Germany’s latest rising star, Julia Krajewski, rode a perfectly judged cross-country round on the nine-year-old Chipmunk FRH to retain her lead going into tomorrow’s final show jumping phase in the CCI***, SsangYong Blenheim’s showpiece class.
However, she does not have a fence in hand over four-time Blenheim winner Pippa Funnell, whose luck turned with a foot-perfect performance on MGH Grafton Street.
US rider Kimberly Severson, who won here back in 2001 on Winsome Adante, remains in third on Cooley Cross Border, and Britain’s Laura Collett has risen from ninth place after dressage to fourth on the impressive Mr Bass.
“Chipmunk was a pleasure to ride,” said Julia, who scored her first four-star victory, at Luhmuhlen, this year. “I chose to bring this horse to Blenheim because he likes to go on and the course provided the space I needed. One or two of our landings were not perfect, but he kept galloping and jumping and I am very proud of him.”
Course designer David Evans’s new track rode well with 46 clear rounds from the 84 starters, eight of which were inside the optimum time.
SsangYong Motor UK will be the title sponsor of Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for the next three years.
Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, an event owned by the sport’s governing body, British Eventing, takes place in Oxfordshire from 13th-17th September 2017. With the stunning backdrop of Blenheim Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, home of the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, it has the most beautiful setting of any sporting event in the UK.
“Blenheim is one of the top international horse trials held in the UK, and perfectly complements the SsangYong brand focus on four-wheel drive and SUVs, vehicles particularly suited to those living in the country or who tow a horse box, caravan or trailer,” says Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK Ltd.
“As we prepare to launch our all-new Rexton 4x4 later this year, the timing couldn’t be better; Blenheim will feature prominently in our launch plans,” added Paul.
Mandy Hervieu, Blenheim’s Event Director, said: “SsangYong joining us as title sponsor is brilliant news. We will be increasing the prize-money and enhancing our facilities for competitors, owners and visitors.”
There are three international classes this year at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials: the CCI3*, the prestigious CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses, and the final of the exciting Event Rider Masters series, also held at CIC3* level.
Blenheim also offers grassroots riders the chance to compete alongside their heroes with a wide range of amateur classes and a popular fun ride.
There are excellent shopping opportunities, a full time-table in the Attractions Arena of displays and demonstrations and children’s entertainment.
New course-designer David Evans is making exciting changes to the cross-country courses, utilising new areas of the park including the south lawn of Blenheim Palace, with new fences and fresh challenges built in to the course.
Visit www.ssangyonggb.co.uk for more information about SsangYong UK.
Full information about the event and tickets are available at www.blenheimhorse.co.uk
Amazing performances from all of the British combinations in the final show jumping phase at the 2017 FEI European Championships, Poland, sees Great Britain taking home the team gold and individual bronze medals.
Nicola Wilson was the final British rider to enter the arena this afternoon on James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana and, despite having two fences in hand to secure team gold for GB, Nicola pulled off a skilfully ridden clear round on the black mare to confirm GB as the 2017 European Champions.
Nicola went into the show jumping phase in individual fourth place but 12 faults from third placed Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE) moved Nicola up the leader board to eventually take the individual bronze medal on a score of 35.5. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung both produced clear rounds to take the gold and silver medal respectively.
An ecstatic Nicola commented after her show jumping round; “I think I’m still pinching myself. I’m delighted with how Bulana has been this season and she’s been a superstar all week. She’s such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships. I just can’t thank everyone enough, and I’m so pleased for her owners James and Jo Lambert. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have her, she’s a great friend.
“It’s just been amazing. I feel so incredibly lucky – we’ve had fantastic support from the grooms and owners this week from start to finish.”
All three of the British team riders put in fantastic clear rounds in the show jumping to ensure Britain’s place at the top of the team results. GB stalwart Tina Cook finished in individual fourth place on the young gelding Billy The Red (38.2 penalties), owned by Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson, and Championship debutant Ros Canter gave a masterful display on her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B to finish fifth in the individual rankings (40.2 penalties).
Tina added; “We were really wanting that gold, it’s been a few years and it’s fantastic to be back in this position. It’s been such a strong team performance all week and has just been fantastic. I’m so pleased with Billy The Red, he is such an exciting horse for the future. There have been some amazing riders and horses here, and our support team have just been so brilliant this week.”
Senior Championships first timer Ros said; “To be surrounded by this team and the whole of the GB team has just been fantastic. I don’t think it’s still really sunk in yet. It’s so exciting to be part of this team, with all their experience around me and it’s so special for us all. The excitement of it all is just amazing.”
Gemma Tattersall and The Pebbles Syndicate’s charismatic grey mare Quicklook V, collected eight jumping faults to complete inside the top 10 in eighth place on 44.7 and Piggy French just tipped one fence on Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo to finish in 28th place with a score of 87.4.
Following her round Piggy said; “It’s been a nearly but not quite week. Today he just rolled a pole in the jumping but was super everywhere else. He’s really stepped up this week – he’s definitely had his biggest year yet and he’s a very exciting horse; there’s lots to look forward to.”
Gemma commented; “It’s obviously not what I was hoping for. I was really pleased with how she jumped in there, I don’t know what happened at those fences but I’m very happy with her and for the British team.”
Team pathfinder Oliver Townend withdrew Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS ahead of this morning’s Final Horse Inspection.
With Great Britain taking the team gold on 113.9 penalties, Germany were left in the silver medal position on 123.00 and Sweden bronze with 148.4 penalties.
Full results can be found HERE.
Can anyone break Germany’s firm grip on the FEI European Eventing Championships? That is the question as riders, horses, owners, grooms and trainers from 19 countries, plus a host of volunteers, have been welcomed to the first senior eventing championships to be held at the Stragona Equestrian Center in Strzegom (POL) from August 17-20 and the first one in Eastern Europe since Bialy Bor (POL) in 1986.
