EQUESTRIAN: Todd is pick of Wiltshire bunch at Blenheim
6:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in Latest Sport News
AFTER an otherwise torrid weekend, Fernhill Pimms saved the day for Dorset’s William Fox-Pitt by winning the CIC three-star eight and nine-year-old class at the Blenheim International Horse Trials with a near-perfect double clear, writes NICKI STRONG.
Sir Mark Todd was the best of the Wiltshire riders in third behind Chris Burton.
Todd had a great time with Leonidas II, who was consistently strong across all three phases, including a PB dressage for this level of 40.0.
He added just two time penalties across the cross-country, which was a very tough ask, given that only one person went inside the time all day. Todd said: “He is a very smart horse and he was very good in all three phases and I was thrilled with how he went.”
Highworth’s Paul Tapner had a good weekend with his two rides and he piloted Indian Mill to fifth in this class.
Two fences down showjumping were unfortunate as the pair recorded a competitive 37.7 dressage and a clear and fast cross-country.
Up In The Air finished further down the table. A super double clear showed great promise for his first three-star, but his dressage was less competitive and Tapner took things steadier across the country.
Maizey Manor-based Flora Harris’ Amazing VIII lived up to her name, signing off her season with the performance of her life to come sixth in the eight and nine-year-old class.
This was the mare’s second attempt at three-star and she completed with a classy double clear over a testing track, coupled with a sub-40 dressage which only a handful of competitors achieved. Harris described her mare as having been a star all week, and is looking forward to her 2014 season campaign.
This was probably a tall order for Andrew Nicholson’s Zaron, who couldn’t maintain his strong position after dressage. Two fences down showjumping and 20 cross-country penalties saw them finish in 35th.
Irish competitor Aoife Clark’s double clear with Fenyas Elegance sealed a win for her in the CCI three-star class, finishing on 44.
Mildenhall’s Jonelle Richards was 15th after the dressage with the lovely grey Faerie Dianimo, and rode a cross-country round that was described “as good as we’ve seen all day”, by the event commentator.
That boosted them to sixth place, which they retained when lowering a single rail in the showjumping.
Nicholson came 17th with Viscount George, who had a stop on the cross-country course but showjumped without fault.
Sir Mark Todd did a great job of sympathetically riding Up N Go round the track, giving him some reassuring words and pats as they went, but couldn’t prevent 20 penalties for a run out at a very influential fence.
Another eight faults showjumping saw them finish 35th.
Todd said: “I had an annoying run out at the Dew Pond on Up N Go but for an inexperienced horse he went very well.”
Georgie Spence was delighted with Wii Limbo who earned her first 10 in a dressage test.
They were another pair who picked up 20 penalties for a run out, but finished with a super clear showjumping round that put them right behind Todd.
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