Report by Natalie Clark
Rising star Holly Woodhead fought off stiff competition to emerge triumphant in the AI section at Gatcombe’s Spring event. Marlborough-based Holly piloted DHI Lupison to finish just over four marks ahead of Sam Griffiths and his Badminton 2014 champion [emember_protected custom_msg=’This content is only available to Members, to read more of this article please Join HERE or if you are a member please LOGIN‘]Paulank Brockagh. The Aussie pair led after the first phase however notching up 11.4 cross country time faults compared to Holly’s 6.4 meant they had to second for the second prize. The winners posted the fastest time for the final phase in this section while Sara Squires and Sula’s next fastest round for 7.6 time penalties allowed this pair to climb two places to finish third.
Cross country time penalties were also heavily influential in intermediate section a where Nick Gauntlett and Cosmic Order were the speediest to finish with 10.8 faults meaning they finished at the top of the leaderboard. Lydia Harron (Tierro) and Simon Ashworth (Sunny III) completed the top three in this section.
Intermediate section b was won by Georgie Spence whose rare clear round in the second phase with Captain Future clinched the trophy. Eventual second place went to Caroline Harris riding Epica. The pair were ahead of Georgie after the dressage phase and were also faster across country but rolling a pole in the show jumping meant they had to settle for silver position. Toshiyuki Tanaka finished third riding Kelecyn Pirate.
While Friday’s riders competed in blissful sunshine Saturday’s competitors were less fortunate and contested strong winds and rain which would eventually cause Sunday’s competition to be abandoned. Despite this novice section f boasted impressively high dressage scores. Jock Paget’s winning mount Zazu scored 15.5 between the white boards which allowed for their 10.4 cross country time penalties to stay ahead of second placed Tyler Cassells (Sassanias). Amy Tough piloted Noble Special Agent into third place but it was fourth placed steed Express Machine who impressed the most in the first phase scoring 13.8 under Leonard Goerens, however 20.4 cross country time penalties meant they dropped down the order.
Georgie Spence (Friday Knight), Fiona Breach (WSF Cooley Customer), Kitty King (Virage Des Falasies), Helen du Heaume (King Bing) and Charlotte Faulkner (Dunges Laurent Rose) all took home a novice section trophy.
Photography courtesy of PJ