The German team is bidding for a fourth successive European team gold medal and world number one Michael Jung, whose extraordinary winning run began in Luhmühlen (GER) in 2011 with the great La Biosthetique Sam, will again be one of the favourites to take the title and, in the process, make eventing history.
The Jung story continued to Malmö (SWE) in 2013, where he triumphed on Halunke, and then in 2015 he produced an unforgettable display of horsemanship on fischerTakinou, galloping through torrential rain at Blair Castle (GBR) in the Scottish Highlands to equal Ginny Eliot’s (GBR) record of three successive titles on three different horses and receive team and individual gold medals from HRH Queen Elizabeth ll.
Now he will be trying to make history on Polish soil, and few would bet against him making it four in a row with fischerRocana FST, known as ‘Roxy’. The brilliant little mare is a dual winner of Kentucky CCI4* and won world team gold and individual silver medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA) in 2014.
A mighty German squad includes three-time Olympic gold medallist Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob), and recent Luhmühlen winners Julia Krajewski (Samourai Du Thot).
However, nothing is ever predictable in eventing – that is the joy of the sport – and the name that has been on everyone’s lips this summer is Frenchman Thomas Carlile on the beautiful grey stallion Upsilon, a horse that is hugely talented in all three phases.
Last year at the Rio Olympic Games, the French beat the Germans to team gold and they come to Strzegom on a wave of confidence. They may be missing the Olympic silver medallist Astier Nicolas, who is injured, but France fields riders of the calibre of Maxime Livio, currently ranked fifth in the world, and 2015 individual bronze medallist Thibaut Vallette. Remarkably France, so often the silver medallists, have never won the European team title, but they must surely feel the tide is about to turn.
Great Britain have dominated the European Championships for many years with an unbroken winning run of eight titles from 1995 to 2009, and will be equally determined to regain their place at the top of the leaderboard, as will their new team trainer Christopher Bartle who helped Germany to three Olympic golds and multiple championship medals.
The British squad is headed by Kristina Cook (Billy the Red), for whom it is an eighth European appearance. She is the only mother to have taken the European title, which she did convincingly in 2009 on Miners Frolic in Fontainebleau (FRA).
The strong British line-up includes Luhmühlen runner-up Nicola Wilson on the exciting black mare Bulana - Wilson is the highest ranked rider here at world number four after Jung - plus newly crowned national champion Gemma Tattersall (Quicklook V) and Oliver Townend (Cooley SRS), who is ranked eighth in the world.
Look out also for Belgium’s leading lady Karin Donckers, the world number 10, for whom it is a seventh European Championship, Belarusian Olympic rider Alena Tseliapushkina on Passat, Swiss brothers Ben and Felix Vogg, Swedish sisters Sara and Linda Algotsson and leading Irish couple Michael and Patricia Ryan.
There will be teams from Spain, Italy, Russia and, for the first time in decades, Norway, coached by the great Finnish rider Piia Pantsu-Jonsson, world bronze medallist in 2002.
The action begins tomorrow morning (17 August) when the dressage test starts at 10:00 CEST in front of ground jury Ernst Topp (GER, president), Sue Baxter (GBR) and Slawomir Pietrzak (POL). The Technical Delegate is Gillian Kyle from Ireland and great anticipation surrounds Saturday’s action on the cross country track designed by the German maestro Rűdiger Schwarz, who produced such brilliant sport for the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen (GER).
History is waiting to be made – but who will be making it?
See how you can watch all the action HERE.
Australia’s Paul Tapner secured his first win in the International Arena at Hickstead today when claiming the honours in the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge.
The popular Wiltshire-based event rider produced a perfectly timed round to win on board Bonza King of Rouges. His time of 127.75sec was enough to take the title ahead of Britain’s Abi Walters and Perfick Miss Amber (128.37sec). In third was Irish Olympic rider Joseph Murphy and his London 2012 horse Electric Cruise, finishing just behind Walters with a time of 128.64sec.
Speaking at the press conference afterwards, Paul said that the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge is always a class he enjoys doing. “When you’re sat on a horse like that who is very careful, brave and fast, you’d expect him to excel in a class like this,” he said.
Tapner, the winner of Badminton in 2010, announced a change in career direction last year, much to the surprise of the eventing community. “Everybody is confused that I’m not a professional event rider any more – I’m now an amateur elite event rider,” he explained. “My full-time job is being the digital and technology manager for the Event Rider Masters series. That’s my day job now and I do my riding around that.”
Paul didn’t have the best of preparations for this class. He was on track to win an Advanced class at Aston-Le-Walls horse trials last week when he had a tack malfunction. “Bonza looked like he was going to win until his bit broke in two and I was careering flat out to a fence. Thankfully he pulled up to a halt without any further incident.”
Aside from the top three, only two other riders from the field of 21 managed to produce clear rounds – Britain’s Georgie Strang (Cooley Earl) in fifth and Jeanette Brakewell (Forever Red) in sixth. Last to go was Britain’s Alexander Bragg, who had an unlucky 8sec to add to his time after knocking two fences down, which cost him the win but was good enough to put him in fourth place.
Ireland’s Austin O’Connor was eliminated after taking a tumble at the Irish Bank, while Britain’s Pippa Funnell was desperately unlucky to fall at the final fence just yards from the finish line, having posted one of the fastest rounds of the day. Fortunately, both Pippa and her Rio 2016 ride Billy The Biz were back on their feet following the fall.
“It was a thrilling competition to watch and we were delighted to see a number of our clients’ horses go so well," said David Ashby, Managing Director of MS Amlin. "Congratulations to the winning combination. Paul rode a superb round, and we hope to see him competing here again next year.”
