Competition gets underway at The Festival of British Eventing – Townend takes lead in two championship classes
Competition at The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), got underway at Gatcombe Park today with dressage for three of the four championship classes.
At the end of the day, Oliver Townend took the lead in both the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship (on Sonic De Sermentol with a score of 27.7) and the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship (on Note Worthy on a score of 23.3).
Second in the in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship was Lizzie Baugh on Quarry Man (28.2) and third was Sara Squires on Clara M (29.6).
William Fox-Pitt was placed second in the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship on Ramdam De Mons on a score of 23.5 whilst Vittoria Panizzon with Borough Free Flight on a score of 23.8 making it very close going into the second day.
The dressage for the new Restricted Novice Championship – the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup – also got underway giving amateur riders the opportunity to compete at the prestigious venue in a true Novice championship alongside their professional counterparts.
Noah Brook on Deo Volente III took a commanding early lead with a score of (22.5). Second in the early stages was Sarah Barden on Aztec Exclusive (34.1) with Cathrine Taylor on Lorelei in third (34.4).
Eventing stars of the future were also in action today in The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes. Sponsored by Dubarry since 2009, the competition is open to four and five year olds, with the aim of encouraging breeders and trainers to produce and present the type of young horse which will be considered to make a world class three day event horse. Competition was fierce with the Four Year Old and Five Year Old classes attracting entries of 34 and 44 respectively.
The winner of the Four Year Old class was Helen Wilson riding Congo Rebel ahead of Tom Rowland on MGH Carver Doone and Sally Bowler on Wish.I.Am.
In a hotly contested Five Year Old class, the winner was Vicky Brake riding MGH Banky Moon. Second went to Jason Hobbs on Sinterklass whilst Tiana Coudray picked up third with Cavalier Crystal. The final qualification spot for the final went to Emily Proud on Leonardo C.
Event riders of the future also put their skills on show in the main arena competing in the BETA Pony Club Inter Branch Show Jumping competition. The invitation only event saw 20 Pony Club teams go head to head over two rounds.
The winning team was the Polden Hills Pony Club who finished on a score of 0, ahead of the Warwickshire Hunt and Ledbury Hunt Pony Clubs.
The Festival of British Eventing continues tomorrow with dressage for the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup, Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship and British Eventing Open Championship. Show jumping starts in the main arena at 8.30am for the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship and Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship. Cross country for these championship classes starts at 11.30am.
Melissa Joannides, who is blogging for Eventing Worldwide from The Festival of British Eventing, will be doing her dressage on Brighton Rock II tomorrow morning, and we’ll keep you up to date with their progress.
Photography courtesy of Hoofprints photography