Hartpury horse sky high after strong showing at Horse Trials

photography by Action Replay www.actionreplayphotography.co.uk

There was a happy return home for Hartpury-bred Hartpury Sky is the Limit when the eight-year-old shone at last week’s NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials.

After being bred at Hartpury Home Farm Stud in 2007, the gelding was raised at the college and then backed by students (they were the first to sit on the horse to get it accustomed to being ridden) as they gained valuable hands-on experience.

He was then evaluated in 2010 at the BEF Futurity Series, which aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, show-jumping or endurance, and Sky is the Limit was rated as the best three-year-old show-jumper in the UK.

The horse was then bought by Diana Brodie with event rider Ian Wills taking the reins and the duo showed their promise with

a strong showing in last week’s CCI** class as they finished in sixth place, with a particularly impressive performance in the cross-country section with a flawless display.

This result maintains their purple patch of form which had seen the pair secure top honours in their previous two events at Tweseldown and Aston-le-Walls respectively.

Phillip Cheetham, Hartpury’s Equine Director, said: “It’s great to see one of our own bred horses perform so well at such a prestigious competition, particularly when the event is at Hartpury!! The horse, and Ian, put in a great performance and hopefully they can continue to push on in future events as they continue to fly the flag for Hartpury.”

Carlile pips Funnell to title in exhilarating horse trials finale

photography by Action Replay www.actionreplayphotography.co.uk
Saturday’s overnight leader Thomas Carlile edged out Pippa Funnell to claim the Magic CCI 2* title in tight fashion after a third fence refusal penalty in the showjumping at the Hartpury Horse trials.  
 
Carlile, from France, whose score of 34.4 in the dressage and a clear in the cross country, aboard Upsilon, had seen him carry a more than five point lead into Sunday’s final round. He was chased all the way by Funnell, who’s own clear round, aboard Billy Cuckoo, in the showjumping ensured her second place overall. 
 
The top three was rounded out by last year’s winner, Nottinghamshire’s Matthew Wright, who rode Shannondale Shinawil to a clear in the showjumping to maintain his score of 41.1. 
 
Meanwhile it was Caroline Harris who scooped top spot in the Optimum CCI 1* with a clear round in the showjumping adding to yesterday’s clear aboard Billy Bumble in the cross country. Harris’ score of 37.5 was enough to take the weekend honours ahead of Tom Jackson on Dowalda and Willa Newton on Caja 20, who rounded out the top three unchanged after Saturday’s action. 
 
Harris led from start to finish in an exhilarating CCI 1* competition after her brilliant score of 37.5 in the opening dressage phase gave her a narrow lead over the chasing pack headed up by eventual second place finisher, Tom Jackson, after the opening day. Despite clear rounds in both the cross country and showjumping from eight of the eventual top ten, it was Harris’ own clear rounds which ensured her first place. 
 
Jackson also picked up the Denis Ivan trophy for the highest placed Pony Club Rider as well as the special Sport Horse Breed of GB award. 
 
Former Hartpury student, Jules Ennis, can be very pleased with an excellent top 30 finish in a near 100-strong competition. Ennis, aboard Cooley O, finished on a score of 54.5 to ensure herself a place in the top-third of the final placings in 29th. 
 
Sunday’s action rounds off another fantastic year of top eventing at Hartpury, which saw William Fox-Pitt excel in the pinnacle event, the Superflex CCI 3*. His untouchable performance during the cross country and showjumping phases were enough to see him crowned champion aboard Bay My Hero. 
 
Event Director, Phillip Cheetham, said: “This has been another amazing display of world class eventing right across the whole week. Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to pull off one of the biggest events on our equine calendar. We hope that all the spectators and competitors all had a great time and we cannot wait to welcome them back next year.
 
Hartpury

would like to thank NAF,

all the sponsors and everyone involved in putting on such a hugely successful international event. You can view all the results from the event here

Phenomenal Fox-Pitt coasts to victory on brilliant Bay My Hero

photography by Action Replay www.actionreplayphotography.co.uk
The thrills and spills of cross country day brought the CIC 3* to a fantastic finish, with William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero’s untouchable performance during the showjumping and cross country phases, securing the top spot.
 
After the CIC 3* showjumping phase, William Fox-Pitt remained in first place after producing a stunning clear round aboard Bay My Hero, with Sarah Bullimore on Reve Du Rouet and Ibby Macpherson on Ballingowan Diamond in second and third respectively.
 
As excitement reached fever pitch with the 3* competitors heading out on the exhilarating cross country course, Fox-Pitt stole the show with an outstanding win on the sublime Bay My Hero.
 
The unbeatable combination produced an effortless round on the cross country course, rocketing straight into first place with a score of 37.9. Fox-Pitt was also fifth overall on Luxury FH and seventh on Fernhill Pimms.
 
Bullimore managed to wrap up her second place overall after the cross country phase aboard Reve Du Rouet, with a final score of 40.4, and birthday girl Macpherson, remained in third place riding Ballingowan Diamond with 43.1. Hartpury graduate and French international event rider, Astier Nicolas finished in a creditable 11th place on Molakai.
 
The top three in the CCI 1* all went round clear, with Caroline Harris riding Billy Bumble to steal the top spot with a fantastic total of 37.5, Tom Jackson took second place on Dowalda with 38.5 and Willa Newton achieved third place on Caja 20 with a total of 40.1.
 
Tomorrow’s showjumping phase will bring the CCI 1* competition to a conclusion, when recent Hartpury Equine graduate, Jules Ennis, will be looking to improve on her current 22nd spot on Cooley O, having climbed eight places today.
 
Pippa Funnell made up for the disappointment of being eliminated after unseating in the CIC 3* cross country on Billy the Biz by finishing the day in second spot in the CCI** on Billy Cuckoo with a total score of 39.6, having produced an excellent cross country phase.
 
A good way out in front in the 2*, however, is Thomas Carlile on Upsilon with 34.4, while Matthew Wright sits third on Shannondale Shinawil with 41.1. The Hartpury-bred Hartpury Sky is the Limit ridden by Ian Wills produced a phenomenally quick cross country round to finish the day in fourth on 42.3.
 
Tomorrow is the last chance to enjoy the world class eventing at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials as the CCI* and CCI** reaches its climax with the showjumping phase.
 
Admission on Sunday 16th is charged at £10 per person and Under-16s are free.
 
To stay up to date with the latest news and results, go to www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk follow @HartpuryHT on twitter and visit the Facebook page.

Cross-country day is here! And William Fox-Pitt can’t wait to get started!

Hartpury is basking in glorious sunshine as we gear up for the pinnacle of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials – cross-country day!

We caught up with three day eventing superstar William Fox-Pitt this morning after his three tests in the NAF Superflex CIC*** in preparation for the cross-country phase today.

He said: “The course looks magnificent. We all got very wet yesterday but it was worth it!

“Hartpury is a popular event and this is reflected in the huge number of entries. A tremendous amount of work has been done preparing the ground and with the rain, the going should be near ‘perfect’.”

William has three horses in the CIC3* – Bay My Hero (currently in first place), Fernhill Pimms and Luxury FH.

Entry today and tomorrow is only £10 per person and free for Under-16s. Do come and see us!

Plus there’s live scoring on the website and you can get all the latest news and results on twitter @HartpuryHT and on the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse

Trials Facebook page.

Cream of Hartpury’s crop shines on big stage while Fox-Pitt sits at summit

The rain didn’t stop the dressage superstars from dazzling the brave bank of spectators on day three of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials.

 

But while the big names led the way again as excitement builds for the weekend’s action, Hartpury’s eventing finest also shone on their home stage.

 

Jules Ennis, who just graduated from the Equestrian Sports Science degree at Hartpury, produced a lovely test on Cooley O with a score of 49.3 in the Optimum CCI*. Another former Hartpury student, Robert Barker, who is based in Upleadon, also excelled in the CCI 1*, with a score of 44.6 riding Loose Talk.

 

French international event rider, Astier Nicolas, competed on Molakai in the CIC 3* and produced an excellent test to score 43.4 and finish just outside the top 10. The BSc Equine Science graduate and Hartpury Equine Academy scholar has competed up to 4* level and won the Bramham Under-25s CCI 3* class.

 

William Fox-Pitt took top spot in the 3* on Bay My Hero with an exceptional test scoring 37.1 with Elisabeth Halliday occupying second spot after a score of 38.9 on Fernhill by Night. Fox Pitt also took third spot with 39.1 on Fernhill Pimms.

 

Thomas Carlile sat at the summit of the Magic CCI** with a score of 34.4 on Upsilon, with Brook Staples second with 37.4 on Doonaveeragh and Pippa Funnell and Billy Cuckoo third on 38.4.

 

Caroline Harris led the way in the 1* with 37.5 on Billy Bumble ahead of Tom Jackson, who had another good day on Dowalda with a score of 38.5. Willa Newton was third on Caja 20 with a score of 40.1.

 

The NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials reaches its pinnacle tomorrow as excitement builds for cross-country

day.

 

Philip Cheetham, Equine Events Director at Hartpury, said: “We’ve had an excellent first few days of competition and even Friday’s downpours did not dampen anyone’s spirits! The Horse Trials got off to a cracking start on Wednesday as we got the chance to witness the very best young horses and riders who will be the future stars of three day eventing.

 

“On Thursday, we saw crowd favourite, the legendary Pippa Funnell, finish the day occupying the top two spots in the CIC*** dressage and there was an incredible test by Tom Jackson, who finished a long way ahead of the field in the 1*, setting up a really exciting third day which featured promising performances by some talented young riders with Hartpury connections.

 

“But of course, it’s the action on our three exciting cross-country courses on Saturday that everyone is talking about, and

all this rain means the ground has softened for the horses.

 

“It’s the pinnacle of the Horse Trials and with lots of sunshine forecast, it’s all set to be a great day with the chance to see superstars like William Fox-Pitt in action, along with French international rider Astier Nicolas, who was in the Equine Academy here at Hartpury.”

 

Admission on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th is charged at £10 per person.

 

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, go to www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk follow @hartpuryHT on twitter and visit the Facebook page.

Pippa does the business on Billy the Biz and gets off to dream start on Sandman 7

Three day eventing superstar, Pippa Funnell MBE, lived up to her reputation in the Superflex CIC*** at the second day of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials.

Great Britain’s Pippa produced two excellent dressage tests to occupy both first and second place on the leaderboard ahead of the remainder of competitors completing their dressage tomorrow.

She hit the summit with 40.6 on Billy the Biz and also took second place riding rising star, Sandman7, who she topped the podium with in the 3* at Chatsworth, with a score of 42.2. Sitting in third spot after day two was Tom Mcewen on Hunter Valley III with 42.5.

Leading the way in the Optimum CCI* was Tom Jackson riding Dowalda, wowing spectators to achieve an exceptional score of 38.5. Following were Felicity Collins on Just Amazing III and Megan Cummings on MGH Bingo Boy – tied for second spot on 42.5.

In the Magic CCI**, Matthew Wright on Shannondale Shinawil will go into the second day of dressage leading with a score of 41.1. Avallone Melissandre on Ghandi with 41.3 and Thomas Carlile on Rakam D’emra on 41.9 sit in second and third respectively.

As tomorrow approaches, the remaining riders in each of the classes take to the stage for their dressage tests before the weekend’s cross-country and show jumping excitement get underway.

The NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials runs from 12th to 16th August, offering world class eventing up close and personal with the stars of the eventing world. Excitement is already building for Saturday, which features the pinnacle of the competition – cross-country day!

Admission on Friday 14th is free of charge and on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th, entry is charged at £10 per person.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, go to www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk follow @hartpuryHT on twitter and visit the Facebook page.

And we’re off! Hartpury hosts talent of tomorrow as International Horse Trials gets underway

The stars of the future took centre stage at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials today, hoping to prove star-studded enough to qualify for Burghley.

 

Competition was fierce as the event got off to a flying start with the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Series, where only the top three horses placed in each class achieve qualification to the final of the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals at Burghley on Friday, September 4th.

 

Each horse must complete three sections – a simple dressage test, a series of jumps and a conformational assessment. The top 10 highest scoring competitors then complete a final section based on their suitability and potential for world class three day eventing.

 

In this morning’s Four Year Old Class, Nicky Roncoroni riding Monbeg Warrior took first place with a scorching score of 87, followed by Cotswolds-based Camilla Earnshaw on Trinity Tim with a score of 78 and Lisa Freckingham riding Tremayle with 76.

 

Alex Lea riding Shannondale Percy triumphed in the afternoon when the five year olds took centre stage, scoring a fantastic

86 points. In second place was Sam Jennings, riding Monbeg Iguasso, with 82 points, while Lizzie Brown riding The Kincooley Ceili was third, also on 82 points.

 

Former Hartpury student and International event rider Rob Barker, based in Upleadon competed on Bobbies Boy in the Four Year Old class and Gucci Warrior in the Five Year Old but did not go through as one of the top 10 qualifiers. Rob will now turn his attentions to the CCI 1*.

 

The NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials runs from 12th to 16th August, offering world class eventing up close and personal with the stars of the eventing world. Excitement is already building for Saturday, which features the pinnacle of the competition – cross country day!

 

Admission on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th is free of charge and on Saturday 15th and

Sunday 16th, entry is charged at £10 per person.

 

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, go to www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk follow @hartpuryHT on twitter and visit the Facebook page.

Come and say hello to Hartpury Paralympian this weekend

Come and say hello this weekend to former Hartpury equine science student and London 2012 Paralympian Mel Nicholls. Mel will be with us on Saturday August 15th between 11am and 12pm to talk

to people, answer questions, sign autographs and have her photo taken.

Hartpury’s sports ambassador, Mel, is a T34 1500m world record holder and Paralympic finalist.

She has had a lighter than usual competition schedule this year as she focuses on peaking at exactly the right times – the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October 2015 and then the Rio Paralympic Games next summer –

come and chat to her about her preparations and everything she’s been up to.

You can read more about Mel at her website: www.melnicholls.co.uk