Piggy’s perfect ten becomes eleven during dramatic weekend at Hartpury

Piggy French recorded her tenth international victory of the season on Saturday, winning the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S competition onboard Quarrycrest Echo and also taking the runner up spot with Brookfield Inocent. Ten soon became eleven as she added the NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L title to her 2019 count on Sunday.

Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo will head to Luhmühlen later this month to contest the European Championships, and it was notable that Piggy was the only rider to stop the clock inside the seven-minute optimum time, finishing easily in 6:53.

Piggy finished on her dressage score of 26.6.

Speaking to Eventing Nation after her round, Piggy said “‘Red’ was fantastic – he’s just such a pleasure to ride cross-country. He’s very easy, to be honest, and so it’s easy to be economical and to be quick.”

Piggy’s other ride, Brookfield Inocent is still a relatively new addition to her string, joining her yard in 2018.

“He may well follow in Red’s footsteps in being a quick and easy cross-country ride, to be honest. People say I’m so fast, but I’m really not – with some horses, you can get in a gear and change the gear so quickly. When they’re confident, you can ride so much quicker in the rhythm and in the lines, because you leave the adjusting so late. That’s what I can do with those two, and having the quality of gallop that they have helps, too. They’ve been great today, and to finish first and second is really exciting” Piggy explained.

Pippa Funnell may have relinquished her two-phase lead on time penalties, but solid rounds with the reformed MGH Grafton Street, who added eight time penalties, and overnight leader Billy The Biz, who added ten, saw her finish third and fifth respectively nonetheless. Pippa’s round on the striking grey Billy The Biz also included a lengthy forty-minute hold just after the corners at 13 and 14, due to a heavy fall for Tom Jackson.

Speaking to Eventing Nation, Pippa said “Being held for so long is never a good thing for someone my age. You have all these things going through your head – but my main concern was that I was being held for Tom Jackson, who I’ve helped a lot over the last few years. I was really worried about him, and so you have that going through your mind, and suddenly the dangers of the sport become very real, and it’s difficult – you just have to stay focused and positive and pick up and get on with the job. A few years ago I was held in exactly the same place with Biz, and then he picked up a little fresh, overjumped into the water, and I had a fall – so that was going through my mind as well. I was sort of a psychological mess by the time I started again! But I had a great spin on all of mine – I’m chuffed. I was never going to threaten Pig, I knew that, but I had great rides.”

Both Piggy and Pippa jumped clear rounds over Paul Connor’s showjumping track despite the second phase being moved indoors due to high winds. Intermittent heavy rain showers and relentless wind gusts created difficult conditions for riders, although the ground on the Eric Winter designed cross country track held up well.

Hartpury’s efforts to maintain good conditions and continue running were praised by Pippa.

“A few places got a bit cut up, but I thought they were great courses, and they encouraged positive riding,” she says. “We saw a few falls and no, we never like to see falls, and maybe it was a bigger track than we normally see, but we need to have these bigger tracks if we want to go to Burghley or to a big three-day. It was a very good track, and I thought Eric did a great job. Horses had to be fit because of the conditions.”

Alex Bragg, who finished fourth on the inexperienced King of the Mill, agrees with Pippa’s sentiments. Speaking to Eventing Nation, he said “The ground was great – they’d watered well anyway, and the grass coverage here has just gotten better and better over the last few years.”

Tom Jackson’s day was one of mixed fortunes. The Surrey-based rider took sixth place in the CCI4*-S competition with Pencos Crown Jewel, who cruised home in 7:09 to execute a stratospheric climb up the leaderboard. Celebrations were short-lived however when his second ride of the day, Newmarket Prospect, came down at fence twenty. While the horse was unharmed, Tom was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg. Tina Cook also took a fall from last year’s CCI4*-S winner, Billy The Red, with the chestnut pecking on landing after the final fence. Tina was taken to hospital and kept in overnight for observation.

