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)

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.

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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.

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