Chris Burton claims British Open title in dramatic climax
The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), concluded today in dramatic fashion.
With a number of big names collecting penalties on the cross country, the British Eventing Open Championship was won by Australia’s Christopher Burton on TS Jamaimo. Well placed in ninth after the dressage, Chris only collected four penalties in the show jumping and had a fantastic ride across the country only adding 2.8 time penalties to their score. It is the first time the antipodean has taken the title and he said of his win: “To be honest I didn’t think I would have a chance of winning. I was a little bit cross when I had a rail down. I spoke to the owner and said we might as well take him fast (across the country). He’s very careful and very clever. To win here is very exciting. I’m hoping this event will set him up for Burghley.”
Second was New Zealander Jonelle Price on Classic Moet. Third went to Nicola Wilson on Beltane Queen, who was crowned British National Champion for the first time. Beltane Queen will now head for Burghley Horse Trials in September. Nicola said: “I can’t believe that she has bought me the national championship – I’m pinching myself. She is a phenomenal horse who just keeps on improving.”
The cross country caused a number of problems. Leaders after dressage and showjumping Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh fell on the cross country near the end of the course. Andrew Nicholson also suffered a nasty fall on Cillnabradden Evo at the last fence leading to the New Zealander withdrawing his final horse after he was taken to hospital as a precaution. Dressage leader Andrew Hoy was another to suffer a fall on Rutherglen.
Noah Brook was a convincing winner in The TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup – the new Novice Restricted Championship introduced to The Festival this year. On board Deo Volente III, he led from start to finish to complete on their dressage score of 22.5 penalties – 10.2 ahead of their nearest rival.
Second place went to Sarah Chittleburgh on Sari De Lobelle who pulled up from 4th after the dressage to finish on 32.7 penalties. Cathrine Taylor riding Lorelei completed the top three to finish on their dressage score of 34.4.
Melissa Joannides, who has been blogging for Eventing Worldwide from The Festival of British Eventing enjoyed a clear round across the country. Eventing Worldwide will be catching up with Melissa to discuss her first experience of competing at The Festival of Eventing later this week.
Photography Courtesy of Hoofprints Photography