Eventing’s top-ranked riders join us at Bicton in Devon for the May International, 23 – 26 May which is gearing up to be the South West’s ultimate horse trials bank holiday weekend. The prestigious TopSpec CCI4*-S class is set to be a who’s who of Olympic hopefuls with this year’s fixture set to play a crucial role in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

World number one Oliver Townend brings three rides – Crazy Du Loir, En Taro Des Vernier and Trevellick, all looking for success in the TopSpec CCI4*-S along with World number two Ros Canter who brings four rides, including her 2023 Badminton and FEI European Champion ride Lordships Graffalo alongside MHS Seventeen, whilst Jack Of Clubs and Silvesters Finesse will compete in the Mitchell & Webber CCI2*-L. Somerset-based Alexander Bragg is hoping to continue his successful run after his third place at Badminton, this time with Ardeo Premier in Bicton’s feature class.

Bicton is welcoming several other riders ranked in the top 10 of the FEI Eventing World Rankings including Tom McEwen (4) with four rides, Harry Meade (5) with three horses, Tim Price (6), a local rider with two entered, Piggy March (7) brings two as does Yasmin Ingham (8). Last, but not least, the 2023 winner of the TopSpec CCI4*-S, Laura Collett (10) looks to defend her title with London 52 as well as with Dacapo and her recent Badminton ride Hester, whilst Balancero competes in the Mitchell & Webber CCI2*-L.

Winner of the 2023 Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L, Gaspard Maksud returns to defend his title, this time on Just Perfect, he also brings Haribo Louvo for the two star and Zaragoza II in the four star.

Finn Healy is looking to hold onto his title of Young Rider National Champion, having won the 2023 CCI3*YR-L, this year riding 13-year-old Fathers Compromise. Finn also brings his own Greannanstown Monbeg Joe to compete in the two star following their recent wins at Novice level at both Kelsall Hill and Osberton. Finishing Finn’s trio of Bicton entries is Ramiro Wannabe, 7-year-old gelding by Ramiro B, owned by Caroline Jenks. There’s plenty more young talent in the Western Counties Equine Hospital CCI3* YR-L including entries from Isabelle Cook and Ellie Fredericks.

Local Devon rider and sporting legend, Mary King brings King Louis who started his BE career at Bicton in 2021 and has since seen plenty of success, most recently winning the Novice at Calmsden in April, plus Kings Belief a 7-year-old gelding by Cevin Z both hoping for success in the two star. Fellow local Olympic rider William Fox-Pitt rides BLS Absolutely and eventing stalwart Tina Cook brings Cymoon “F” Z to compete in the three star, a 10-year-old gelding owned by herself and Jim Chromiak.

The four-day competition will provide an exhilarating experience for both seasoned eventing enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of equestrian sports with entertainment and excitement for the whole family; spectators are in for a treat! With a wide array of activities including face-painting, falconry demonstrations and a dog show. Explore the event grounds and enjoy a variety of tradestands and catering options, highlighting the best of the South West’s local cuisine.

Renowned for its beautiful parkland, spectacular views and challenging cross-country courses, Bicton’s Event Director, Andrew Fell says, “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming so many top riders to Bicton, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend of competitive riding and family fun for all.”

Get your tickets for just £10 via the website www.bicton.com and under 12’s go free. Full entries list and live results can be found at www.eventingscores.co.uk. Live action is being streamed by Clip My Horse www.clipmyhorse.tv/en_GB/

The future of the South West’s leading event centre, Bicton Arena has been secured by husband-and-wife team, Helen West and Andrew Fell who will jointly take the reins of the prestigious equestrian venue that offers a range of training and competition opportunities.

The former Chief Executive of British Eventing, Helen West and current Bicton Arena Manager, Andrew Fell have both completed their stints as Managers at Bicton and are synonymous with the venue’s popularity and success. The duo will now jointly manage the venue under a new era that will be sure to bring much success and renewed enthusiasm to the South West equestrian region.