Earlier this afternoon, the USA’s Lauren Hough took the honours in the Bunn Leisure Trophy, riding the 12-year-old mare Adare.
Lauren is based in the UK for eight months of the year at her partner Captain Mark Phillips’ yard in Gatcombe. “I kept up a comfortable pace without going too hard to keep the horse fresh for [the Longines King George V Gold Cup on] Sunday; I didn’t take every risk,” said Lauren, who was pleased to get a win under her belt on the first day of international competition. “It’s good preparation for Sunday and I’m feeling fairly confident – you obviously need a bit of luck, too,” she said.
The first international class of the week was this morning’s Bunn Leisure Vase, which was won by Brazilian rider Yuri Mansur, who is based in the Netherlands. Riding the 10-year-old Inferno, Yuri saw off opposition from France’s Benoit Cernin in second.
“He’s amazing – he’s only been in my stable since last week, I’ve only had him for 10 days. This is actually our first class together!" said Yuri.
In the showing classes, the reigning British Horse Society Supreme Champion Jayne Ross secured her third consecutive Les and Nadia Edgar Supreme Hunter Championship with the mare Time 2 Reflect.
Tomorrow’s feature class is the FEI Nations Cup, a two-round team competition. Ireland have been drawn first to go, followed by Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Great Britain, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Tickets are available online or on the gate, while viewers can also watch the action live on Sky Sports or FEI TV.
This weekend, Leg 4 of the 2017 Event Rider Masters (ERM) lands in mainland Europe at the magnificent and historic grounds of Haras De Jardy in France. It features an impressive international field of 40 horses and riders, representing 14 nations. The field includes a formidable line-up of former and current Olympians, World and European medallists, all of whom are poised to stake their claim on the coveted ERM podium and the 60,000 euro prize pot.
World number 1 Michael Jung makes ERM debut
The current world number 1, and European, World and Olympic champion Michael Jung makes his ERM debut riding Fischerrocana FST for Germany. Jung’s CV boasts the highest of sporting and equestrian achievements including multiple wins at CIC**** level including; Badminton, Burghley, Lexington, and Luhmuhlen titles. This weekend Jung appears in the prestigious ERM for the first time, and is a favourite to add another high-profile win to his glittering CV.
Likely shake up of ERM leader board
Thomas Carlile (FRA) currently tops the ERM rankings with 56 points, following his Leg 3 record breaking win last weekend with Upsilon at Barbury. However, there are several competitors that will be hot on the heels of the Frenchman this weekend, and could shake up the leaderboard come Sunday evening.
France, who have featured prominently on the podium across the 2016 and 2017 series, field 13 riders. These include: one of their most successful riders of all time, Jean Teulere on board Matelot Du Grand Val; Sidney Dufresne riding Swing De Perdriat, who finished fourth at Leg 3 last weekend; current world number five, Maxime Livio on board Pica D’Or and Cedric Lyard, with his 2017 Badminton horse Cadeau Du Roi.
The French demonstrated their dominance in Eventing at the 2016 Olympics by winning team Gold, and are a nation who could feature prominently on the ERM podium at Jardy this weekend, particularly with the home crowd advantage.
All the action from Leg 4 at Haras De Jardy can be viewed live at eventridermasters.tv. A highlights programme will be aired across global TV channels from Thursday 20th July, including Sky Sports in the UK at 7pm.
For Leg 4 competitors, start times, information, and live stream http://eventridermasters.tv/events/2017/haras-de-jardy
Nicola Wilson (GBR) and Bulana clinch second with overnight leader Bettina Hoy third on Designer 10 (GER)
By Kate Green
It was an emotional moment for Germany’s Julia Krajewski when she realised she had scored the biggest win of her career after steering Samourai du Thot to victory at her home event, Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL, fifth leg of the FEI Classics™.
Krajewski, 28, was third year last year at her first attempt, but now she goes home with the big prize after the fairytale failed to come true for cross country leader Bettina Hoy (GER), who is 26 years her senior.
“If I hadn’t taken a pull, my horse wouldn’t have hit fence eight as he didn’t want to touch a pole. I thought ‘damn’, but there were so few clear rounds and when Bettina had her fence and time faults, that’s how it happens sometimes and you’re a four-star winner!”
Julia Krajewski (GER), winner
There had been little difference in the leaderboard after a straightforward cross country phase, but a challenging jumping track certainly shook up the order, with only four clear rounds without time penalties from the 34 finishers.
Krajewski, second after Saturday’s cross country, hit the back rail of fence eight, and Britain’s Nicola Wilson, third before jumping on Bulana, jumped clear but added a frustrating three time faults to finish a mere 0.7 behind in second place, a career best for the 2012 Olympic team silver medallist who has been a solid pathfinder for the British team.
“It was an expensive time fault or two, but Bulana gets better and better and better.”
Nicola Wilson (GBR), runner-up
Hoy’s problems started with a sticky jump over the fifth fence on Designer 10 and the horse then didn’t get high enough over the sixth for a rail down. That, plus three time penalties, dropped the newly crowned national champion (Hoy won the German championships earlier in the day) to third place.
Marilyn Little (USA) was clear to move up to fourth place on RF Scandalous and Maxime Livio (FRA), currently runner-up in the FEI Classics, was also foot-perfect, rising six places to fifth on Opium de Verrieres.
Livio has now managed to narrow the gap with runaway FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung (GER) to just six points, and Wilson has sprung from 11th place in the rankings to third, so a thrilling finish is guaranteed at the finale at Burghley (GBR) in September.