Problems on the course were widespread and not infrequent across Eric Winter’s track, which is built with long-format prep in mind. 88 combinations started, and while 69 would ultimately finish – 48 would cross the finish line without incurring jumping penalties, flag penalties, or knocked-pin penalties.

Fence 8AB, a hanging log to the first of two skinny triple-bars on a downhill related distance, proved the most influential, with six eliminations and two retirements occurring here. The first water at 6ABC saw four refusals or run-outs, which took place largely at the latter two skinny elements within the water, but in at least one case, the issue occurred at the first element, a rolltop in the water.

I was really pleased with the three courses actually” said Eric Winter, reflecting on a busy cross country day.

“I thought we stepped the levels up in all three classes and they were definitely at the top end. I love the long format two-star, I thought there was a lot of education in it. We had triple brushes through a bunker and I sat on the hill for a long time and watched how the horses just lowered their head and necks and popped through it. All the horses I saw learned from it.

“Some horses coped better than others, but that’s the nature of competition; some find it easier than others. As we went up through the levels, it was very similar really. I thought that the big competition, the four-star, was a great competition with some fantastic horses. As I’ve said in previous interviews, the one thing about Hartpury, and it happened again this year, you actually watch the best horses in the world. A lot of these horses are off to the Europeans next and it’s not often you get to see those horses. And when you see them, it’s not often that you get to see them run fast and take the risk. It was a good day, really.”

Best of the rest…

The competitors in the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L had the best conditions of the day on Sunday with a sunny morning for their show jumping phase. A clear round sealed the deal for Harriett Beaumont on Annaghmore Bonita who finished on their dressage score of 29.6. Mark Davidson and Striding Edge finished in second on a score of 29.9 and Charlotte Rowe finished in third on Redbarn Luxury Biscuit with a score of 31.3. Harriett celebrated her first-ever international win.

Heavy rain and thunder on Sunday afternoon forced competitors to shelter in the indoor arena during intermittent halts in proceedings. However, unseasonable weather couldn’t stop Piggy French winning the NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L on Brookfield Quality. It was, however, a win of ‘totally mixed emotions’ for Piggy who was delighted for the owners of Brookfield Quality but was disappointed for Susie Berry, the talented young Irish rider based at Piggy’s yard who so nearly won the class. Susie Berry finished in second place on a score of 31.6 with 0.8 time penalties proving costly in the final phase. Charlotte Dennis and Mount Panther finished in third with a score of 37.7.

Hartpury Equine Director, Philip Cheetham, was quick to praise competitors and the Hartpury team.

“Running an event such as this is a huge team effort, particularly when the weather presents challenges like it has this week. We are very grateful to the entire team.

“We’d also like to thank the competitors and their supporters who showed understanding and flexibility throughout. This allowed us to run a successful event which provides such an important preparatory run for those riders heading for championship events and autumn three-days” he added.

While the event’s summer fair and family-friendly activities may have had to be streamlined, Teddy the Shetland still made a popular appearance (pictured below with Eric Winter).

Click here to see the full results from the NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials.

Image Credits: Sally Newcomb Photography & Celeste Wilkins

Pippa Funnell retains dressage lead, but with Billy The Biz

Pippa Funnell retains her grip on the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S competition after the second day of dressage, albeit with her third 4* ride – Billy The Biz. The striking grey looked effortless on Friday afternoon earning a score of 23.3 and setting the standard going into Saturday’s showjumping and cross country phases.

Sarah Bullimore had a busy but successful Friday finishing with her least experienced horse in third place. The first on the board was Sarah’s top horse and reserve on the British squad for the European Championships, Reve Du Rouet who scored 28.5 but it was the homebred eight-year-old Corouet who moved into the lead just before lunch with a score of 23.6.

Tom McEwen soon matched Sarah’s score of 23.6 with Toledo De Kerser moving ahead due to collective marks.

Speaking to An Eventful Life after his test, Tom said “There was nothing I wanted to particularly aim for this year so we’ve just kept him ticking along at national level.

