faults to her dressage mark of 41.6 and going into the show jumping she had less than a fence in hand making it all to play for. But Newton kept her cool to jump clear finishing on a score of 42.0.
Amelia Walker and Director General had been in second place after the cross country but had 12 faults in the show jumping to drop to eighth place. Italian Roberto Scalisi was competing for the first time at this level with Topaze Du Plain, also a newcomer at two start, but the pair stepped up to finish second, staying on their dressage score of 45.2. After also jumping clear, Alicia Hawker and Nankin Des Ruettes completed the top three.
“I’m so excited for my first ever three day event win. There are no words for my amazing horses who gave everything, commented Willa.
In the Recover CCI* Chloe Lynn rode into the lead following dressage on Calzini with a score of 43.4. Mark Ford and Mintridge Larkspur were close behind in second place on 45.8 whilst Lizzie Baugh and B Exclusive are hot on their heels to make-up the top three places on 45.9.
Lynn had nothing to add after the cross country to retain her top spot ahead of the show jumping. Second place after the dressage, Imogen Gloag added 9.2 time to drop out of the placings, leaving Amelia Walker to move up to second place on E Boy after going clear.
Mark Ford and Mintridge Larkspur also stayed clear to heading into show jumping in third place on 45.3.
The show jumping proved to be very influential in the Recover CCI* with only 25 combinations jumping clear of the 64 pairs that got through to the final phase. Stepping up to the mark, overnight second placed Amelia Walker and her own E Boy jumped clear to put the pressure on leader Chloe Lynn riding Calzini. Unfortunately, the pair had three fences down, dropping them out of the placings to finish on a mark of 55.4.
This left Amelia to take the top spot, finishing on her dressage mark of 45.3. Mark Ford, riding Mintridge Larkspur, jumped a lovely clear to stay on their dressage mark of 45.8 to take second place whilst Lizzie Baugh and B Exclusive also had nothing to add for third spot.
The first day of the competition at this year’s competition was all about the stars of the future as they took centre stage to qualify for Burghley in September.
In the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 4 Year Old class competition was tough with an early lead established by Bernie Wharfe and Penhills Candy Man. They continued their lead throughout to win on a score of 86. In a very close field, with the top three all finishing on the same score, Harry Meade took second place aboard Castle Howard Octavian whilst Austin O’Connor, and Money Talks claimed third spot – with all three clinching qualifying places.
In the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 5 Year Old Class, Armee Stunt riding Tiger Attack took top spot on a score of 88. Vicky Brake and Don’t Tell Tom slotted into second place on a score of 85, whilst hot on her heels was Micheal Jackson and Trevargo, scoring 84, to take third place.
Following the completion of the competition Hartpury’s Equine Director Phillip Cheetham said: “We had a wonderful five days of competition with horses and riders enjoying the very best of International competition here in Gloucestershire. We cannot thank the officials, Hartpury staff and volunteers enough. Without them and our sponsors NAF, it would not have been as successful as it was.”
Photographs courtesy of Phil J Photos