1. Julia Krajewski/Samourai du Thot (GER) 37.1 + 0 + 4 = 41.1
2. Nicola Wilson/Bulana (GBR) 38.7 + 0 + 3 = 41.7
3. Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 36.0 + 0 + 7 = 43.0
FEI Classics™ series leaderboard, after five of six events:
1Michael Jung (GER)39
2Maxime Livio (FRA)33
3Nicola Wilson (GBR)20
4Andrew Nicholson (NZL)15
5Julia Krajewski (GER)15
6Hazel Shannon (AUS)15
7Wilhelm Enzinger (AUS)12
8Tim Price (NZL)10
9Zara Tindall (GBR)10
10Bettina Hoy (GER)10
Julia Krajewski (GER) second with Samourai du Thot and Marilyn Little (USA) third on RF Scandalous
By Kate Green
Bettina Hoy (GER), who is currently enjoying a rich run of form, leads after Dressage at Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL (GER) and has a great chance of winning her home country’s premier event, the fifth leg of the FEI Classics™, since triumphing here in 2005 on Ringwood Cockatoo.
Triple Olympian Hoy, 54, who divides her time between competing, caring for her elderly parents and training the Dutch Eventing team, is renowned for her artistry in the Dressage arena and showed the way to younger riders with a mark of 36.0 on her 13-year-old Westphalian gelding Designer 10.
“Designer was really relaxed today. I was a little annoyed about the small fault we had in the first extended trot, but otherwise he felt great. In fact, the last trot was so good I almost forgot to halt for the final salute!”
Bettina Hoy (GER)
Julia Krajewski (GER), who made a sparkling four-star debut here last year when third on the athletic Selle Francais Samurai du Thot, is second on 37.1 and US rider Marilyn Little, riding the mare RF Scandalous, a newcomer to this level, is third on 38.0. Britain’s Nicola Wilson conjured a mark of 38.7 on the lively black mare Bulana, a notably bold cross-country performer, for overnight fourth.
Michael Jung (GER), the clear leader in the FEI Classics™ series, is not riding in the 4* at Luhmühlen, but Maxime Livio (FRA), currently second in the standings and winner of Pau and runner-up to Jung at Kentucky, is and is lying in 12th place on Opium de Verrieres. Badminton winner Andrew Nicholson (NZL), third on the Classics leaderboard, is 29th on Tesio ahead of what promises to be an exciting cross-country day.
“Everything has been built beautifully with some big jumps, which should not be underestimated. [New course-designer] Mike Etherington-Smith [GBR] has created something very different, which has been positively received.”
Hans Melzer, German team trainer
Luhmühlen, Germany’s main championship venue, is celebrating its 60th anniversary – it’s the second oldest event in the FEI Classics™ after Badminton – and has received a royal visit from its patron.
“There is so much that is excellent about Luhmühlen: the course, the way it’s run, the hospitality and the way everyone is treated. Over 60 years there have been so many people who rose to the occasion.”
HRH The Princess Royal
Cross-country action on FEI TV (www.fei.tv) starts at 12.05 CEST.
The FEI Nations Cup heads stateside for the fifth event in the 2017 series taking Great Britain to The Plains, USA, in the state of Virginia. British Eventing are pleased to announce the four British based riders who will compete for GB from 8th – 9th July.
The team are, in alphabetical order;
Matthew Heath, 34 from Oxfordshire, riding his own and Mrs Hazel Livesey’s 10 year old gelding One of a Kind II
Ben Hobday, 29 from Northumberland, with Ms Sallie Ryle’s 15 year old gelding Mulrys Error
Nicky Roncoroni, 38 from Gloucestershire, and Lorna McWilliam and Mrs Janey Roncoroni’s 12 year old gelding Watts Burn
James Sommerville, 29 from North Yorkshire, on his own and Mrs Jennifer Sommerville’s 11 year old gelding Talent
American based Brit, Justine Dutton takes the reserve spot with Jak My Style.
Matthew, Ben and James all make their senior team debut for GB alongside Nicky who was part of the silver medal winning Nations Cup team at the recent Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Ireland.
Three events in the series have now been completed and GB currently hold first place in the overall standings with 270 points following a second place finish at all three competitions.
Before the USA leg of the series four riders will head to Austria on 30th June – 2nd July for the fourth competition in calendar – view the selected team HERE. A full list of results can be found HERE.
The 2017 calendar:
17 - 21 May: CICO 3* Strzegom (POL) – GB 2nd place
25 - 28 May: CICO 3* Houghton Hall (GBR) - GB 2nd place
31 May - 4 June: CICO 3* Tattersalls (IRL) – GB 2nd place
30 June - 2 July: CICO 3* Wiener Neustadt (AUT)
8 - 9 July: CICO 3* The Plains (USA)
19 - 23 July: CICO 3* Aachen (GER)
10-13 August: CICO 3* Le Haras du Pin (FRA)
22 - 24 September: CICO 3* Waregem (BEL)
5 - 8 October: CCIO 3* Boekelo (NED)
On Thursday 25th May, Her Majesty The Queen visited Eland Lodge Equestrian Centre to see the exceptional equestrian facilities in action. The private visit was conducted within the Needwood Survey which is part of The Duchy of Lancaster Estate owned by Her Majesty The Queen as The Duke of Lancaster.
Eland Lodge is preparing for their second fixture of 2017, held on 1st and 2nd July 2017 and entries are still open (ballot date Friday 9th June) and you can make your entry HERE.
Classes run at BE80(T), BE90, BE100, and Novice through a combination of grass and woodland, the mixture of flora and the undulating nature of the ground makes for an interesting and exhilarating ride around our cross country course. From an inviting BE80(T) course, which features smaller versions of some of our popular fences, through to our up to height technical and testing Novice course, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Eland Lodge.
The well organised, friendly event also has to offer a photographer, filmed rounds, shopping and food stalls.
On her arrival Her Majesty, dressed in royal blue, proceeded to the Royal Viewing Platform. Among those presented to The Queen were John and Veronica Coupland of Eland Lodge Equestrian.