He’s got a really expressive medium canter so I really tried to show it off today”.

The final hours of the CCI4*-S dressage phase with a host of top-class names including Piggy French, Tina Cook, Tim Price and Sarah Bullimore who returned with her final ride, Conpierre.

Last year’s winners of this class Tina Cook and Billy The Red put in a solid test to earn a mark of 23.7 ahead of Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street.

This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials winners, Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, lie in ninth after dressage on a score of 25.8. Piggy’s other ride Quarrycrest Echo goes into the showjumping in 11th with a score of 26.6.

Tom, Piggy and Tina are all headed to the European Championships at Luhmuhlen and all three have brought their Championship horses for a run. A number of other combinations are Burghley-bound.

Twenty-seven riders in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S earned sub-30 dressage scores setting up exciting showjumping and cross country phases tomorrow.

With the Met Office forecasting high winds on Saturday, organisers have taken the decision to move the CCI4*-S showjumping phase indoors. The cross country course remains in good condition with near perfect going.

In the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L  and NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L competitions the leaders remain unchanged from Thursday with Sarah Holmes and Harley Brown, and Piggy French and Brookfield Quality, leading respectively.

To see the full results click here.

(Photo Credits: Sally Newcomb Photography)

Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street lead after first day of dressage

Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street lead overnight in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S competition. Jonathan and Jane Clarke’s Burghley-bound gelding put in an eye-catching performance during Thursday’s morning session setting the standard with 24.8.

Pippa also lies in tenth place with the S.H.E Eventing owned Maybach who scored 28.8.

“I was very happy with MGH Grafton Street’s test” said Pippa, speaking on Thursday evening.

“He is improving and getting stronger with each test he performs. He’s always been pretty solid in this phase, it’s just getting the other phases to come together.

“Maybach had a bit of time off in the spring and as he’s only a nine-year-old is still getting stronger.

“I was really delighted with the trot work in particular although he just became a little bit bright in his canter and broke in the counter canter. The system I’ve got with him is absolutely right and it’s just a case of being patient and waiting for him to build in strength”.

With an eye to the weekend, Pippa Funnell also paid tribute to Hartpury as an eventing venue.

“It’s astonishing how Hartpury has grown over the years to now be one of our top venues in the country. Fortunately, we have got the facilities to hand if the rain does come this weekend” she said.

It was a good first day for Emily King too who lies in second and fourth place aboard Brookleigh (24.9) and Dargun (25.4) respectively. Australia’s Kevin Mcnab sits in third place following Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam’s best performance at this level scoring 25.4. Will Furlong and Collien P 2 (26.5) and Millie Dumas and Artistiek (27.5) lie fifth and sixth respectively.

Elsewhere on the first day of dressage, Piggy French leads the NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L competition aboard Brookfield Quality (27.0) and Sarah Holmes leads the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L competition aboard Harley Brown (25.6).

The action continues on Friday from 8.30am. Click here to view the full results.

Powells’ enjoy a perfect start to the week with Burghley Young Event Horse wins

Caroline Powell and Rodney Powell kicked off the NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials in fine style by taking the Burghley Young Event Horse 4 and 5-year-old classes respectively. Both combinations will now head to the final at next month’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Caroline Powell’s impressive Legally Grey marked consistently across the three sections earning a total score of 80. By the thoroughbred stallion Munther, the grey gelding held off strong competition from nearest rival Caroline Harris and W Be Individual who finished with an all-around score of 76.

In the 5-year-old qualifier, Rodney Powell’s Wanham Freebie finished in top spot with a score of 88. Wanham Freebie is by Ramiro B, sire of top event horses including Ballynoe Castle RM (3rd in the 4* at Kentucky in 2014), Cooley Masterclass (winner of the CICO*** at Ballindenisk in 2014), and Westwinds Hercules (winner of the CIC2* at Mallow in 2014).

