14-year-old, 2022 Badminton winner London 52 and rider Laura Collett were the first to change up the leader board today, scoring 19.8 on the second day of dressage at Bicton International Horse Trials (25-28 May) in the TopSpec CCI4*-S.
This was Laura’s second ride of the day, having scored 22.7 on Dacapo earlier on, who is now lying in fourth place after dressage in the same class. Dazzling in the Devon sunshine, London 52, known as Dan at home, put on a great performance and showed the value and experience of their nine-year partnership.
Overnight leader of the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L, Gaspard Maksud scored an impressive 24.9 yesterday with Chantilly Amatullah, retaining the lead at the end of the second day of dressage, heading into the cross-country tomorrow. Tilly, as the nine-year old is known, is a new ride for Gaspard, having only come together a couple of months ago. Out of Cusheen Beauty by Abdullah, the 15.2hh mare has shown great consistency in the jumping phases since starting her affiliated career in 2019 so is likely to be competitive this weekend.
Putting his stamp on proceedings, Finn Healy took the lead this afternoon in the Chatham CCI3*YR-L riding Amy Hawley’s 10-year-old mare Treamble. Standing at 17hh, the mare is bred by Preci Spark Event Horses out of Trevillet by Grafenstolz. Finn and his sister Ellie, who is also competing in the CCI3*YR-L at Bicton this week, make up Team Healy who are based over 200 miles away in Derbyshire. Finn took over the ride on this horse last summer, having previously been competed by owner Amy.
In the Empire Coach Builders CCI2*-L, overnight leader Kitty King was pipped to the post late in the day by Dani Evans riding Argentino BK. This 11-year-old Spanish gelding is a former ride of Andrew Nicholson’s with Bristol based Dani having taken the reins in the summer of 2020. Since then, the pair have had limited runs, but appear to be back with purpose scoring a competitive 27.1 in today’s dressage. In their most recent run at Cirencester Park in the ON in April, they placed fourth, setting them up nicely for a run here at Bicton.
Event Director, Andrew Fell and his team have been busy preparing the ground for the weekend, “The ground preparation for an event like this doesn’t start the day before, it starts months in advance. We’ve slit the course twice so far this winter and we’ve been putting manure and slurry on the course to really get the grass growth very good. Despite it being really wet this spring, we are lucky to be on sandy soil here which drains very well, so we are now looking to raise that moisture content in the top few inches to make the going really good for cross country this weekend.”
Show jumping for the TopSpec CCI4*-S will start at 1pm tomorrow and the cross country for the CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L and CCI3*YR-L from 9.30am. Tickets can still be purchased for the weekend via the Bicton Arena website.
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