Managing Director John Coupland spoke about the visit
“We are extremely happy that Her Majesty has made time in an incredibly busy schedule to visit the Needwood Survey and Eland Lodge in particular. The whole country knows of Her Majesty’s love of horses and we are thrilled to have had the chance to show off the equestrian centre we have created here at Eland Lodge. We have commitment to entry level riding and believe whole heartedly in the development of the next generation of riders through training, competition and enjoyment and it was a wonderful endorsement of that belief to have Her Majesty on site to watch four members of the Pony Club demonstrating their excellent skill on our Cross Country course. It was a very special day for all concerned!”.
From the viewing platform, The Queen enjoyed the view over the 65 acre cross country course and watched a small team of riders tackling a number of fences and combinations, including the Newborough Leap, Dubarry Water complex, the Dew Pond, the Broken Bridge and the Log Stacks.
Riding the course were four local Pony Club members: India Edwards & Josie Coupland from the South Staffordshire Hunt Branch of The Pony Club, and Sally Ann Turkington & Izzy Mead from the Meynell Hunt Branch of The Pony Club. Once the demonstration was complete, the riders were presented to the Queen.
Izzy Mead, rider, said: “I was really nervous but so excited to ride for The Queen. All the horses were brilliant and I’m really proud of my horse Cracker! It was an amazing experience to meet The Queen.”
Once the presentation was complete, Her Majesty was driven through the site to take in the on-site equestrian & country store, livery yard and all weather show jumping and dressage arena.
Increased prize money and changes to the cross country course at Nunney International Horse Trials, which take place on June 16 – 18, have resulted in a bumper number of competitors this year with a wait list for the first ever time.
The action takes place over three days at Southfield House near Frome with the Tarmac-sponsored international CIC2* taking place on Sunday. Entries in this class include previous winners David Doel who will ride Shannondale Quest, a winner this season of Bicton Arena’s CIC2* and Coral Keen who will ride Highmead Proposition.
“It’s an event I really enjoy,” remarked Coral who won in 2013 on Zoe. “I missed last year as I was riding at Luhmuhlen in Germany but I am really looking forward to this year’s competition which has always been so beautifully organised an everyone is so friendly.”
Helen West has taken over this year as cross country designer, and a number of changes have been implemented including changing the direction of the courses. “I am really happy with the feel to all tracks, which have a good balance of questions at each level and better flow with the change in direction. I am looking forward to seeing how they ride,” she said.
The event has attracted some notable entries including William Fox-Pitt who will compete on Jock Paget’s former ride Clifton Signature in the open intermediate. Also in this section is fellow Olympic team rider Gemma Tattersall who rides Pamero 4 and the 2016 Chatsworth CIC3* winner Mr Chunky returns to action after a year on the side lines with Irish team rider Padraig McCarthy in the saddle.
The event has attracted a wealth of other international stars including Australia’s Christopher Burton, New Zealand’s Tim Price, and Great Britain’s Tom McEwen, Izzy Taylor and Richard Waygood who is also the performance manager for the senior British Eventing team.
Organiser Bridget Parker said: “We’ve had a super number of entries and we’ve had to ballot for the first time, and also have a wait list. I think the increase in prize money to the upper limit and the changes to the cross country course have helped. The course now comes up out of the water to a steeplechase fence. The extra field has made a huge difference too as its really opened up the course. It’s now a lovely galloping track.
“We are also thrilled to have the support of Mendip YMCA, on behalf of our landowner and committee member Mrs Angel Yeoman.”
Hundreds of visitors are expected to flock to the venue to enjoy watching the action, as well browse the many tradestands and sample food from an eclectic array of catering stands.
Entry to the event is free on Friday and £12 per car on Saturday and Sunday.
The cross country for the CIC2* and intermediate classes is scheduled for Sunday starting at 10am, but there is action over the fixed fences on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with showjumping in the main arena in front of the house over all three days too.
Visit www.nunneyhorsetrials.co.uk for more details.
Since 1981, the name Rolex has been synonymous with the Kentucky Three-Day Event, held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington each spring.
But starting in 2018, Rolex will no longer be the title sponsor of the event.
Organizing company Equestrian Events Inc. has announced the rebranding of the event with a new logo and website, kentuckythreedayevent.com.
EEI Executive Director Lee Carter has said that although Rolex will no longer be a title sponsor of the event, which has run as a CCI**** since 1998, the company will still have a strong presence. Rolex has a contract to remain the official timepiece through the 2021 competition.
“We would not be where we are today without Rolex watch,” said Carter. “They’ve been a tremendous partner over the years and will continue to be a tremendous partner in the years to come, just in a different capacity. They’ve been a great asset for our organization.”
Rolex has a contract for the Grand Slam of Eventing which extends through to 2019, offering a $350,000 prize to any rider who can win Kentucky, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI**** (England) and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England) consecutively. Great Britain’s Pippa Funnell became the first to win the Grand Slam in 2003, and Germany’s Michael Jung won it in 2016.
It is believed that the Kentucky Horse Park has a separate contract with Rolex through 2020 for the main Rolex Stadium.
“The name [of the event] has become synonymous with Rolex, but I think at the end of the day what’s exciting for us is that the event hasn’t changed and won’t change. We’re going to continue to do many the things we’ve been doing; we’re just taking on a different title,” said Carter. “We have a huge following of people who love to come to the Kentucky Horse Park, love to see the caliber of competition, and those things will always be there. We just may call ourselves something a little different next year.”
Here is hoping they find a new title sponsor for an event which is now embedded into the eventing calendar.
The long list of horses and riders for the Young Rider squad who will represent Great Britain at the 2017 FEI Young Rider European Championships in Millstreet, Ireland, (19th – 23rd July 2017) have been announced.