In 2018 Cooley Master Class won the Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials on his CCI**** debut, finishing on his dressage score of 28.7 and Cooley SRS finished 2nd at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials on his CCI**** debut, jumping double clear to finish on a score of 33.1. Ramiro B passed away in 2018 but his legacy continues with a number of exciting young horses such as this.

Tina Coudray and Cabaret finished in second on a score of 81.

“We always enjoy seeing so many talented young horses at our Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers,” said Equine Director, Philip Cheetham.

“We wish all those horse and rider combinations who qualified today the very best of luck at Burghley in the autumn” he added.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, the first horse inspection took place for the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L and NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L. Two horses were spun at the first horse inspection, one from the 2* competition and one from the 3* competition. Dressage gets underway in both long-format competitions on Thursday alongside the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S.

Badminton winner headlines bumper field at 2019 NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials

Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, winners of this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, headline a strong field at the 2019 NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials.

This year’s Bramham winners, Kitty King and Vendredi Biats (pictured below), are also set to contest the CCI4*-S competition which attracted a record number of entries. Tina Cook and Billy The Red, winners of this class in 2018 also return to defend their title alongside last year’s fourth-placed combination Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On.

“We are thrilled to see such a strong entry ahead of this year’s NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials” said Equine Director, Philip Cheetham.

“The CCI4*-S competition always proves a popular choice among top riders ahead of the autumn internationals but this year we had to run a waitlist. The course looks fantastic and we can’t wait to see how the class of 2019 fair as they tackle Eric Winter’s brilliant challenge” he added.

A number of changes have been made to the cross country courses at all levels and perfect ground conditions have been aided by considerable ground care investment and a combination of sunshine and rainfall.

Summer Fair

The annual summer fair returns on Saturday 10 August, taking place alongside the exciting cross country phase. Scale new heights at the climbing wall, browse the stalls of local exhibitors and find out how police horses are trained. Check out the hawks, owls and eagles at the birds of prey demonstration or enter your four-legged friend in the annual Hartpury dog show and be in with a chance of taking home a rosette. Before heading home, walk the imposing cross country course and marvel at brave horses and riders as they tackle solid obstacles against a stunning Gloucestershire backdrop. Look out for a VIP (Very Important Pony) guest too who has taken Instagram by storm. He’ll be meeting and greeting, showcasing his best tricks and giving lots of cuddles. All in all, the Hartpury Summer Fair and Horse Trials is a Great British day out.

Entry to the event for spectators is free on Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 August. Entry during Saturday 10 August costs £10 per person. Entry during Sunday 11 August costs £5 per person. Under 16s go free all week.

#NAFHHT

 

Teddy the Shetland set to attend summer fair at Hartpury Horse Trials

One of Instagram’s most influential ponies will head to this year’s event, taking place 7-11 August.

Teddy the Shetland, a diminutive palomino with an enviable Instagram following of over 100,000, will attend this year’s NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials.

In his role as event mascot, Teddy will take up a number of public appointments during the event including Thursday’s media event and cross-country course walk. He’ll also meet and greet crowds at the annual summer fair on Saturday 10 August.

Attractions alongside Teddy include 9-hole crazy golf, a falconry display, climbing wall, inflatable playground and a treasure trail. A host of exhibitors will also be in attendance.

Who is Teddy the Shetland?

Teddy the Shetland has featured in a number of national media outlets in recent months thanks to his rather amusing social media feed.

Back in December, the “pony influencer” even featured in a heart-warming advert for Sandown’s Tingle Creek race meeting, re-enacting scenes from iconic festive films. More recently, Teddy graced the turf at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show.

All change for 2019

As the countdown to the event gets underway, Teddy’s announcement is one of a number of additions and changes to the 2019 running of this popular event. Look out for live Twitter commentary on cross country day providing instant results and rider reaction.

The competitive action gets underway on Wednesday 7 August with the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers taking place ahead of the CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and CCI4*-S competitions from Thursday 8 August. The cross-country courses will once again be designed by Eric Winter.

