EQUESTRIAN: Fit-again King enjoys Gatcombe success
6:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Latest News
KITTY King made a winning return to eventing at Gatcombe Horse Trials last weekend, having been out of competitive action since July with a broken wrist which she sustained at home, WRITES NICKI STRONG.
Persimmon was the horse who provided the crowning glory on a successful comeback for King, shrugging off competition to win the two-star class for the second consecutive year.
A strong dressage phase saw them handily placed, being one of only two sub-40 tests. She seized the lead when jumping double clear though, just adding minor time penalties to ensure she couldn’t be caught.
Persimmon is something of a two-star specialist with six wins at that level, as well as placing fourth at his only three-star.
King said of the horse: “He’s very good on the flat with lovely paces which means he’s capable of getting the good marks, and he’s a very good jumper so he’s been easy to produce to a good level. He’s not been out since Barbury due to my injury, but he didn’t feel rusty at all.
“He will head to Boekelo for the eight and nine year olds class, it would be really exciting if we were picked for the Nations Cup Final but we won’t know until we’re out there.”
Both Mo Cuiske and Ceylor LAN performed equally well in their respective Intermediate sections with dressage scores around the 25 mark, before jumping double clears. A few time penalties each put them overall second and fourth.
King withdrew Caeleste after the dressage left them out of contention, the horse having been distracted by the cross-country.
King added: “The course was very similar to last year, not the biggest but very twisty with lots of drops and steps – your typical Gatcombe track. My horses all jumped round confidently.”
Sir Mark Todd was another rider with something of a comeback; his Badminton-winning ride NZB Land Vision had his first event since 2011. He announced his return in style, wowing judges with a 17.7 dressage test in the Open Intermediate.
They had just the one fence down showjumping and a steady cross-country round saw them finish ninth. Todd jumped double clears with both Landslide and Knockavardagh Boy to secure top-10 Novice placings, and two fences down for MK San Cero saw him finish 13th in the Intermediate after starting proceedings with a table topping dressage test.
Laura Collett continues to go from strength to strength, putting her rotational fall earlier in the year well behind her.
She recorded a win by the narrowest of margins with Nankin W in a very competitive Novice section, thanks in no small part to a 21.5 dressage. She had two Open Intermediate entries; rising star Allora 3 performed her best test to date at this level for a 26.4 that Collett was ‘thrilled’ with.
A single showjump and some cross-country time penalties were a little costly, and they finished overall 19th.
Superstar Rayef had his first outing since Barbury and didn’t disappoint in coming eighth, rolling one pole showjumping but producing an excellent dressage test .
Andrew Nicholson was typically competitive with seven entries across a range of levels. The pick of the results came from Quimbo and Jet Set IV, who both jumped without fault to secure wins in their respective classes. Fellow Kiwi Tim Price also ran a handful, winning a Novice section aboard Cesar.
Chippenham’s Alicia Hawker was one of only 15 to go double clear in the two-star, riding Nankin Des Ruettes to 18th place overall. She did in fact achieve double clears with all three of her rides, with Anthe finishing 15th at Intermediate and Vanir Jensen Busted was seventh at Novice level.
Both of these earned her the best under 21 prize. Georgie Spence also piloted her two rides home without any jumping faults; Diamond Cove finished on a dressage score of 32.5 for sixth in the Novice, whilst Billy Ball added a few time penalties for 27th in the one-star.
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