Rio hopefuls lead at Barbury Horse Trials

By Charles Taylor on |

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The Great Britain Olympic selectors had a day to savour as this year’s Barbury International Horse Trials reached its halfway stage on Friday.

Rio-bound riders — Gemma Tattersall and William Fox-Pitt — lead two of the four principal classes, while a third team member, Kitty King, also shone at the event, along with travelling reserve Pippa Funnell.

Tattersall, unquestionably the in-form British rider this season, delivered a dressage score of 38.2 on Quicklook V to take pole position ahead of showjumping and cross-country in Barbury’s headline CIC 3* section.

The Sussex-based eventer, who was the highest-placed British challenger at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, leads by almost three penalties from Funnell and Billy The Biz, while Oliver Townend and the ultra-experienced Armada lie third on 41.5, just ahead of Australian Christopher Burton and Polystar I.

Meanwhile, Fox-Pitt is in charge of the CIC 2*, section E, after guiding Top Biats to a score of 40.0, leading the way from German Franca Luedeke (Cero Song) and Funnell (Billy Walk On).

Fox-Pitt is also second in the CIC 2*, section C, aboard Secret Night, and fifth with his Rio ride Chilli Morning, after their dressage score of 44.9 slotted them just in behind King and her Rio challenger Ceylor LAN.

The two-star form man, though, is Burton, who leads sections C and D on Santano II and Nobilis 18, respectively.

Burton also won one of Barbury’s five novice classes on Friday, along with France’s Arthur Pottier, Tim Price, Caroline Harris and Michael Jackson.

Barbury action continues on Saturday with the CIC 2* sections concluding, while on Sunday the CIC 3* champion will be crowned, along with the latest Event Rider Masters competition winner.

Image: Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V lead the CiC three star competition at the end of Day 2 at the Barbury International Horse Trials, by Adam Dale, courtesy of the Barbury International Horse Trials

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