FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials ROUNDUP
International eventing action returned at the FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market Horse Trials today (16 April 2021), as the first riders completed their dressage tests in the CCI3*S and CCI4*S sections.
It was a much-anticipated day for equestrianism and the sport certainly didn’t disappoint. Piggy March reminded everyone of the depth and quality in her yard, by taking a one, two, three in section C of the CCI4*S with Brookfield Innocent (25.9), Dargun (26.9) and Fonbherna Lancer (29.1) respectively.
“It’s just great to be getting out and doing something,” said Piggy. “They’re all very nice horses. I’m very lucky and looking forward to the competition ahead.”
Reigning Burghley Champions, Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street, are the current leaders in Section B of the CCI4* on a score of 25.4. Izzy Taylor lies second with Hartacker (26.9) and Ros Canter in third with Lordships Graffalo (27.1).
In the CCI3*, Caroline Powell and Rock Midnight (25.9) finish the first day in first, followed by Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro in second (27.3) and Gemma Tattersall, third, with Flash Cooley (27.8).
There was further success for Gemma, with a win in Section D of the BE100 on her lovely homebred six-year-old, Chilli Rocks. “Chris and Lisa Stone and I are very proud to have bred and brought him on and we’re really excited about his future,” she said.
The other national class winners on day one were; BE100 Section E, Nicole Mills and In A Nutshell (23.3), BE100 Open, Ruby Dean and Jewel (27) and Novice Section G, Sara Chittleburgh and Swiss Maid (31.8).
The star of day two at the FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials (17 April 2021) was undoubtedly Laura Collett, who is leading both sections of the CCI4*S after the dressage phase.
In Section B Laura holds not only the lead but the top two places – with Mr Bass producing a stunning test for a score of 24 and his stablemate, Dacapo, lying just behind with a score of 25.1. Pippa Funnell and her Burghley winner, MGH Grafton Street (25.4), complete the top three in this section ahead of Sunday’s jumping tests.
Laura was especially pleased with Mr Bass’s performance, who she feels is really coming of age now. “I’m delighted,” she said. “He doesn’t find dressage easy and he tried so hard, so I’m really proud of him. I’m so lucky to ride horses like this.”
Laura was back in action with her 2020 Pau winner, London 52, in Section C of the CCI4*S. He produced a solid test for a score of 23.8, leaving them lying in first place at this stage. Overnight leaders, Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent (25.9) have maintained a strong position in second and a nice test from Izzy Taylor and Monkeying Around puts them third with a score of 25.9.
In the CCI3*S, New Zealand’s Caroline Powell and Rock Midnight retained their overnight lead with their score of 25.9. Oliver Townend is now not far behind, with Cooley Rosalent (26.3) in second, and Molly Faulkner lies third with Call Me Cooley (26.9).
There was a full day of action in the national classes, with some great cross-country performances on display across the sections.
The national class winners on Saturday were:
Open Intermediate Section O, Piggy March and I Diablo Joe (26)
Intermediate Section M, Aoife Clark and Dondarrion (37.6)
Intermediate Section N, Caroline March and Shades of Cooley (32)
Advanced Section L, Tim Price and Falco IV (26.8)
Open Novice Under 18 Section K, Ibble Watson and Aristoteles S Z (28.7)
Open Novice Section J, Harry Horgan and Idefix Van De Crumelhaeve (32.8)
Novice Section H, Flora Harris and Class Spec (29.9)
Novice Section I, Flora Harris and Class Vista (26.7)
Those lucky enough to be at Burnham Market on Sunday (18 April) were treated to an amazing day of world-class sport, all set in the glorious sunshine of North West Norfolk.
For the first time in over a decade, FEI eventing world number one, Oliver Townend’s name was not on the winners list for the four-star competition. Instead it was time for a bit of girl power, with brilliant victories for Kitty King and Piggy March.
Kitty King took the honours in CCI4*S Section B with her lovely young horse, Cristal Fontaine. They finished on a score of 28.1. “He’s a very special horse and I’m very lucky to have him for his owners, Camilla and Alex Wakeley,” said Kitty.
“He was absolutely fantastic today. He was green on the cross country course, it’s the toughest track he’s seen, but he was so genuine. It wasn’t always the tidiest but he got it done and every time I said, ‘come on let’s do this’, he answered every question.”
The top three in this section all put in gallant jumping performances to complete on their dressage scores. Fans were delighted to see Piggy March’s 2019 Badminton winner, Vanir Kamira, flying round the course – the pair finished in second on a score of 28.7, just ahead of Gemma Tattersall and one of her homebred Chilli progenies, Chilli Knight, in third (30.6).
In CCI4*S Section C, the top two placings were reversed, with a win for Piggy and Dargun (26.9) and second place for Kitty and Vendredi Biats (27.5). Izzy Taylor completed the first three in this section, finishing third with Monkeying Round (29.9) after an unlucky pole in the show jumping.
“I was delighted with him in all three phases,” said Piggy of Dargun. “He tried as hard as he could and it’s exciting moving forward. It’s just great to be getting going; getting competitive and starting to ride round some good tracks.”
Oliver Townend may have missed out on the four-star title this year, but he still had plenty to smile about after winning the CCI3* with Paul Ridgeon’s lovely young mare, Cooley Rosalent. The pair put in a brilliant double clear to finish on their dressage score of 26.3.
“Really positive for the future,” Oliver said of their performance. “I thought the CCI3S* course was fantastic, it was educational but very fair. Hopefully she will be back here to win the four-star!”
Two talented young riders were snapping at Oliver’s heels, with Daisy Proctor achieving her best CCI3* result to date when finishing second with Quarry Man (28.8) and Oliver Jackson taking third place with Viktor Krum (31.0).
As the sun set on three days of outstanding eventing competition, the real win for equestrianism was undoubtedly the opportunity to see so many of the world’s best horses back galloping around the country. There was wonderful feeling of fun and satisfaction throughout the weekend, with the owners finally able to see horses run at this level.