Want to meet Teddy? Entry to the NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials is free on Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 August. Entry to the event costs £10 per person on Saturday 10 August and £5 per person on Sunday 11 August. Under 16s go free all week. Advance tickets can be purchased here.

Stay up to date with all the latest news by following the Hartpury Festival of Dressage on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Former Hartpury winner reigns supreme at Bramham

Great Britain’s Kitty King and Vendredi Biats, winners of the NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials in 2017, have won the Equi-Trek Bramham International CCI4*-L competition.

On a damp and grey Saturday in West Yorkshire, Kitty stormed to the top of the leader board with a striking display of cross country riding, following up an impressive dressage score of 26.8. The grey gelding was just one second over the optimum time, adding 0.4 to her first phase score and preventing a re-run of her 2018 Bramham disappointment where time faults meant she narrowly missed the podium.

An immaculate clear show jumping round on Sunday afternoon meant that her Rio team-mate and dressage leader Gemma Tattersall had to settle for second on Jalapeno III, having had a fence down in the final phase.

Andrew Nicholson and As Is, a combination who finished fifth at Hartpury’s CCI3*-L in 2018, finished in seventh place.

“Huge congratulations to Kitty and her team on a hugely impressive performance at Bramham” says Philip Cheetham, Hartpury’s Equine Director.

“We take huge pride in seeing former winners of our event go on to enjoy success all over the country and indeed the world, and we are genuinely thrilled for her and all involved. Our August event attracts leading international competitors year on year, and we are already looking forward to our 2019 fixture” he added.

Want to attend this year’s Hartpury Horse Trials?

This year’s NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials gets underway on Wednesday 7 August with the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers taking place ahead of the CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and CCI4*-S competitions from Thursday 8 August. The cross-country courses will once again be designed by Eric Winter.

Entry to the event is free on Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 August. Entry to the event costs £10 per person on Saturday 10 August and £5 per person on Sunday 11 August. Under 16s go free all week. Advance tickets can be purchased here.

Stay up to date with all the latest news by following the Hartpury Festival of Dressage on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Tina and Billy clinch title after cross-country masterclass

At the end of a thrilling day of cross-country at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, Britain’s Tina Cook and Billy The Red reigned supreme in the NAF Magic CIC3*.

Sitting in fifth place overnight after the dressage, Tina and Billy The Red pulled off a beautiful clear round showjumping before heading out on Eric Winter’s 3* course.

The pair then performed a cross-country masterclass to finish on their dressage score of 25.6 and pull four places up the leaderboard into first position.

Tina said: “The season has been unfortunate for me as I started with great hopes after being fourth at the Europeans last year and Billy The Red is only an 11-year-old, so he’s a young horse.

“Then we had our fall at Burnham Market where I dislocated and fractured my shoulder badly, so that caused me to miss a core of the season.

“Everything fell into place here, he nailed a good test because he is a world-class horse and I’m thrilled — it’s been a while since I’ve had a big win and it was a strong field.

“The ground was fantastic, as was the course, and it was a great prep for the autumn events.”

A clear showjumping and cross-country round with just 0.4 time penalties brought Piggy French and Quarryquest Echo up from sixth place overnight to second place.

Piggy also took eighth riding Vanir Kamira, who showjumped clear and earned just eight time penalties across country to finish on 32.2.

Sam Ecroyd and Wodan II made a huge leap from 11th overnight to third when pulling off a clear showjumping and cross-country round with just 0.8 time penalties to finish on 28.3.

Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors claimed victory in the NAF Superflex CCI2*.

Ireland’s Aoife Clark was in the lead ahead of Ryuzo after the dressage but retired on the cross-country, leaving Ryuzo in pole position after his clear cross-country.

His clear showjumping cemented his win, finishing on 29.4.

“We are still a new partnership so at each competition we are still learning about each other, but he is a brilliant showjumper and did a great round,” said Ryuzo.

