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
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