Georgia Dixon reports …

Osberton Horse Trials is one of the most prolific events of the season, with riders, breeders and owners dedicating their seasons with the Nottinghamshire event as their end goal. Incorporating the Caunton Manor Stud Young Horse Championships, Osberton offers British Eventing enthusiasts the first glimpse at some of the most talented young upcoming combinations – in the form of the British four year old, five year old, six year old and seven year old championships.

The four year old championships is run over a BE90 level course and the five year olds contest a strong BE100 level national competition. The 2019 British four year old champion is Kadans, ridden by Vicky Tuffs. With only 0.1 penalties between the top spot and runner up position, there was no room for error. The Dutch gelding had only competed in two four year old competitions prior the championships, placing fifth at Stafford Horse Trials in July and winning the class at Aston-Le-Walls in August. Vicky rode the future equine star to the best dressage score of the class at Osberton of 28.5, to then proceed to finish solidly adding no further penalty points.

Eliza Stoddart rode the winning five year old to victory – Codebreaker. The Germany bred gelding has previously placed first and second in four of six contested events, winning the championships after finishing on a dressage score of 27. The runners up, Caunton First Class and Matthew Wright placed second in the Novice at Keysoe at the end of August… at only five years old. They finished closely behind the champions, finishing on a dressage score of 27.4.

The six and seven year old champions ran mostly over the CCI-L3* and CCI-L2* courses – they competed at international level, however followed the short format system as opposed to the long. The international courses both caused chaos amongst the long format competitors, who went cross country before show jumping, however the extremely talented young horses seemed to take the challenging track in their stride.

Rosalind Canter rode Izilot DHI to victory in the YH2* six year old championships. Despite adding one time fault from the show jumping phase, their dressage score, followed by a faultless cross country round inside the time allowed, meant that they finished 0.1 penalty point ahead of the runners up who were hot on their heels – Piggy French and Cooley Lancer. Young rider, Alexa Palmer piloted her young six year old, Global Super Nova to a very impressive third place, fighting off world and olympic famous names.

Piggy French may have had to settle for second place the YH2* championships, however the iconic rider stormed her way to the top of the leaderboard in the YH3* seven year old championships onboard Sportsfield Top Notch. A dressage score of 27.1 was enough to maintain Piggy’s lead despite adding four faults from the show jumping and 1.6 time from the cross country phase. Sportsfield Top Notch was also the Chatsworth Horse Trials CCI-S2* Champion earlier in the year.

Carrying on Piggy French’s top form, she also topped the CCI-L3* section with Highdown March. They finished on their dressage score of 27.2 – the exact same score as runners up, Alexander Whewall. Being the closest to the optimum time, completing the course one second under on 9:11 minutes, Piggy was crowned the winner.

Another well known champion came out victorious in the CCI-L2*, Rosalind Canter. Ros lead from start to finish with Shannnondale Nadia – completing on a score of 28.1. Mark Davidson took the runner up position on Highlight K, and Hannah Bate finished up in third on board Tremanton.

Images courtesy Hannah Cole Photography