“I’m excited to embark on this new journey and explore innovative ways to expand our offerings and cater to the diverse needs of our equestrian community. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, we will take it with both hands and endeavour to represent its loyal community as we strive to provide opportunities for those at all levels,” said Andrew, Co-Director. “We would like to thank Clinton Devon Estates and the Clinton family for their trust in us, and for working collaboratively with us to enable this to happen.”

Home to a host of competitions in dressage, showjumping and eventing from grassroots to elite level, the venue will continue to offer an ambitious calendar of high quality events.

Co-Director Helen added, “Bicton will always hold a special place in my heart, I first competed there when I was just seven years old. Thirty years later I got married there! Bicton really put me on the map with my cross country design career, which is something I am hugely passionate about, and opened doors for me to design around the world. I am committed to offering quality coaching for South West based riders and am keen to build a real sense of community and comradeship for us to all enjoy.”

Attention eventing enthusiasts and equestrian fans! The May Bicton International Horse Trials, taking place from 23 – 26 May 2024, is gearing up to be the South West’s ultimate horse trials weekend, and tickets are now officially on sale. We can expect the prestigious CCI4*-S class to be a who’s who of Olympic hopefuls with this year’s fixture set to play a crucial role in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
 
This event promises to be a spectacular bank holiday weekend, showcasing world-class riders and their equine partners in the ultimate equestrian triathlon. Experience the elegance and precision of the dressage phase, the skill and accuracy of the showjumping phase, and the thrill and excitement of the cross-country phase – truly the ultimate equestrian challenge.
 
The four days of competition will provide an exhilarating experience for both seasoned horse enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of equestrian sports. It’s not just a sporting event; it’s a celebration of eventing excellence, with entertainment and excitement for the whole family.  Spectators are in for a treat, with a wide array of activities including face-painting, falconry demonstrations and a dog show, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Explore the event grounds and enjoy a variety of tradestands and catering options, highlighting the best of the South West’s local cuisine. Get ready for a weekend filled with skill, precision, and the joy of equestrian competition.
 
Tickets can be purchased here from just £10 and don’t forget under 12’s are free. 

Five days of eventing action took place at Bicton Arena in Budleigh Salterton, Devon over the weekend, 18 – 22 October 2023.  Over 400 competitors took on the autumnal weather conditions to enjoy the final event of the season.

Dani Evans riding Mrs Luana Edge’s 16.2hh gelding Kinda Corvette were victorious in WH Bond Timber CCI2*-S, despite a pole in the show jumping phase, a strong dressage and cross country meant the pair finished in first position on 30.2. Dani commented, “I’m over the moon, the horse is only six and he’s been fantastic all year. He’s performed fantastically here; the ground has been on the soft side but it’s great for a young horse to learn on it. Bicton always produces fantastic show jump and cross country courses. I’m delighted for the whole team – I have the best staff, owners and horses now, it’s just trying to make the magic happen!”

Our next winner was Ireland’s Danielle McCormack who took top honours in the Empire Coachbuilders CCI2*-L onboard Anna Sims-Hilditch’s 6-year-old, Hildare Regarde Moi. The pair, who have already achieved a third and second at international classes this year, were faultless, completing on their dressage score of 28.6. “I’m absolutely thrilled with the horse, he has been incredible all season and it’s been the icing on the cake to come and do so well here. He will now have a well-deserved holiday and some showjumping before next season,” said Danielle.

Ireland’s Fred Scala won the competitive Symonds & Sampson CCI2*-S on his 11-year-old 15.2hh chestnut mare Rouge Angel with no faults to add to his dressage score of 30.1. “It’s a brilliant way to finish the season, this is only her third run this year. She won the Hickstead Eventer’s Challenge in July and now this, so she has gone well this season. She is a sharp little mare and a strong jumper, so it was nice to also get a good dressage test out of her this weekend and take the win,” said Fred.

