Sunday roundup from Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International incorporating FEI Eventing Nations Cup
FEI Eventing Nations Cup
Six nations contested the British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup; Britain, Ireland, Sweden, United States, New Zealand and Germany. While the home side took a narrow early advantage, leading after both the dressage and showjumping phases, cross country day proved its downfall. Germany's dominance at Houghton continues and she took the FEI Eventing Nations Cup leg for the fourth successive year.
Team member and chef d'equipe, Peter Thomsen, was delighted. “It looked like we were only going to have a team of three, so I decided to bring a two star horse of mine to make up numbers. Sir Boggles was a bit surprised at the start of the course but he got better from jump to jump.
“Our younger team members were really good here. It works well with the balance of two younger and two more experienced riders. We work as a team in all phases to give the younger ones confidence.”
The American team was flawless across country, moving up to second. Chef d'Equipe and coach for the US emerging athletes programmes – as well as being Britain's most recent eventing Olympic gold medal winner - Leslie Law, is a keen supporter of the Nations Cup series. “For us, getting our young riders international team experience is vital. Looking forwards we want to use the Nations Cup series more and more,” Leslie explained.
Ireland held on to third place with New Zealand fourth, Sweden fifth and Great Britain sixth.
At the start of the day Britain's Holly Woodhead lay third individually but Parkfield Quintessential refused to jump the Newmarket Equine Hospital Corners at fence eight. Holly's teammate Matthew Heath had already picked up 20 penalties at the same fence. The third rider out for Britain, Katie Bleloch was unseated from Bulano at the Devoucoux Open Ditch, fence 17. Chuffy Clarke restored some moral with a good clear round on Second Supreme.
Whilst Pippa Funnell had dominated the dressage phase and remained in the lead ahead of cross country with Billy Beware, she kept her foot off the accelerator today, time penalties dropping the pair to eighth place. This opened the way for Laura Collett and Mr Bass to take the class with their dressage score finish. Laura also finished sixth on Dacapo and seventh on Billy Bounce.
“I'm really pleased with how Mr Bass went in all three phases, especially the dressage as we have struggled with that in the past. It was nice to have a really smooth run before Luhmuhlen.”
Jesse Campbell and Amsterdam II took the runner up spot, ahead of Franky Reid-Warrilow riding Dolley Whisper.
The 'two star' competition was incredibly closely fought, with 0.2 of a penalty separating first and second places. Thomas Carlile's (FRA) stallion Upsilon lead throughout, while Piggy French moved up one place when Brook Staples's (AUS) Doonaveeragh O Six was eliminated on yesterday's cross country course.
“It was a pleasure to be back competing Upsilon. He is a genius over fences and has been competitive from the start of his career,” said Carlile. The stallion only came back into work at the end of February, after picking up an injury at last summer's European Championship in Strzegom.
French was riding Trevor Dickens' homebred mare Graf Cavalier, who she describes as: “elegant and brave, and strengthening all the time. She wants to be careful and I need to respect her ways.”
Dirk Schrade (GER) was another rider to lead from pillar to post, this time in the 'one-star' competition. Dajara 4 was awarded the only sub-25 score in the dressage phase, to which she added nothing.
“That was worth coming over [from Germany] for,” Schrade smiled. “I only started riding the mare in February this year and I'm excited for her future. She's super in both jumping phases and does a lovely dressage test - I think she could go all the way.”
Jesse Campbell (NZL) also held his position to finish runner up on board Diachello II, a horse Campbell bought from Schrade last year. “He's a big teddy bear and very straightforward to train. I think he'll be a very competitive horse for the future,” said Campbell.
Piggy French added nothing to Highdown March's dressage score to complete the podium lineup, while Alice Tracey climbed up to fourth thanks to a showjumping clear from Freedom Hill, all the more impressive given it was both horse and rider's first ever three-day event.
NAF British Eventing under 21 National Championships
Despite holding the 1-2 after both dressage and cross country phases Bubby Upton didn't have a rail in hand going in to showjump Cola III after Yasmin Ingham and Rehy DJ had left all the poles in their cups. Upton had already had a rail down on her European Champion Eros DHI, and when Cola lowered part of the treble the under 21 British National Championship title slipped through her fingers.
A stunned Yasmin admitted, “It never entered my thoughts that we might win! Rehy DJ is the horse that everyone wants, he's unbelievable.”
Upton dropped to second place, 0.1 of a penalty ahead of last year's winner Felicity Collins.
