EVENT REPORTS – Houghton Hall International

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Sarah Carless reports…

Germany dominate Nations Cup at Houghton Hall

Germany showed its dominance at the Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials, winning the British leg of the FEI Nations Cup and taking a one-two in the individual rankings. 

Bettina Hoy led from start to finish with Seigneur Medicott, finishing on her dressage score of 35.3, while team mate Julia Krajewski also kept a clean sheet on Samourai du Thot to take the runner up spot. With Andreas Ostholt placing fifth on So Is Et, the German team completed on a score of 122.2 – a clear 20.3 penalties ahead of the runners up. 

“Houghton courses are always educational which is why we love to come,” said Bettina. “Seigneur Medicott won the two star here in 2015, and he’s so reliable in his movements and loves to look his best in the arena. I thought this year the three star was more technical than before but the ground was perfect, it’s no wonder we come back.”

Julia Krajewski’s Samourai du Thot has also been a winner at Houghton, claiming the one star in 2013, with the German rider commenting: “The organisers at Houghton always put so much work in to make the event the best it can be – that’s why we like to ride here.”IMG_2255

Great Britain finished second with a team score of 142.5. Despite a rather exciting ride through the influential picnic table and corners at fences 18 and 19, Will Furlong and Collien P 2 completed on their dressage score of 45.7 to be the best placed British rider in fourth place. Oliver Townend and Arctic Mouse took seventh with Piggy French and Vanir Kamira in 11th place and Georgie Strang on Cooley Early in 14th.

Will has only had the ride on Collien P 2 for just over a year and he describes her as quite feisty. He said: “This was my first selection for a Nations Cup team and I really wanted to make a good debut – although I hadn’t expected to finish best of the Brits. My goal is to make my mark in Nations Cup teams, and hopefully the series will be a good stepping stone for my career between Young Riders and Senior selection.”

The United States team of Hannah Sue Burnett, Caroline Martin and Katherine Coleman took third place in the Nations Cup on a score of 160.9 with New Zealand in fourth on 240.8.

 

It is now two wins in a row for Germany in the Nations Cup, having also taken victory at Strzegorm earlier this month ahead of Great Britain. After two events, Germany head the standings on 200 points with Great Britian on 180 points with USA and Sweden lying in joint third on 80 points. 

It was a British one, two, three in the CIC** with Piggy French taking the win – one of two international victories over the weekend. French led the CIC** throughout, riding Morswood, finishing on her dressage score of 40.7, ahead of Laura Collett on Dacapo (44.3) and Gemma Tattersall riding Billy Senora (45.3)

French also claimed victory in the CIC* on Jennifer Saunders’s Cooley Monsoon, who finished on a score of 40.4, ahead of Gemma Tattersall and Billy Hopefull (41.4) and Brook Staples (42.7). 

Following her CIC* win French said: “This is amazing for Jennifer because the horse is still inexperienced. He’s always shown potential, but he’s still learning his job. I came here hoping for a top 10 finish, and thinking top five if all went really well, so I’m delighted.”

Felicity Collins and RSH Contend Or took the National Under 21 Championship at Houghton winning on their dressage score. Felicity also finished in 17th with her homebred mare Just Amazing. Felicity and Mickey put themselves in contention with a dressage score of 44.1, and whilst other riders faulted the pair kept their cool to take the title. Sam Ecroyd took the runner-up spot with The Quiet Man on the same score as Felicity but was second due to 0.8 time faults on cross country, with Taggy Forester Bennett taking third on Bomza Moorabinda (44.5). 

Felicity told Eventing Worldwide: “I am absolutely thrilled. I knew Mickey was good enough to win a big class – he is a serious horse, but considering the competitive entries, and the fact it was only his first attempt at this level, I didn’t think it would actually happen! The aim was to finish on our dressage score but again you never know how they’ll come out on the last day. Luckily, he is an incredible jumper, and was still squealing in the show jumping warm-up as he was so fresh. It’s my first international win. I’ve had a few good placings but never won, so it’s really special for myself, Mickey’s half owner Avrina Milton and my mum. Having the title of u21 National Champion makes it all the more exciting – but it is all credit to my amazing horse as he is just phenomenal. 

Houghton International Horse Trials Event Director Alec Lochore commented: “It’s been a great weekend of sport – in the international classes, the additional classes, and not forgetting the East Anglian Air Ambulance camel racing where Andreas Ostholt and Ben Way were particularly competitive!”

Photographs courtesy of Sue Westmoor

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