The USA’s Kim Severson won the main CCI3* class at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, 16 years after her first victory at the Oxfordshire event.
The 44-year-old takes home a cheque for £16,000, and title sponsor SsangYong added a Tivoli 4x4 to the prize-fund this year, which was presented to Kim by SsangYong Motors UK CEO Paul Williams.
Riding the Cross Syndicate’s Irish-bred Cooley Cross Border, Kimberley produced a perfect clear show jumping round to pile pressure on leading contenders and, when Germany’s Julia Krajewski on Chipmunk FRH and Pippa Funnell riding MGH Grafton Street hit two fences apiece, the US Olympian found herself the stunned and delighted winner.
Laura Collett jumped a superb clear on her exciting prospect Mr Bass to rise two places to second. Julia Krajewski, who was sporting in defeat, finished third ahead of three British riders, Gemma Tattersall (Pamero 4), Pippa Funnell and young rider Will Furlong (Collien P 2) in only his second three-star contest.
“I am thrilled,” said Kim. “It’s been a long partnership – I’ve had the horse since he was four. He’s had a few little issues but he’s always been competitive and a super horse. I knew he had a big win in him.”
It’s Kim’s first visit to Blenheim since 2001 and the omens are good: her winning horse that year was Winsome Adante, with whom she went on to win Kentucky CCI4* three times, plus world and Olympic medals.