“He’s a fast horse across country. There was a lot of pressure because I was in the lead overnight and there was a long wait from the trot up this morning to showjumping this afternoon.

“We came here for qualification so to win was a massive bonus.”

Emily Philp and Fallulah held on to their runner-up spot after a super clear round to finish on 31, while Alice Pearson and Jack The Ginger rose from fifth to third after showjumping clear, finishing on 34.4.

Dani Evans and Hollywood Dancer led from start to finish in the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI1*.

Their clear round showjumping and foot-perfect cross-country kept them on their dressage score of 27.1, only 0.5 points ahead of runner up Susie Berry and Fernhill G.

Susie’s double clear also kept her on her dressage score of 27.6, as did third-placed Vicky Tuffs and Heartbeat’s who finished on 27.8.

Competition was tight, with the top 10 all jumping double clears to finish on their dressage scores. Of the 84 starters, 35 jumped double clear.

“She really deserves it, she’s such a special horse and I think she is a real horse for the future,” said Dani of Ann Butler’s six-year-old mare.

“She comes out and delivers every time. She does everything with no fuss and no drama and just focuses on her job, which makes my life very easy.

“The event has been great for these young horses experiencing their first long-format event.

“The courses were great course, the ground was perfect, and the whole atmosphere was brilliant. Thanks to NAF and the team at Hartpury for putting on such a great event.”

Hartpury’s Equine Director Philip Cheetham added: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last five days of competition with horses, riders and record crowds of spectators enjoying the very best of International competition and our Hartpury Summer Fair here in Gloucestershire.

“We cannot thank the officials, Hartpury staff and volunteers enough. Without them and our sponsors NAF, putting on a event of this calibre would not be possible.”

Day one of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials showcased the stars of the future in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier.

Harry Horgan and Sara Brown’s Sirius were clear winners of the four-year-old class, winning by a 10-point margin from runners up Ginnie Turnbull and Geoffrey Burton’s A Bootlegger Black who scored 78, followed by third-placed Emily Young Jamieson and Sarah Cowley’s Joanna N.O who scored 77.

All three have now qualified for the final, which takes place at Burghley Horse Trials in September.

Harry said: “Sirius has already qualified for the BYEH finals, but we wanted to bring him here to experience the atmosphere and develop his education.

“I’m delighted and love producing the four and five-year-olds.”

The five-year-old qualifier got under way in the afternoon and was won by last-to-go Austin O’Connor and the beautiful chestnut stallion Silver Don, owned by Tina Figenschall.

A fluent dressage test earned them 27, while their clear showjumping round scored 37.

For his conformation, Silver Don earned 11 and 8 for his type, finishing on a total score of 92, nine points clear of second-placed Bernie Wharfe and Stonehavens Penhills Cobra (83 points).

Third place was awarded to Kitty King and Hazelbergs Faraono, who scored 81.

“We broke him as a four-year-old and did these young horses classes last year and then gave him plenty of time to mature,” said Austin of the Silvio I x Donna Rosa stallion.

“He’s unbelievably well behaved and has so much ability. He’s a very exciting prospect for the future as both a stallion and event horse.”

Japan takes the honours

On the final day of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, it was Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors JRA who stole the limelight in the NAF Superflex CCI2*.

Ireland’s Aoife Clark was in the lead ahead of Ryuzo after the dressage but retired on the cross-country leaving Ryuzo in pole position after his clear cross-country. His clear showjumping cemented his win, finishing on 29.4.

“We are still a new partnership so at each competition we are still learning about each other, but he is a brilliant showjumper and did a great round,” said Ryuzo. “He’s a fast horse across country. There was a lot of pressure because I was in the lead overnight and there was a long wait from the trot up this morning to showjumping this afternoon. We came here for qualification so to win was a massive bonus.”

Emily Philp and Fallulah held onto their runner-up spot after a super clear round to finish on 31, while Alice Pearson and Jack The Ginger rose from fifth to third after showjumping clear, finishing on 34.4.