Saturday roundup from Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International incorporating FEI Eventing Nations Cup
CIC3*, incorporating the FEI Eventing Nations Cup
With the last few horses doing their dressage this morning Great Britain completed the first phase at the head of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup leaderboard, with a cumulative score of 88.0. Holly Woodhead performed the best test for the British team to lie in sixth place individually.
Germany sat in second place on 89.2 penalties with Sweden third on 95.6. Individually, Pippa Funnell held first and second places on MGH Grafton Street and Billy Beware respectively.
The showjumping phase shaked the order up a little. Funnell remains in the lead, but on Billy Beware. A rail down dropped MGH Grafton Street to sixth place ahead of tomorrow's cross country. Laura Collett and Mr Bass have climbed two places to second, and Woodhead now sits in third.
From a team perspective Great Britain and Germany had no penalties to add. Sweden has dropped a place to fourth with Ireland moving up to third. The USA lies in fifth and, with 20 penalties to add, New Zealand are sixth.
Brook Staples (AUS) and Thomas Carlile's (FRA) Atos Barbotiere dropped out of contention during today's cross country phase. Staples was eliminated after three refusals, while Carlile's fifth placed ride collected 31 jumping penalties for both a refusal and the breaking of a safety clip on one of the fences.
Carlile continues to lead the field with Upsilon, Piggy French still breathing down his neck a mere 0.2 of a penalty behind. Gemma Tattersall completes the top three on Chilli Knight.
Of the overnight top five after dressage, only Caroline Harris came unstuck across country – she suffered a rider fall at the final fence, having jumped clear to that point. Dirk Schrade (Dajara ), Jesse Cambell (Diachello), Piggy French (Highdown March) and Tom Jackson (Clonlaras Chacoa Princess) all came home clear and inside the time. Schrade has a two-and-a-half penalty advantage over Campbell, but with the fall of a showjump rail incurring four penalties there is still much to play for. Schrade can afford to have one rail down and stay ahead of both French and Jackson.
NAF British Eventing under 21 National Championships
Bubby Upton has retained her 1-2 after the cross country phase, keeping a clean sheet on both Cola III and Eros DHI. She also jumped clear on her third ride in the class, Cannavaro, who has climbed up from 13th to seventh. Yasmin Ingham has moved up a place to third on Rehy DJ, with less than a showjump separating the top three horses.
The stage is set for the Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International incorporating FEI Eventing Nations Cup
Visitors to this year's Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International, 24th - 27th May, can look forward to an unusual blend of world class sport set against a backdrop of modern art. Houghton Hall currently has a Damien Hirst exhibition of new paintings alongside some of his most celebrated sculptures. The Colour Space paintings have never been shown in public before and are a development of Hirst's iconic Spot Paintings, while the sculptures include Virgin Mother and Anatomy of an Angel.
Houghton hosts the only British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, where five nations will be vying to wrestle the title from three-times-consecutive winner Germany. In total 19 nations are represented in the eventing classes, with cross country and show jumping taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Additional equestrian classes also run throughout the event, with 'have a go' dog agility, children's entertainment and over 70 tradestands, food outlets and a licenced bar also on site.
Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International is the only time of the year where the public can camp in the park, providing a perfect base for an action packed weekend. Full details are available on the event website.
Entrance to the the Damien Hirst exhibition is not included in Horse Trials admission. Tickets for the Horse Trials can be bought in advance via the event website, and on the Gate, which opens at 8.30am every day. For more information on any aspect of this year's FEI Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials, visit http://www.musketeer.co.uk
With the world's top three FEI ranked riders competition was going to be fast and furious in Germany. Would the world number 1 Oliver Townend rein supreme or would Germany's golden girls take the home advantage?
In a Leg that produced both the highest ERM completion and cross-country clear jumping rates, the home nation’s Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD, held their nerve to finish on top of the Podium with 3 seconds to spare.
“Bobby did such a wonderful job today. It was the best feeling to ride through the Schloss Park with so many people cheering us on.” Said Ingrid after taking up her place on the top of the podium.
European Gold Medallist Ingrid Klimke came into the competition as the EquiRatings favourite to win. As second last to go in the dressage, the expectations were high for Ingrid and SAP Hale Bob OLD. Beginning her dressage test trending on scores in the teens they finished just .6 of a penalty in front of the World Number 1, Oliver Townend. Tension was high as they entered the show jumping arena, a foot perfect clear ensured they kept hold of their lead. As the final combination to head out on the twisting Cross Country Course, Ingrid was determined to ride fast and clear, which is exactly what she did to claim the Wiesbaden ERM Title.
