Fox Pitt takes his Tattersalls tally to ten

Sarah Carless reports ……Tatts 2016 (78 of 93)

William Fox Pitt took his first international wins since his accident last year, taking victory in the Cooley Farm CCI1* Young Horse Class and the Eventing Ireland CCI**.

It was the second year running that William headed up the Young Horse class, winning this year with Jennifer Dowling’s seven-year-old gelding Little Fire.

The combination produced a dressage score of 35.60 putting them into second place. They moved up to first place after a clear cross country round and maintained that position when concluding the class with just 1 fault in show jumping.

Finishing in second place was New Zealand’s Tim Price riding his own Kincooley Cruising completing the competition on 40.50 and in third place was Great Britain’s Tom McEwen riding Ginny Rusher’s Royal Roxey finishing on a final mark of 40.50.

William then took to the Tattersalls International Horse Trials podium for the tenth time when landing the CCI** class riding Catherine Witt’s Secret Knight. The pair went straight into the lead after dressage on 39.70 and maintained the lead right throughout the competition on a clean sheet.

In second place was New Zealand’s Jonelle Price and Cooley Showtime on a clean sheet and finishing 39.70 and in third place was Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Ridire Dorcha on a score of 42.00.
Afterwards, on his website William commented: “Little Fire performed a very nice test – he was quite excited to be here but he settled just in time to do some lovely work. Secret Night in the 2* also went very nicely.  He did one of his best tests so far. I had a wonderful cross country round on Little Fire, he took it all in his stride.  It was a great course for him, he was ready for the challenge and went round perfectly, and finished comfortably inside the time which is very satisfying. He jumped a super clear round (in the show jumping) and was very excited by the atmosphere and the crowd, but was happily in his showing-off mode and jumped really well.
“Secret Night held onto his overnight lead with a good solid clear round inside the time, he coped very well with the course and the galloping, which is exciting for the future, and he took it all in his stride. Sunday rounded off well with a win for Secret Night in the 2* with a lovely clear show jumping. It was very nice to win again as it has been a long fruitless patch, and is great to know things are back on track.  It was also particularly special as it moved my number of wins at Tatts over the years up to 10, which shows how lucky I am to have had so many great horses to ride.”

Great Britain’s Dani Evan and Marstonpark Lupina win the Land Rover CCI1* Class at Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair in association with Horse Sport Ireland

A hotly contested renewal of the Land Rover CCI1* Class saw Great Britain’s Dani Evans step onto the winning podium to claim the title. Riding Mrs Ann Butler’s Marstonpark Lupina, the pair completed all three phases to finish and win the competition on a score of 39.50.

In second place was fellow Great Britain Emilie Chandler riding Cooley Roller Coaster, completing the class on 41.50 and in third place was Jonathan Paget from New Zealand with Optimus Prime (42.40).

Of the win, Dani commented on her Facebook page: “She was outstanding all week and I couldn’t be happier for her and her owner Ann Butler.”

CCI* Ponies

After coming second in the same class year, a determined Zara Nelson returned to Tattersalls International Horse Trials and made her return a winning one. Riding for Ireland with Millridge Buachaill Bui, the consistent duo rode to victory to win the Berney Bros. CCI1* Pony Class. After producing the best dressage score of 41.70, Nelson maintain the lead throughout the contest with a clear round over the cross-country obstacles and just 4 faults in show jumping.

Ireland’s Sophie Foyle finished in second place riding Ballyvee Moll (53.20) and in third was fellow Irish competitor Isabelle Comerford riding Colour Me Fancy on 54.70.

CCI* Junior

The young guns were out for the Tredstep Ireland CCIJ1* at Tattersalls International Horse Trials and it was Great Britain’s Eleanor Hope who landed the title with Mrs Margaret Hope’s MGH SMARTY. The pair produced a dressage score of 41.40 to put them into second place but a clear round in cross-country and just 4 faults in show jumping secured them the win.

In second place was Ireland’s Izzy Riley riding Ballycarron Lad (50.70) and finishing in third place was Great Britain’s Emma Roberts with Enumero ending the competition on 52.70.