Dani Evans and Hollywood Dancer lead from start to finish in the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI1*. Their clear round showjumping and foot-perfect cross-country kept them on their dressage score of 27.1, only 0.5 points ahead of runner up Susie Berry and Fernhill G. Susie’s double clear also kept her on her dressage score of 27.6, as did third-placed Vicky Tuffs and Heartbeat’s who finished on 27.8. Competition was tight, with the top 10 all jumping double clears to finish on their dressage scores. Of the 84 starters, 35 jumped double clear.

“She really deserves it, she’s such a special horse and I think she is a real horse for the future,” said Dani of Ann Butler’s six-year-old mare. “She comes out and delivers every time. She does everything with no fuss and no drama and just focuses on her job which makes my life very easy. The event has been great for these young horses experiencing their first long-format event. The courses were great course, the ground was perfect, and the whole atmosphere was brilliant. Thanks to NAF and the team at Hartpury for putting on such a great event.”

Hartpury’s Equine Director Philip Cheetham rounded up the event: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last five days of competition with horses, riders and record crowds of spectators enjoying the very best of International competition and our Hartpury Summer Fair here in Gloucestershire. We cannot thank the officials, Hartpury staff and volunteers enough. Without them and our sponsors NAF, putting on a event of this calibre would not be possible.”

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture. The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

Photo: Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors JRA, credit: Sally Newcomb

 

Cook is back on top

At the end of a thrilling day of cross-country at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, Britain’s Tina Cook and Billy The Red reigned supreme in the NAF Magic CIC3*.

Sitting in 5thplace overnight after the dressage, Tina and Billy The Red pulled off a beautiful clear round showjumping before heading out on Eric Winter’s 3* course. The pair then performed a cross-country masterclass to finish on their dressage score of 25.6 and pull four places up the leaderboard into first position.

“The season has been unfortunate for me as I started with great hopes after being fourth at the Europeans last year and Billy The Red is only an 11-year-old, so he’s a young horse,” said Tina. “Then we had our fall at Burnham Market where I dislocated and fractured my shoulder badly so that caused me to miss a core of the season. Everything fell into place here, he nailed a good test because he is a world-class horse and I’m thrilled — it’s been a while since I’ve had a big win and it was a strong field. The ground was fantastic as was the course, and it was a great prep for the autumn events.”

A clear showjumping and cross-country round with just 0.4 time penalties brought Piggy French and Quarryquest Echo up from 6th overnight to second place. Piggy also took 8thriding Vanir Kamira who showjumped clear and earned just 8 time penalties across country to finish on 32.2. Sam Ecroyd and Wodan II made a huge leap from 11thovernight to third when pulling off a clear showjumping and cross country round with just 0.8 time penalties to finish on 28.3.

The leaderboard is relatively unchanged in the NAF MPower CCI1* ranks, with Dani Evans and Hollywood Dancer remaining in the lead after a spectacular clear cross-country round to stay on their dressage score of 27.1. Susie Berry and Fernhill G also pulled off a super clear round across country to stay in second place on 27.6, while Vicky Tuffs and Heartbeat move up into third place after a clear cross country. Vicky moves into third ahead of overnight third-placed rider Erika Sjostrom and Dantino B on collectives. Both riders stay on 27.8.

It’s all change in the NAF Superflex CCI2* with Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima taking centre stage after cross-country on Vick Du Gisors JRA after overnight leader Aoife Clark and Calling Card bowed out on the cross-country course. Emily Philps and Fallulah fill second place on 31 after a clear cross country round, while Alicia Hawker moves up to third from 12thovernight with Lawa on 33.3.

The sun shone on the Hartpury Summer Fair which saw huge crowds of local visitors through the gate to enjoy a fun-filled day of family entertainment.

Tickets are still available for Sunday 12 August, at £5 per person. Under 16s and parking is free all weekend.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture.  The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

Photo credit: Gary Partridge