Taking top spoils in the Mitchell & Webber CCI3*-S was Kent-based Georgie Campbell with Mrs Fiona Acheson and Miss Jessica Acheson’s Global Candy Boy. A strong dressage score set the pair up with fault free showjumping and cross country phases, they were only one of three horses to make the cross country time, completing on a score of 31.4. Georgie added, “I am delighted, he is a really cool little horse. He flew around the cross country course, he locked on and galloped to finish really well, he could have gone around again!”

Finishing on her dressage score of 30.8, 13-year-old Tichy Sanders won the Redpost Equestrian BE90 riding Mrs Camilla Albery’s Sparhanger Velvet who is also 13 years old! Tichy commented on her win, “We were sat in 14th overnight after the cross country and it just got better and better. I am so proud of her and thank you to my incredible team around me – it wouldn’t be possible to do it without them. The long format was amazing, my mare loves going fast so she enjoyed the steeplechase phase!”

Local rider Xanthe Baylis and her 13-year-old gelding Monbeg By Magic won the Redpost Equestrian BE90 Open completing on her dressage score of 32. “I never expected this – it’s been an awesome event. I was so nervous going into the main arena today, once we were in there, he helped me so much, he’s a very honest horse,” said Xanthe.

The Donuts team consisting of BE90 winners Tichy Sanders and Xanthe Baylis plus Sophie Johnson and Althea Bleekman won the team event, with a total score of 113.6.

Saffron Cresswell and Angell’s Choice, a 7-year-old mare owned by Dr J E Angell-James gave a faultless performance in the Redpost Equestrian BE100 class winning on her dressage score of 30.8. Saffron said, “It’s been an amazing week, it’s so nice for the owner who bred her to have this win. She’s a young horse and has an exciting future so this class has given her the experience she needs to step up next season.”

Herefordshire-based Mark Ford and 8-year-old Alvescot Five Star owned by The Alvescot Five Star Syndicate took the win in the Redpost Equestrian BE100 Open on 25.8. “I’m really pleased with my horse, this class brings them on so well and will be ready for a 2* campaign next year. He will spend the winter focussing on his dressage where he is aiming for the Medium Winter Championships. Thank you to the Bicton team for pulling out the stops to make sure this event ran,” commented Mark.

In the team event, Bicton Bar Hopefuls: Heather Urquhart, Alice Dalton, Lizzie Luxton and Lara Salter took the top spot with a total score of 109.4.

Bicton Arena’s Manager Andrew Fell summed up the venue’s final horse trials of the season, “Despite the autumnal weather, the team pulled off a sensational event for the competitors. We could not have done it without our army of amazing volunteers and devoted sponsors, thank you all.”

Thanks also go to Bicton College, Darts Farm, Devoucoux, Equidry, Tack Room Distillery and Wyvern Equestrian who provided special prizes to our various winners.

Full results can be found here: www.eventingscores.co.uk

Redpost Equestrian, the award-winning equestrian, pet and country living retailer will be sponsoring the BE90 and BE100 3 Day Events that will take place at Bicton Arena’s October International Horse Trials (18-22 October 2023).   

 

The family run business has a long-standing relationship with Bicton Arena as an ongoing sponsor and sees this event as an opportunity to support the competitors as well as the venue.  The BE90 and BE100 traditional long format competitions have proved to be extremely popular classes in recent years and are a highlight in many amateur event rider calendars.  

 

A special service run by Redpost Equestrian will be on offer throughout the event with a click and collect service to the store’s stand at Bicton.  So, if any competitor forgets a piece of vital equipment Redpost will be on hand to ensure a replacement can be delivered to the event in double quick time.   

 

Ben Tuff, Redpost Director commented, “We are delighted to be a part of the October International Horse Trials at Bicton this year.  Both the BE90 and BE100 classes are rider favourites and it’s a perfect way to show our commitment to and support for the equestrian community.  Who knows we could be watching eventing champions of the future in the making.” 

