It was an exceptionally busy weekend for the eventing fraternity – was there anyone left at home?
The week started with a large contingent of British and British-based riders heading across the Irish Sea to the Tattersalls International.
Held at the home of the famous eponymous auction house, the location and superb facilities are a large attraction of this event which hosts eight international classes meaning the trip is especially worthwhile for those with horses of different levels.
One of these was William Fox-Pitt who had a good weekend accruing two wins – and three second places – meaning his lifetime tally of three-day wins now stands at 57. The Badminton winner claimed the young horse CCI1* with the Irish-bred Soapdodger – second in last year’s British six-year-old championship – and the CCI2* with the French-bred Ramdam de Mons.
Kitty King and her former Burghley young event young horse winner and five, six and seven-year-old British young horse champion Ceylor LAN added another win to their impressive CV with the showcase class, the Irish Field CCI3*, in which seven British riders featured in the top 10.
The winning pair rose to the top with a double clear to head off William Fox-Pitt and Luxury FH. A rolled pole deposed cross country leaders Andrew Nicholson and Jet Set to third while Piggy French and Seapatrick Dark Cruise and Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V were fourth and fifth respectively. Other Brits to make their trips worthwhile were; Fife-based former young rider team gold medallist Wills Oakden 7th with the mare Greystone Midnight Melody, Oliver Townend 9th with Harry Dzennis’s former ride Dromgurrihy Blue and Laura Collet 10th with Pamero 4.
The CIC3* was an antipodean affair the class won by Sir Mark Todd and his 2012 Olympic ride, NZB Campino, ahead of Australian Paul Tapner and Yogi Bear. Former Olympic gold medallist Blyth Tait was third with Xanthus III, a 13-year-old by the jumping ace Quidam de Revel and Paul Tapner gained another rosette with Prince Mayo, fourth. Izzy Taylor was the top Brit in this class, sixth with KBIS Starburst.
Four British riders headed the leaderboard of the CCI2* albeit the Irish had much to cheer as three of them were riding Irish-bred horses. Harry Meade was second to Mr Fox-Pitt with the Irish-bred Away Cruising, Daisy Berkeley third with the Ghareeb gelding Strike Smartly and Oliver Townend fourth with Burnham Market winner Cooley SRS who is by Ramiro B who now stands at the British Harthill Stud.
Wiltshire based riders Tom McEwen and Alicia Hawker dominated the Under-24 division of this class with Tom first (Joyride) and third (Staff des Champs) and Alicia Hawker second (Charles RR).
Second placed New Zealander Jonelle Price prevented a British whitewash in the CCIYH1* that was won by William Fox-Pitt. Laura Collett was third (Cooley Again), Emily Baldwin fourth (Uppercourt Cooley), Kitty King fifth (Creeevagh Cooley) and British veteran Rodney Powell was sixth (Grovine de Reve).
In the CCI1* Ireland’s Jodie O’Keefe and Kachemire Le Beau denied Willam Fox-Pitt another win, leading from the front to finish on their dressage score. William took home the blue rosette with last year’s British six-year-old champion, the Irish-bred Reinstated. Somerset based Jamie-Lee Day and Union Fortunas were third, while a pole down dropped Oliver Townend and Sonic de Sermentol, a new ride this year, to fifth. In the junior division Alex Kennedy (Chocolate Domino) was second and Charlotte Bacon (Sannavalley Justice) fourth.
Tattersalls was marred by the death of Sam Griffiths ride Favorit Z, leader of the CCI3* after dressage, who tragically broke a leg on the cross country course and was euthanised.
While the British were in Ireland the Germans made a successful foray on Houghton International in Norfolk.
The German team won the British leg of the FEI Nations Cup competition winning the CICO3* ahead of the British team. The class was however won by Frenchman Luc Chateau and his homebred Propriano de L’Ebat while the Germans filled three of the next five places with Andreas Ostholt second with So Is Et. Pippa Funnell was the best Brit, third with the Cevin Z sired Billy the Biz gaining his best place to date.
The CCI1* was a German whitewash won by Olympian Dirk Schrade with the Holstein Call me Honey, whose dam, Honeybee, he also rode. Dirk was also third with Navarino the top places split by German dressage rider Joern Warner and Vicco Pop, also gaining as yet, their best result.
The CCI2* was also a German affair won by Bettina Hoy and her 2013 British Novice Championship winner Seigneur Medicott. Australian Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18 took second ahead of Dirk Schrade and Mr Tomtom. Matthew Wright was the highest placed Brit, sixth with Shannondale Shinawil.
Sophie How and Mr Bojangles led from the front to win the National Under-21 championship (CCI2*) on Mr Bojangles formerly ridden by brother Tom. Last year’s U-21 champions, Will Furlong and Livingstone II, were the runners up with former pony team rider Sam Ecroyd third on Wodan III.
Brand Hall hosted the Charles Owen National Pony Championship won by Thomas Tulloch and Spirit VI for the second year running. Shropshire based Tom is the son of former four-star eventer Jancis Tulloch (nee Yeo). Isabel White from Nottingham with Daydream Fourteen was second.
The Racesafe Junior Championship was won by former Pony European champion Yasmin Ingham.
The 18-year-old from the Isle of Man was riding Imperial Cavalier the former Olympic ride of Mary King.