Recent Land Rover Kentucky CCI4* Champion and FEI World Number 1, Oliver Townend produced a stunning test with Sally-Anne Eglington’s Cillnabradden Evo to begin their ERM season in style. Scoring an incredible 22.8 and beating their CIC3* personal best by 2.5 marks. Jumping a stunning clear in the show jumping phase, the pair headed out on the cross-country course as the penultimate combination and held their 2nd place.
“I am thrilled with the horse,” said Oliver “To get so close to Hale Bob is very special and I couldn’t be happier with how he has performed.”
Rising from 5th after dressage by adding just 0.8 time faults to their score, German Olympic Silver Medallist, Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot took their second consecutive Wiesbaden ERM podium place by finishing third this afternoon.
Speaking after cross country Krajewski said, “Sam loves it here and he’s always been really comfortable in front of all of the people watching him. I was maybe a bit conservative at the start but by the end I could let him run and jump. He really loves his job and I love riding him. I am very proud to share the podium with two legends.”
World Number 3 Tim Price (NZL) and Joanne Pullen’s Cekatinka scored a disappointing 31.4 in the dressage, which left the pair in 7th place going into the show jumping. With just one pole down to add to their score they headed out on the cross country in 8th. After a clear and fast cross country round, Tim and Cekatinka finished on their post show-jump score of 35.4 to climb from 7th to 5th on the final leader board.
“I’m super happy with the Mare, she went out there and gave it her all showing everyone the class that she has!” commented Price.
Michael Jung and CIC3 star debutant Corazon, scored a respectable 34.8 in the dressage to leave them in 15th place before the show jumping. The World Number 2 added 2 show jumping time penalties to his dressage score, going into the cross country in 9th position. Putting in a masterful performance on the 8yr old Mare, Michael added 5.2 time penalties after the Cross Country to sit on 42.4.
Speaking after his Cross Country round Michael said of Corazon, “She is really growing up and getting more experience – she is really starting to believe in herself more I am very happy with her.”
The Event Rider Masters now heads to Leg 3 at new venue Arville in Belgium (23rd & 24th June 2018).
Don’t miss the Leg 1 Chatsworth TV Highlights show broadcast on Sky Sports Arena – Monday 25th May at 19.00 GMT
WATCH all of the action from the Event Rider Masters 2018 Series on www.eventridermasters.tv
This weekend the Event Rider Masters heads to Germany and the Biebrich Palace situated on the banks of the River Rhine in the heart of the city of Wiesbaden.
With all three of the top ranked FEI Event Riders in the World competing here it is set to be a thrilling, hard fought competition.
An all-female top 7 in Leg 1 kicked off the 2018 Event Rider Masters last weekend. The stats would suggest we could see more of the same this weekend on the final podium at Wiesbaden.
The Dressage morning in Wiesbaden produced the lowest average ERM Dressage scores of all time but with only the top 5 (20%) achieving sub-30 scores the marks weren't flowing freely from the Judges.
European Gold Medallists Germany's Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD pipped Oliver Townsend to the top spot by the smallest of margins by posting a score of 22.2.
Second place after Dressage was the World Number 1 and 2016 ERM Champion Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo. Leading by a large margin on his score of 22.8 for the majority of the morning Oliver said, "I am thrilled for the horse and want to thank Andrew Nicholson for giving me the opportunity to have the ride on him. He just keeps getting better and better."
Sitting in third place going into the Show Jumping this afternoon was Dutch Olympic Event Rider Tim Lips and his ride Bayro on a score of 27.7
The Show Jumping time proved influential in this afternoon's session with only 44% of the field avoiding time penalties.
There was no change at the top of the leader board with Ingrid, Oliver and Tim all achieving clear rounds inside the time.
With a climb up the leader board of 13 places, Sweden's Ludwig Svennerstal and his ride EL Kazir SP have upped Ludwig's chances of landing his first ERM podium place this season.
The challenge on Saturday will come from the clock. The Wiesbaden clear jumping rate across the country is currently 65% so we are expecting a tough challenge tomorrow and a big shuffle on the final leader board. It is worth noting, however, that nobody has made the time at Wiesbaden in the last two years.
SAP Hale Bob OLD and Ingrid have made the time 6 times at this CIC3 star. Which makes him the favourite to do it again here.