 

In addition to the click and collect service on offer at the show.  Redpost will be sharing eventing tips from British Eventing Howden Way Coach Cameron Beer, pulling from his experience competing up to 3* and coaching some of the amateurs taking part in the event. Don’t forget to head to the selfie board at the Redpost stand to create some fun content to share and enter the competition to win gifts from their favourite brands! 

 

“We are so grateful to Redpost Equestrian for sponsoring the BE90 and BE100 3 Day Events in October.  The team always brings something new to the party and it’s a great opportunity for them to reach such passionate and dedicated grassroots competitors.  We can’t wait for an exciting weekend of competition later in the season,” said Bicton Arena’s Manager, Andrew Fell. 

 

The weather held for the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festivals at Bicton Arena 11 – 13 August. Once again, the atmosphere was buzzing and we were treated to a wonderful range of horses and ponies across the three days of the competition. 

“Congratulations to all the competitors who have got their hands on a ticket to the Summer Championship at Arena UK in October, with two qualifiers per class there were lots of very happy faces,” said Andrew Fell, Bicton Arena Manager.  “As always, the Petplan Equine Area Festivals bring that something extra special to Bicton and we thoroughly enjoy the event. For so many of the horse and rider partnerships competing with us at this event, it is the pinnacle of their dressage achievements so far and we see many come back at a higher-level year after year.”

Sara Church winner of the Prelim Bronze class certainly loves the Petplans – judging by her huge smile in the pic below with her lovely Irish hairy pony Charlie XXXI.  Scoring a super 67.92 to just snatch the top place from fellow qualifier Nicola Windley on Shirsheen Merlin, Sara was absolutely over the moon. “He is such a cool dude,” Sara said. “He can turn his hoof to anything, loves his jumping, horse agility and we’ve even done Concours d’élégance classes, he can produce a really good test too.  We changed instructor a couple of years ago after Covid and went right back to basics.  I now feel the building blocks are in place and for a hairy Irish pony he is just amazing.  I never thought we would win amongst 39 other riders – it was a ‘Wow!’ moment for sure!”

Paula Lee on Deseado Santo a seven-year-old Spanish gelding, winners of the Medium Silver class had quite a story to tell about their journey to the Petplan Equine Area Festival at Bicton.  “I’ve had him for two years and we really haven’t been anywhere or done anything up until a few months ago.  He has competed about five times – all of the shows here at Bicton so he hasn’t travelled far.  We went out at Prelim just to see how he coped at a show and he was so good we decided to go straight to Medium – a bit of an unusual plan but he just loves going sideways – it’s his happy place so we decided to go at a level he could show his talents off.  He is a really rewarding horse to ride – he just wants to please and gives you so much – sometimes it’s too much! We’ll have to go a bit further afield preparation for the Summer Championships – but Bicton really is our favourite venue.”

Full results from the show can be found here.

Despite the mixed weather, this month has been a busy one for our team with the highlights of July being the Summer Showjumping Tour 6-15 July and the British Dressage Regionals 21-23 July – have a read below of some of the key moments.

Summer Showjumping Tour 6-15 July

This tour was no different from usual despite the showers, we had a lot of entries from competitors all over the country making their way to Bicton Arena for nine days of showjumping including the famous Billy Stud who brought 18 horses!

We spoke to Faye Adams from Birmingham who won the Second Round Newcomers on Buster which qualified her for HOYS in October, “I’ve had him from a three-year-old and now he’s eight so the win felt even more special.  I hadn’t jumped him on grass before, but he loved it. He’s very sweet and brave which has sometimes been a challenge as I have had to encourage him to respect the fences. I am looking forward to HOYS, it’s only half an hour away for me so a bit closer than Bicton. I competed at HOYS when I was 10 years old on ponies, so I am looking forward to going back with a horse.”

Philip Spivey made his journey worthwhile as he landed the top spot of the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet Horse of the Year Show Grade C Qualifier with NBE Jenny Don’t Be Hasty. “The last time I competed here, I qualified Romanov for the Foxhunter final, I think it’s my lucky place,” said Philip, who went on to win the HOYS Foxhunter final in 2005 on the stallion who became a top, five-star ride for Ireland’s Bertram Allen.

It was also a successful show for Sarah Jackson who brought one horse with her and and managed to win eight classes! Congratulations also goes to Somerset based rider Alexander Bragg who won the Ancora Equestrian Foxhunter Second Round.

British Dressage Regionals 21-23 July

The threes days of competition ranged from Prelim to Inter I and began with the Centre Line Prelim Gold and Silver. Lucy Amy and Rubins Edwardo won the Prelim Gold and Tom Carter and Newton Despina took home the Prelim Silver.

Janine Jansen and Spitfire III took the top spot in the Fairfax Prix St Georges Silver and then went on to also win the Saracen Horse Feed Inter 1 Silver.  Alice Peternell, who incidentally bred Janine’s horse Spitfire III, won the Fairfax Prix St Georges Gold Regional Final with Cynheidrefawr Creme de la Crème.

Next stop Petplan Equine Area Festivals, 11-13 August – see you there!

Bicton Arena Manager, Andrew Fell said,

“Come rain or shine our team worked hard to pull off another other fantastic few weeks of competition. I am always grateful to my team, both our core staff and our army of volunteers who make it happen, but this month has been challenging and I am proud of what we have achieved.”

Huge thanks to our sponsors Chedington, TopSpec, Redpost, Mitchell & Webber, Wyvern Equestrian, WH Bond, Symonds & Sampson, Ancora Equestrian, Protexin Equine Premium, Longpark Equestrian, HorseHage, JGE Truck & Plant Limited, Heddon Mill LTD, Equine Giveaways, Tack Room Distillery, Pids Signz, Brand Ewe, J P Equestrian, Bicton Park Gardens, Longpark Equestrian, Jolly Jumps, Fair leap Ltd, Usurpo, Western Counties Equine Hospital, Ariat and NAF.

Our Summer Pony Premier show took place last weekend and it was a jam-packed schedule of classes with fierce competition and camaraderie.

The talented Tabitha Kyle clinched a victory double and added two more HOYS tickets to her growing tally.  Ryan Dorise’s 8-year-old grey mare Running In Heels stepped up to the plate for Tabitha in the Pony Foxhunter Second Round and Tanya Kyle’s 9-year-old Irish-bred mare Coppenagh Khaleesi was triumphant in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round.  Tabitha, who won the Horse of the Year Show Blue Chip Pony Newcomers title in 2022, will be looking to retain her title again this year.

Tabitha commented on Khaleesi, “She only started jumping last year, she’d done almost nothing, but she gained experience very quickly.  She has a massive stride and a massive jump, you can turn her up to anything, she’s a real speed demon.”

“She jumped three beautiful rounds and I think she will be the best speed pony,” said Tabitha, who has spent time getting to know this pony.  “She was very head-shy and sharp – I’m not sure what sort of life she’s had – but I spent time in the stable just stroking her for 10 minutes at a time and once she knows you, she’s very loving, she just needs to learn how to trust.”

It was also a great weekend for Izabella Rogers who was on top form aboard Belgian-bred 10-year-old Queen Star in the Pony Showjumper of the Year. The pair took a commanding victory with almost three seconds ahead of her competition to bring home the top honours.

Bicton Arena Manager Andrew Fell, added “Thank you to everyone who made the weekend such a great one, we couldn’t do it without our fantastic team at Clinton Devon Estates, the judges, course designers, stewards, arena party and veterinary services, it really does take an army to pull this off! Congratulations to all our prize winners and everyone that qualified for the championships and Horse of the Year Show.”

Thank you to ESP Photography for the images.