The combinations, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
Lizzie Baugh, 19 from Nottinghamshire, and her own nine year old gelding Quarry Man
Tintin Belsham, 21 from Oxfordshire, on her own 11 year old gelding Riverside Vision
Katie Bleloch, 20 from Warwickshire, with her own 11 year old gelding Bulano
Felicity Collins, 19 from East Sussex, and Ms Vicky Collins, Mrs Avrina Milton’s eight year old gelding RSH Contend Or
Taggy Forester-Bennet, 20 from Devon, on her own 17 year old mare Bonza Moorabinda
Kristina Hall-Jackson, 20 from West Yorkshire, with her own nine year old gelding Slaney Cruise
Emily King, 21 from Devon, and Jane Del Missier’s 13 year old mare Walitze f Vejgard
Chelsea Pearce, 18 from Wiltshire, with her own 12 year old gelding Albert VI
Francesca Sargent, 19 from Warwickshire, on Mrs Maggie Sargent’s 10 year old gelding Nankin W
Libby Seed, 19 from Wiltshire, with Carolyn Bate’s 11 year old stallion Philanderer II
James Stocker, 19 from Wiltshire, and his own 10 year old gelding Rudy Valentino
Ella Woodhead, 21 Staffordshire, on her own 16 year old Westwood Mariner
From the long list six combinations will be selected to compete for Great Britain in Ireland later this year, but please note that this is a living list and horses and riders may be added or removed in the build up to squad selection later this year.
Funding and Support
British Eventing are grateful to the Horse Trials Support Group (HTSG) for their unerring support and fundraising efforts for the youth eventing teams.
As part of the British Eventing Commercial Strategy to bring the sport to a wider audience, BETV, the online video channel from British Eventing and publishers Archant Dialogue, will be presenting free to view cross country livestream feed from this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (8 – 11 June 2017).
The livestream from this popular Yorkshire event airs on Saturday 10 June from 9:20 am on BETV (www.britisheventing.tv) and will show live cross country footage throughout the day from all three cross country sections of the event. The feature Equi-Trek CCI3* kicks off the cross country action over Ian Stark’s challenge which is then followed by the stars of the future in the Bishop Burton College under 25 CCI3*. The day rounds off with the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* where the winner will be crowned as the final rider passes through the finish.
Presented by Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, the stream will also feature live scoring and include expert commentary from event rider and equestrian journalist Ellie Kelly as well as experienced international eventer and commentator, Angus Smales.
How to watch
The stream is available for anyone to watch, whether in the UK or overseas, BE member or eventing fan free of charge. The livestream will be available from 09:20 am via www.britisheventing.tvthroughout the day.
If you can’t watch live or want to see an amazing round once more, a ‘watch again’ service of the cross country rounds also be available on BETV soon after the day’s action has finished.
A highlights show from the Equi-Trek CCI3* feature class at Bramham will premiere on the Horse & Country TV Network on Saturday 17 June at 8pm (GMT) in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Australia.
Head to Bramham
If you’ve never been to Bramham in person and Saturday’s livestream whets your appetite to head to the event on Sunday (11 June), find out more at www.bramham-horse.co.uk – here you can also find full information regarding the event’s entertainment and tradestand listings.
Discounted pre-event tickets are available via the online box office by midnight 4 June. After that, cash ticket and parking sales will be available on the entry gate.
David O’Connor has stepped down from the position of U.S. Eventing Technical Advisor to focus on advancing safety and global risk management in eventing, US Equestrian has just announced.
David commented: “It was a very difficult decision for me to step away from this group of riders, owners, support personnel, and sponsors, but the structural changes made with the newly created technical advisor position don’t allow me to do what I felt has always been my mainstay. That is, helping to drive the necessary changes for eventing that are in the best interests of the athlete, horse, and owner.
“I have lived by these constructs through my time as a competitor, through to my current role as Technical Advisor and they will continue to guide me going forward. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served such a dedicated and focused group and will remain committed to assist all of the devoted stakeholders through this time of transition as our riders prepare for WEG 2018.”
Murray Kessler, president of US Equestrian, added: “Over many years, David has been a leader for US Equestrian as a whole and for eventing in particular. We reluctantly accept David’s resignation and support his desire to focus on chairing the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) Risk Management committee to help design programs that mitigate risk for the sport and promote horse welfare.
“It is reassuring to know that David will remain a leader in our sport, continue to provide input to our programs and that our mutual interests will remain intertwined. We thank him for everything he has done.”
David plans to continue working as a personal trainer to U.S. eventing riders and will continue to chair the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.
US Equestrian confirmed that “detailed discussions will take place immediately” to find a replacement Chef d’Equipe for Team USA ahead of the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games.
Michael Jung (GER) and Sam secure second, and now lead the FEI Classics™ standings, with Tim Price (NZL) and Xavier Faer moving up to take third
Fellow competitors erupted in spontaneous cheering as the brilliant New Zealand horseman Andrew Nicholson, 55, at last won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™ after a record 37 attempts over 33 years.
"Of course I knew I would win Badminton one day – I just didn’t know when!"
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
It was a jumping finale full of surprises as Nicholson, third after cross-country, pulled off a stunning clear round on the 17-year-old Nereo to leave the two German Olympians ahead of him – Michael Jung and overnight leader Ingrid Klimke – no room for manoeuvre.
Jung’s La Biosthetique Sam, also a veteran 17-year-old, hit the back rail of the sixth fence, so the defending champion had to settle for the runner-up spot, but he now leads the FEI Classics™ series leaderboard. Then, to gasps from the fascinated crowd, Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob hit the same fence and Klimke’s problems were compounded with a refusal at the treble, which dropped her to ninth.
"I’m a bit unhappy about the mistake and it was, for sure, my mistake, but Sam has been superb all weekend."
