Georgia Dixon reports ..
Upton House Horse Trials is well known in the eventing world for its excellent organisation and for the lengths in which the organisers go to in preparation. The ground at Upton House is always prepared to the highest of standards and this year it was fit for numerous prestigious combinations, including Badminton combinations and winners. The event attracted such a vast number of entries, that unfortunately all BE100’s were balloted from the Wednesday, leaving the first day of competition dominated by Intermediate competitors, with the remaining Novice and BE100 riders competing on Thursday.
The Intermediate cross country time proved difficult to get and only one combination in the whole day came home from the final phase with no faults – none other than Izzy Taylor. Izzy piloted Tregolls around the fastest cross country round of the day to finish on their dressage score of 32.7 in Open Intermediate Section E, finishing in third place.
First and second place in Section E was stolen by Oliver Townend, with his winning horse – Newmarket Caro – finishing on a score of 24.9. Ballaghmor Class was the runner up with Ollie, finishing on a score of 32.6 – after adding 11.2 time penalties to a dressage score of 21.4. Fiona Davidson and Lissyegan Junior Guy finished in fourth place, adding 7.2 time faults to a dressage score of 26.4.
Ollie and Izzy dominated the top of leaderboard once again in Open Intermediate Section F, this time with Izzy taking the top spot on PSH Lava Flow and Ollie finishing up in second riding Dreamliner. Piggy French piloted Quarrycrest Echo to third place, finishing on a score of 29.8, adding only 5.2 time faults to a dressage score of 24.6.
Junior rider, Henrietta Ewell and Connaght Diamond had their second win of the season in Intermediate Section B. The pair added only 6 time penalties to a dressage score of 30, leaving them 0.1 penalties ahead of Izzy Taylor and Hartacker whom finished in the runner up spot. Andrew Nicholson and Coolparks Sarco jumped double clear for third place.
Hannah Freeman and Crockaulin Prince added 8.8 time penalties to an impressive dressage score of 29.6 to win Intermediate Section C. Second place was then taken by Andrew Heffernan and Gideon II – despite scoring 24.1 in the dressage, the combination added 16 time faults from the cross country phase.
Kevin McNab had a successful event in the Novice sections, winning Section H and finishing in second place in Section L. Fortune III was the horse who came out on top in Section H, finishing on a dressage score of 27.5. Kevin’s runner up ride in Section L, Hanerina SSF also finished on its dressage score of 32. However, nobody could catch Caroline Harris and Miss Pepperpot, who finished on their dressage score of 29.8.
Novice Section I was won by Will Rawlin and Ballycoog Breaker Boy. A dressage score of 23.5 meant they were winning from start to finish, adding only 2 time faults from the cross country phase. Caroline Harris had another strong run with Cadannus to finish as the runners up on a final score of 28.4. Third place went to Bert Bolton and Fun Lovin Criminal.
Sarah Gairdner and Premier Prestige were the leading combination after the dressage in Open Novice Section J, scoring 28.3. They then went on to produce a foot perfect event and finish on this score, firmly at the top of the leaderboard. Alice Pearson and TJ Charlene also finished on their dressage score and after two faultless jumping rounds, finished in second place on a score of 31.
Three BE100 sections rans over the two days of competition, Bernie Wharfe and Penhills She’s the Business were the winners in Section N. They finished on their dressage score of 30.8, leaving them at the top of the leaderboard behind Matthew Heath, Ben Way and Tom McEwan.
In a large section of over 40 competitors, Roberto Scalisi and Sultan Royale stormed Section M to win on their dressage score of 27.8. Despite adding 1.2 time faults from the cross country phase, Mia Allison and Fine finished as the runners up on a score of 31.
BE100 Open Section O only saw 14 competitors battle it out, however, the top five all finished on a score below 30. Stephanie Toogood and Newfield Lionheart pipped the top position on 26.5. The leaders after dressage, Sue Dawson and Tyddyncochyn Salvador, scored 24, however four faults from the show jumping pushed them down to fourth place, on a score of 28.
Images courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography