Carlile pips Funnell to title in exhilarating horse trials finale

photography by Action Replay
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.

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

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