Michael Jung (GER)
New Zealanders Tim Price (Xavier Faer) and Sir Mark Todd with both his horses, NZB Campino and Leonidas ll, capitalised on clear jumping rounds and moved up to third, fourth and sixth.
There was a new British name in fifth place, 31-year-old Rosalind Canter, who had a superb Badminton debut on Allstar B. Gemma Tattersall (GBR) was delighted to jump clear for sixth place on Arctic Soul and Kristina Cook was at her vintage best in 10th place on Billy the Red.
Completing the international flavour was Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa, whose long-term aim of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will have been enhanced by eighth place on The Duke of Cavan, a horse that was sourced by Uptown Eventing.
A total of 46 completed the competition with 20 clear jumping rounds. There was disappointment for the British when Alexander Bragg’s Zagreb, eighth after a great cross-country, was withdrawn from the holding box at the final horse inspection.
Nicholson first rode at Badminton in 1984; he has since completed more times than any other rider, and has finished second, on Lord Killinghurst in 2004, and third, on Libby Sellar’s Spanish-bred chestnut gelding Nereo in 2013. He was in the lead on Nereo in 2015, but it all went wrong in the final phase.
His win is even more of a fairytale considering he broke his neck in a fall 18 months ago – the prospect of competing Avebury, his three-time Burghley winner, and Nereo was, he says, a strong motivation during his recovery.
"I’ve been in all sorts of places at Badminton and not won, so it has been hard, but I am lucky that I’ve been able to keep the dream alive and keep coming back."
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
Nicholson’s spectacular victory puts him into third place in the FEI Classics™, behind Pau winner Maxime Livio (FRA) and last year’s series champion Jung, who leads going into his home 4* at Luhmühlen next month.
Michael Jung (GER) and Sam move up to second ahead of Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and Nereo with just 0.8 between the top three
German Olympic rider Ingrid Klimke rode an exhilarating cross country round on Horseware Hale Bob at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™, and holds a slim 0.4 penalty lead over defending champions Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam who were outstanding to finish on their dressage score at the end of a thrilling day’s 4* competition.
"I walked the course with Andrew [Nicholson] and I watched Michi [Jung] and I hoped to do as well as them. It was a difficult course - there certainly wasn’t time to wave to the crowd – but Bobby was so full of himself and was pure pleasure to ride."
Ingrid Klimke (GER)
Brilliant Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson, who was last on course on Nereo, brought the day to a nail-biting climax and is now in third place, just 0.8 behind Klimke.
New course-designer Eric Winter’s track proved as influential as anticipated. Dressage leader Christopher Burton (AUS) on Graf Liberty had a surprising refusal at the third log element of the Hildon Water Pond (fence 15) and third-placed Irishman Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorkes Drift) was going brilliantly when he had a disappointing run-out at the second corner at fence 21.
"Sport’s all about confidence and I’m going to try and take some confidence from it. We made one little mistake, which was my fault, but we’re going home to reboot and aim for the Europeans."
Jonty Evans (IRL), Fourth-placed Belgian rider Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van ‘T Verahof) and eighth-placed Bettina Hoy from Germany (Designer 10) both retired after refusals and, under the new FEI rule, Sam Griffiths (AUS), 11th on Paulank Brockagh was awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag.
There were 32 clear rounds and 49 finishers from the 81 starters. Only two were inside the time of 11 minutes 34 seconds: Jung and New Zealander Tim Price, who has leapt 30 places to fourth on Xavier Faer. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) has two horses inside the top 10, NZB Campino, fifth, and Leonidas, ninth.
‘You couldn’t be casual and lollop along. Perhaps it’s my age, but I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard!’
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
The home crowd had little to cheer about after the dressage, but strong clears by British first-timers Ros Canter (Allstar B) and farrier Alexander Bragg (Zagreb) have moved them up significantly to sixth and eighth places; Oliver Townend shot up from 47th to sixth on ODT Ghareeb and Gemma Tattersall from 67th to 12th on the ex-racehorse Arctic Soul.
Tomorrow’s jumping phase promises to be an absolute thriller with 0.8 of a penalty separating three greats in the sport. The action starts at 11.30am local time.
BY KATE GREEN
Ingrid Klimke (GER) and Horseware Hale Bob close second ahead of Jonty Evans (IRL) and Cooley Rorkes Drift in third
Australia’s Christopher Burton produced a typically elegant display to lead the dressage phase at the 4* Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™, with the outstanding mark of 32.9 on the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Graf Liberty.
The only riders to have bettered Burton’s score in Badminton’s 68-year history are fellow Aussie Andrew Hoy with Darien Powers in 2000 and Britain’s Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock in 2002.
"I’m so proud of my horse. I can’t believe it. I deliberately didn’t push him too much at the start of the week – I didn’t even get on the horse until Wednesday afternoon – as I have been known to overdo it on him before, but he worked in better and better and to come out of the arena with a 32.9 is fantastic. I’m so happy."
Christopher Burton (AUS)
‘Burto’, winner of Burghley and an Olympic team bronze medallist last year, leads the 2015 runners-up Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Horseware Hale Bob by 3.5 penalties.
"There was so much atmosphere but as soon as we went into the arena, he felt safe. He is such a sweet horse. I’m looking forward to the cross-country – it’s a mix of big bold fences and accuracy tests and you have to concentrate, but I have ridden some difficult courses in my time and I feel my horse is in good shape."
Ingrid Klimke (GER)
Irishman Jonty Evans, back at Badminton for the first time in 10 years, broke down in tears on hearing his mark of 37.2, which puts him in third place, and pointed emphatically to Cooley Rorkes Drift, the horse that took him to ninth place at the Rio Olympics last year. The last Irish rider to win Badminton was Eddie Boylan (Durlas Eile) in 1965 and the last top-three finisher was Jessica Harrington, who was third with Amoy in 1983.