CCI** Under 24

The under 24’s took to the main stage to contest the Connolly’s RED MILLS CCI2*and it was Great Britain’s Tom Jackson and Susan Jenkins’ Dusty who took top honours finishing all three phases on his dressage score of 43.70.

Great Britain took second and third places also as David Doel and Kiltubrid Rhapsody finished in second on 49.40 and Hector Payne and Dynasty finishing in third on 50.90.


Australia’s Paul Tapner took victory in The Irish Field CCI3* with Fred and Penny Barker’s Irish Bred Prince Mayo. The pair had been in third place after the dressage but moved up to take the win with a classy performance in the jumping phases.

The leader after dressage had been Tapner’s compatriot Samantha Birch who produced a spectacular dressage test with her horse Hunter Valley II. However, the pair were eliminated on the cross country after a fall at Fence 18. This promoted Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy with Mr Chunky, who were second after the dressage, into the lead. This combination also fell out of the competition as Mr Chunky picked up a small injury which prevented him being presented to the ground jury for the final horse inspection.

Tapner and Prince Mayo gave an exhibition in the show jumping – one of only two clear rounds – to win on his dressage score to the delight of the crowds, finishing with a 16.1 penalty winning margin.

Great Britain’s Flora Harris finished in second place with Cooley Lord Lux, having moved up from eleventh place after their dressage with another Great British representative, Michael Owen and the Highland Prince finishing in third.


It was an Ireland one, two, three in the George Mernagh Memorial CIC3*** with victory going to Padraig McCarthy and Simon Porloe.

Austin O’Connor took the lead in the class after dressage riding Kilpatrick Knight, who was making his fifth appearance at Tattersalls International Horse Trials, with a score of score of 42.30.

Ireland’s Austin O’Connor and Kilpatrick Knight led going into the cross-country phase, and although they produced a clear round over designer Ian Stark’s challenging course, the lead changed hands to Padraig who produced a faster round and took the title – – coming up from fifth after the dressage – on a score of 49.60 leaving O’Connor in second place on a score of 51.90. Third place went to Jonty Evans who finished on a score of 54.90 riding Cooley Rorkes Drift.

Padraig said after the competition on his Facebook page: “I can safely say that I experienced all the highs and lows of eventing in Tattersalls this past weekend. After a very good start in the dressage, I had a bruising fall XC in the CCI** and then had to withdraw Mr Chunky from the final day, when leading the CCI***, after he picked up a slight injury on the XC. But it all came together yesterday when Simon Porloe won the CIC*** and Bernadette Utopia also put in a great performance jumping a super double clear.”

With just days to go before Horse Sport Ireland Eventing Team Manager Nick Turner makes his final selection for the Olympic Games in Rio, Tattersalls provided one final opportunity for athletes to impress. Ireland has qualified a full team of four Eventing riders for the Rio Games. The top three in the CIC*** class are part of the current Rio Eventing Squad and their finishes at Tattersalls will have boosted their chances of selection.

The best British rider in the class was Alicia Hawker with Charles RR in 11th place, also picking up Best Under 25.

George Mernagh Memorial Fund Bursary Winner

On the concluding day of the Tattersalls International and Country Fair, the three recipients of the 2016 George Mernagh Memorial Fund (GMMF) Bursaries were announced and presented by Event Director Jean Mitchell and Tattersalls Ireland Managing Director Roger Casey. The winners each received a bursary worth €5,000.

The eventing bursary was awarded to Ian Cassells, a member of the Junior Eventing Squad at the 2012 FEI European Championships at Strezgom, in Poland. Since then he has been deeply involved with the Irish Universities Riding Clubs Association – competing in the Student Rider’s Nation Cup – Combined Show Jumping and Dressage Competitions. In 2015 he was Team and Individual Dressage Gold medallist and Team Silver and Individual Bronze Overall Combined medallist at Marburg in Germany. He was also part of the winning Team and Individual medals in competitions at Jerez, Spain in 2015 and at Lund, Sweden in 2014.

Ian has already been selected for the Irish Team to compete at the Student Rider’s Nation Cup in Poznan, Poland in 2016, and at the World University Equestrian Championships which will be held at Flyinge, Sweden.

Photographs courtesy of Dave Cameron

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