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EQUESTRIAN: Success for Wiltshire riders at Blair Castle
6:00am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
BLAIR Castle International Horse Trials in Scotland almost saw a clean sweep for Wiltshire riders this weekend, as local wins were recorded in the CCI three-Star, CCI two-star, and CIC three-star events.
Lucinda Fredericks and her Olympic partner Flying Finish took the CIC three-star title, having led from the outset with an outstanding dressage score of 38.6. They gave themselves a comfortable six penalty points cushion after the first phase, and Fredericks piloted the gelding masterfully around both the showjumping and cross country courses to complete with a double clear.
Fredericks fought off stiff competition from the likes of Team GB favourite Opposition Buzz back in third. She also finished 19th with Prada, who would’ve been amongst the placings but for a single showjumping fence and a few time penalties. Both Prada and Flying Finish head to Pau in October.
The other three-star title was won by Tim Price and the very capable Wesko, who has been knocking on the door with some exceptional results in just a few seasons of eventing. They completed a double clear inside the time to earn their victory – richly deserved, considering their last three outings have all been top three placings with no jumping penalties.
Last but not least, fellow New Zealander Lizzie Brown, based at Milton Stud near Pewsey took the two-star class riding Henton Attorney General. Brown posted the best dressage score of the section, and couldn’t be caught when they completed without any further penalties.
The 25-year-old won by a comfortable margin with more than eight points in hand over her nearest rival, and also went one better than her jumping coach, Kiwi Olympic gold medal winner Blyth Tait, who finished 16th.
Tapner Eventing Team had another busy weekend with 10 entries at Wellington – eight belonging to Paul and two for wife Georgina. After some really good consistent placings, Yogi Bear VIII signed off his season with a win in the Advanced ridden by Paul despite having a rail in the showjumping. He rode both Pioneer Milly and Inishmor to second place in separate Intermediate sections with double clears. Wickstead Didgeridoo and Up In The Air both performed well, jumping without fault and will now head to Blenheim in September for three-star classes. Nicholson had several rides but his star of the show was Urma BK with whom he won an Intermediate class on a sub-30 final score. This talented young mare has won both of her only starts at this level and could be one to watch.
Over in Haras Du Pin, Sir Mark Todd threw down the gauntlet in the CIC three-star when storming into the lead with Leonidas II after the dressage phase – perhaps inspired by his mentor Charlotte Dujardin who has been busy breaking world records again. A rail in the showjumping knocked them down to second, but a cross-country stop drop them out of contention in 22nd, his other ride Oloa coming 18th.
Jonelle Richards went the other way; their dressage test left them down the table, but the influential jumping phases saw them climb plenty of places up to 11th. Canadian rider Rebecca Howard was the best of the travelling Wiltshire contingent though, taking fourth with Riddle Master who jumped without fault.
Meanwhile, Tom McEwen and his horse Diesel have arrived in Malmo for the European Eventing Championships to represent the senior GB team.
The trot up and first inspection will take place on Wednesday before the dressage action gets underway on Thursday.
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