Cross country rounded off with the time being extremely influential in the TopSpec CCI4*-S at Bicton International Horse Trials. Laura Collett held onto her lead throughout on London 52, as well as bagging third place on Dacapo. “I’ve been really chuffed with London’s performance all week, he really is a dream horse to ride and the feel he gave me cross country is the best he ever has, he is totally on song and it’s just so nice to have him out at a big party. He’s been in really good form, so it was good to come and put it all together at an event. The cross country course was fantastic, it was the perfect preparation for Luhmühlen using the hills for a really good fitness run with lots of combinations. You had to get really stuck in and ride the distances and the lines, but he did it really easily. I really appreciate the team here putting on such a good show, they deserve to have all the entries and I will definitely be coming back next year.” On his character, Laura comments about London 52, “he’s quite a shy horse in the stable, it’s his personal space, but the second he comes out of the stable he loves all of the attention, he’s a proper show off in front of a big crowd!”

This morning saw the final phase of competition for the Chatham CCI3*YR-L where overnight leader Finn Healy kept his cool for a clear round inside the time on Amy Hawley’s Treamble, affectionately known as Amble. Leading since his dressage test on Friday, 18-year-old Finn has shown his class throughout to be crowned Young Rider National Champion.

The 10-year-old mare is sibling to Michael Owen’s second-placed Treworder in the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L here at Bicton. “Amble’s been amazing all week. She did a really good dressage test for 24.3. Cross country was a tough track yesterday, Helen used the hills brilliantly and made it a good stamina test. Luckily, she’s full of blood and so ate the course up just a couple of seconds over the time. Today I didn’t have a fence in hand, it was very close up at the top, and she jumped incredibly well. When she came in the arena she lit up with the crowds, knew what she needed to do and I’m just over the moon with her.” The mare was bought by Amy as a three-year-old from Preci Spark Event Horses and was produced by Amy until she was an eight-year-old, competing up to 2* level before being sent to James Avery to ride. Finn started working for Amy, riding three times a week and from there got the ride. “I’m incredibly grateful to Amy for the support, she’s done an amazing job producing Amble and she’s a very special horse.”

The second section to show jump this morning was the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L. Again, retaining their lead since the dressage, Gaspard Maksud and Chantilly Amatullah went on to jump clear to win on 25.3. The grey mare was, according to owners Jane Lom and Linda Charlton, actually bred to be an Intermediate Show horse, and was produced by Paul O’Shaughnessy in Ireland. Rumour has it, the semen from Tilly’s sire Abdullah was actually bought in a raffle! Nine-year-old Tilly has quite the support group – Jane and Linda are both very involved with Riding for the Disabled and are always being asked for event updates from the members about the much-loved mare since they bought her over six years ago. Regarding his win Gaspard commented, “This is my first three-day win, you’ve got all of the top-class riders and horses here as well, so it really means a lot to win. I have only had the mare since March, but she really wants to please, she really tries. She’s such a nice mare, she just really does a good job, I am very happy with her.”

The final section to finish for the day was the Empire Coach Builders CCI2*-L where Phoebe Locke took a late lead when overnight leader Kitty King, who was last to go, had the final fence down. Riding her own Renkumb Jitterbug, the Somerset born eventer has represented GB at five European championships, recently gaining the title of British and European under 21 champion.

The 16.2hh, seven-year-old gelding out of Trijntje by Baloubet Junior Z is part of Phoebe’s string of horses based on her yard in Wiltshire which she recently set up professionally, having previously had her horses on their family yard. Phoebe actually started her equestrian career as a show jumper, but was quickly spotted to have plenty of talent as an eventer and has now made a great name for herself within the eventing world, having competed up to 4*. On her win, Phoebe commented, “It was a little bit unexpected, he’s only seven years old and it’s the first time doing a long format, so I didn’t know how he would be today show jumping after cross country, but he dealt with it really well.” Phoebe remarks fondly about Renkumb Jitterbug “He’s very cuddly and likes lots of attention and treats.”

Wrapping up the week here at Bicton International Horse Trials, Event Director Andrew Fell said, “It was a fantastic week, some of the best top-quality sport in the UK – I think the biggest thing was how much the team worked together. Everyone was here to make it happen, we were blessed with the weather and I’m so proud of what we managed to pull off.”