"He is my horse of a lifetime. We have trained so hard and I've wanted to get under 40 for so long. It's unbelievable, very special. I'd like to think the cross country will suit my horse – he doesn’t look big because I’m so lanky, but he’s got a long stride.Finishing on my dressage score is the aim!"
Jonty Evans (IRL)
Belgium’s Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van ‘T De Verahof, 37.3), the USA’s Lauren Kieffer (Veronica, 38.0) and New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson (Nereo, 38.0), who has completed Badminton more times than any other rider (35), have now overtaken first-day leader Thibaut Vallette (FRA) and are in fourth and equal fifth. Defending champion Michael Jung (GER) is now ninth on La Biosthetique Sam but cannot be ruled out.
Riders are looking forward to tomorrow’s cross country course, variously described as ‘massive’, ‘imposing’ and ‘needing total concentration’ with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Britain’s Izzy Taylor sums it up: ‘Eric [Winter, designer] has handed the responsibility to the rider, which is the right direction. I think we’ll be looking at some different results tomorrow.”
Cross country starts tomorrow from 11:30 am local time.
image; Jon Stroud
Germany’s Bettina Hoy and Designer 10 a close second ahead of defending champions Michael Jung and Sam
Thibaut Vallette, 43, a member of France’s victorious Olympic team in Rio last year and an instructor at the legendary Cadre Noir in Saumur, has made a brilliant debut at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™. He leads the scoreboard after the first day of dressage at the 4* event on the 13-year-old Qing du Briot ENE HN, his only ride at this level, on a mark of 38.7, with the second half of the field competing tomorrow.
‘I didn’t expect to do this well, so I am very happy. Coming here is a dream for any eventer. This is the best dressage test the horse has done this year, as we had some difficulties after Rio - the experience made him very tense. But it’s not going to be a dressage competition!’
Thibaut Vallette (FRA)
The next four placed riders have years of experience and four-star wins under their belt. Veteran German team member Bettina Hoy, who is now the Dutch team trainer, was thrilled to be just 0.5 of a penalty behind in second place on her only top horse, Designer 10.
Defending champion Michael Jung, fresh from victory in Kentucky last weekend and currently second on the FEI Classics™ series leaderboard, admitted that he was feeling some pressure, and his test with the 17-year-old La Biosthetique Sam FBW did contain some tension, but they scored 40.0 penalties and are in third place.
However, all riders who have observed the handiwork of new course-designer Eric Winter agree that it will not be a dressage competition. There are only five combinations on the track, but there are plenty of old-fashioned big fences and some difficult lines designed to slow riders and test the strength of their partnerships with their horses.
‘I am happy my horse is full of energy as that will be good for the cross-country and he is brilliant at that. The conditions are perfect and I’m feeling motivated and looking forward to it.’
Michael Jung (GER)
Vallette’s Olympic team mate Astier Nicolas, who many people have tipped to be only the second Frenchman to win Badminton (following Nicolas Touzaint in 2008), is in close contention in fourth place with his 2015 Pau winner Piaf de Bneville on 41.5.
Four-time Badminton winner Sir Mark Todd, 61, was thrilled with the performance of the 13-year-old Leonidas ll, currently in fifth on 42.9 after a mistake in the final halt.
Tomorrow, the second half of the field of 82 riders will perform their dressage tests, with strong performances anticipated from Karin Donckers (BEL) on Fletcha Van’T Verahof, Izzy Taylor (GBR) on KBIS Briarlands Matilda, Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Horseware Hale Bob OLD, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Graf Liberty and both Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on their second horses.
BY KATE GREEN
Germany’s Michael Jung smashed yet another record when winning the Kentucky Three-Day Event for the third year running on the 12-year-old FischerRocana, a mare that may not have the biggest movement but certainly has the biggest heart.
Jung did have a jumping fence down, but his supremacy in the dressage and cross-country meant he could afford it and is second in the FEI Classics™ after three out of six legs behind the superbly talented Frenchman Maxime Livio (FRA), who finished runner-up at Kentucky on Qalao Des Mers with a clear jumping round.
“She is a really wonderful horse, a top fighting girl. She jumped wonderfully and was only a bit spooky at the white fence. I really like Kentucky – and not just because I win here! - but because I feel very welcome. You can train the horse for every phase and it’s why I like it and why I come back.”
Michael Jung (GER)
With one FEI Classics™ win each, and a second place each, Livio and Jung both have their sights firmly on the 2016/17 series title. However only Jung is competing at Badminton next weekend, fourth leg of the series, which could be his opportunity to step up to top the leaderboard.
Images; Rebecca Berry/FEI
Both Livio and Zara Tindall, the only British athlete in the field, finished on their dressage scores. Tindall was ecstatic with her third place after a beautiful clear round on High Kingdom and it must have laid the ghost of the disappointment two years when she had to withdraw before dressage when the horse suffered a freak injury.
Matthew Brown (USA) slipped from fourth to sixth after hitting the very first rail with BCF Super Socks, so it was the super-consistent Phillip Dutton (USA), who has now completed Kentucky an amazing 40 times, who captured yet another national title as highest placed USA rider, as he moved up to fourth with a clear round on the 18-year-old Mr Medicott, a horse having his last four-star run after an illustrious career. Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) was fifth on Under Suspection.
The Kentucky three-peat was Jung’s 10th four-star win – William Fox-Pitt holds the record with 14 – and the German Olympic champion, who is only 34, looks to be catching up with the Briton. Just hours after his triumph on American soil Jung was catching a flight to England en route to defending his title at Badminton next weekend.
A record number of spectators watched the 4* Eventing action this year at Kentucky, with 34’000 attending cross country and 24000 at the jumping finale.
By Kate Green