Kiwi’s locals sweep the Barbury board in CCI2*s

CIC 2 Star sections  

 New Zealand swept the board in the three two-star level (CIC2*) classes at the Barbury International Horse Trials, sponsored by St James’s Place Wealth Management, with Andrew Nicholson, Tim Price and Jesse Campbell taking one apiece.

The in-form Andrew Nicholson was unstoppable in section B, winning on the Headley Stud’s Loughnatousa Joey on the first occasion he had ridden the horse. He was the only rider of the 93 cross-country starters in the section to achieve the optimum time.

Winner Andrew Nicholson & Loughnatousa Joey sec B
Andrew’s daughter Lily collecting his prize








However, 19-year-old Ella Hitchman, who is in her first year of Young Riders, ran the experienced New Zealander close to the wire, finishing just 0.8 penalties in arrears. She would have won, but for collecting 1.6 time penalties to finish four seconds over the optimum on Rocky Rockstar.

“I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know where I could have made up the time,” said Ella, who is currently on a gap year and planning to go to Cirencester next year. “Still, it’s a pretty good result!”

“We competed here last year in the junior trial, so I knew he could handle the hills and, anyway, he’s used to doing a lot of hill work at home [near Cheltenham]. Rocky is now 12 and it’s only that he’s showing us what he’s really made of.”

Gemma Tattersall, a candidate for the British team for the forthcoming European championships in September, which will be announced later this week, finished third on Santiago Bay.

Tim Price’s win on Kyrle Arscott and Diana Chappell’s The Court Jester in section C was particularly special because they had invited the Prospect Hospice in nearby Wroughton, which has a stand at Barbury, to “adopt” the horse for the day.

The 10-year-old gelding has already paid a visit to the hospice, where a member of staff had a sit on him. Tim has taken on the ride because his usual Australian rider Sammy Birch (nee McLeod) is pregnant. “He’s a class horse,” said Tim, who hopes to take him to Blenheim.

Tim finished on his leading dressage score of 36.1 with Australian Christopher Burton in second on Santana and Sir Mark Todd third on Amacuzzi.

Jesse Campbell, the youngest of the Kiwi trio and based locally in Ogbourne St Andrew, had the win in section D sorted right from the early stages with a fast round inside the time on Cleveland.

William Fox-Pitt, the dressage leader on Ramdam de Mons, hit one show jump and was then eliminated for a rider fall when the horse stopped at a ditch on the cross-country. Oliver Townend, second after dressage, had two show jumping rails down and dropped down the order.

Jesse explained that the eight-year-old has been taken slowly because he can be tricky. “He’s been hard work, he’s talented but a bit of a maverick and I’ve had a few bloody noses on him. I’ve always believed in him, though. He’s a big beautiful horse.”

It was another international line-up, with Ireland’s Camilla Speirs second on BT Cloud and Italy’s Stella Benatti third on Zaron. Mark Todd was giving his four-star horse Oloa an easy spin round for fourth and Izzy Taylor was best Brit in fifth on Direct Puissance.

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Photos courtesy of Lucy Hall

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