 

That’s not all…

 

Locally based Redpost Equestrian rewarded the hard work of the grooms, offering a £50 gift voucher to the grooms of the winning horse in each section plus a goody bag for the groom of the winning CCI4*-S horse.

Winning owners also each received a bottle of gin from the Tack Room Distillery.

HiHo Silver generously sponsored the best dressed male and female in each of the long-format sections, with winners receiving a £150 voucher to spend.

Bicton Arena is very well supported by local riders, so Wyvern donated a £50 voucher to the highest place local riders.

Sponsors of the CCI2*-L, Empire Coach Builders also provided prizes for first to third place in their section.

The top three in each class were kindly gifted a hamper by Darts Farm.

Bicton College Floristry donated beautiful flowers for the event.

Laura Collett wins the TopSpec CCI4*-S with London 52

Winners of the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L are Gaspard Maksud with Chantilly Amatullah

Finn Healy and Treamble win the Chatham CCI3*YR-L

Phoebe Locke riding Renkumb Jitterbug are the winners of the Empire Coach Builders CCI2*-L

 

Overnight leader of the TopSpec CCI4*-S Laura Collett and London 52 retain their leading position with 19.8 at Bicton International Horse Trials. “I’m absolutely chuffed with London 52 and Dacapo. They both did really nice tests and jumped beautifully round the show jumping. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, I think it’s a great track and hopefully it will set them up really nicely for Luhmühlen in a few weeks’ time,” said Laura. In the last three years, out of 25 runs, this horse has only ever picked up cross country penalties on one occasion – at the Worlds in Pratoni. This makes the 14-year-old gelding the one to watch going into the final day of competition tomorrow.

Beaming as they came through the finish line, retaining the lead in the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L, Gaspard Maksud was thrilled with just 0.4 time penalties on Chantilly Amatullah. He remarks on his new partnership with this horse, “I haven’t had Tilly very long, so it is always a bit of an unknown, but she was very good, she tried very hard. When I asked her to get up at the last, she was still full of running which is brilliant.” Originally from Laval, France, Gaspard began his riding career at the tender age of 11 and began his success by winning the French Junior championship at just 16-years-old. The pair go into the final day of competition, show jumping tomorrow with one penalty in hand.

Another combination to keep the top spot going into show jumping is Finn Healy on Treamble in the CCI3*YR-L. The pair went clear jumping across country with just 0.8 time penalties. 18-year-old Finn has seen plenty of success so far in his career, winning team gold at the 2022 FEI European Junior Eventing Championships at Hartpury on Fathers Compromise and double gold at the 2019 FEI European Pony Championships at Strzegom on Midnight Dancer. They go into tomorrow with a margin of three penalties ahead of second placed Barnie Brotherton on DHI King Nelson. Finn says “I’m over the moon with her today, she was absolutely amazing, it was a really tough track. I thought that the undulations and the hills made it a really big stamina test as well as some really tricky questions, but she made it feel really effortless. She really showed her class – she loves the cross country phase, so she makes my life really easy. Tomorrow is a new day – we will focus on the trot up and then when the track is built, we will have a look. We are trying to take it all one step at a time and hopefully we will jump a good round.”

The CCI2*-L Empire Coach Builders is the only change in leadership for the day, where Kitty King and Ogue Verdi re-took the lead that they held on day one after their dressage, pushing yesterday’s post-dressage leader Dani Evans into second place. Kitty has represented GB at the Olympics and is the first British event rider to have represented GB at Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Senior European Championships. Adding nothing to their dressage score of 27.6, the eight-year-old Irish grey gelding owned by Lindsay Caldwell and Sue Brendish made nothing of the Helen West designed cross country course today.

Laura Collett keeps the lead with London 52 in the TopSpec CCI4*-S

Gaspard Maksud & Chantilly Amatullah retain leadership in the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L

Finn Healy & Treamble lead the Chatham CCI3*YR-L

Kitty King & Ogue Verdi retake the lead in the Empire Coach Builders CCI2*-L

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