It’s a long haul to Poland (and back) but the two-day drive proved worthwhile for the all-girl British team when it ran out the convincing winner of the FEI Nations Cup CICO3* held in Strzegom (June 25-28). The team of Izzy Taylor (KBIS Starburst), Sarah Bullimore (Valentino V), Emily Llewellyn (Greenlaw Sky High) and Jodie Amos (Figaro van het Broekxhof) finished 18 penalties ahead of the Australian team, the only other full team to complete.
The win means that at the halfway stage, and after four competitions, Team GBR is now well ahead in this year’s FEI Nations Cup standings in the run up to the next event, which will be at Aachen, in Germany (August 11-14).
Taylor and KBIS Starburst, the only combination to finish on their dressage score, ended in second position overall behind leading Belgian rider Karin Donkers and Fletcha van’t Verahof, who led the dressage. British based Australian Christopher Burton and the Australian thoroughbred Haruzac took the lead after cross country — the only other pair besides Taylor and Starburst to come home clear inside the time — but the two fell foul of the coloured poles to finish in a final fifth place.
It was also an up and down competition for Amos, who rose 18 places up the lead board to third place after a good cross country round with the Belgian-bred 10-year-old, (ridden last year by team-mate Sarah Bullimore). Figaro then rolled four poles but still finished in 12th place. Bullimore and Valentino V were third overall with Emily and Greenlaw Sky High sixth.
Pippa Funnell (Mirage D’Elle), Izzy Taylor (KBIS Briarlands Matilda) and Kristina Cook (Calvino II) contested the CCI3* and all three British girls finished in the top 10 in fourth, fifth and seventh respectively. The class was another assured win for reigning Olympic and European Champion Michael Jung, despite the fact it was a first run at the level for his winning ride, the eight-year-old Anglo-Arab Fischertakinou. Jung also claimed second place with his 2013 European gold medal partner, Halunke FBW.
The journey to Hopetoun (near Edinburgh) might have seemed almost as long as the one to Poland for a few southern based riders. It is, however, worth it, if only for the breath-taking views of the 6,000 acre estate and its centrepiece 17th-century mansion.
Yorkshire-based British team rider Nicola Wilson — almost a local — claimed the CIC3* with One Two Many, with whom she was seventh at Badminton. The pair, who finished on their dressage score, headed off Irishman Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise. It must have been a poignant win for Wilson: last year, she won the class with her medal winning team horse Opposition Buzz, who then unexpectedly lost his life just a few months later.
Wilson also topped the CCI** with the Fleetwater Opposition ten-year-old Ngong Hills. Stamford based Constance Copestake and Aprobanta, last year’s National Junior champions, were second, with Sussex-based Olivia Craddock and Coco de Cara third.
The CCI* was a win for Time for Harry ridden by Piggy French deputising for sister Nini, who broke her hand at Rockingham and therefore had to pass the ride over after having produced him for the last three seasons. It was a first three-day for the Primitive Proposal seven-year-old, who also won his Novice regional final last time out and he will be one to watch in the Novice Championship at The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe (August 6-8).
The pair finished ahead of Jeanette Brakewell and Cooley Master, another seven-year-old having his first three-day experience.
The journey home will probably have flown by for Wiltshire-based Lucinda Fredericks, who had a good weekend with the seven-year-old embryo transfer twins of her former super-star mare Headley Britannia’s. The mare Little Britannia and the graded stallion Britannia’s Mail finished in sixth and eighth respectively and just 0.4 of a penalty apart.
Image courtesy of Mariusz Chmieliński, www.StrzegomHorseTrials.pl