Piggy French (pictured) leads the eight- and nine-year-old CIC*** at Blenheim Horse Trials after the show jumping.

Clear rounds proved elusive over Di Boddy’s track, with many of these young horses finding Blenheim’s main arena — packed with spectators in the evening sun — rather spooky. The time was also tight and Piggy accrued one time-fault on Flying Machine to move up a place from second after dressage.

Oliver Townend led after the first phase, but one fence down and two time-faults with ODT Master Rose dropped him to sixth.

Andrew Nicholson managed a penalty-free round to move up to second with Rosemary Barlow’s Avebury — this grey, who won Saumur earlier this year, is perhaps more used to the big stage than some of the horses in this class.

Ruth Edge and Pippa Funnell’s clears on Nick Of Thyme and Mirage D’Elle lifted them to third and fourth.

The competitors in this classs run cross-country tomorrow in reverse order, starting at 11am. They will tackle a shorter track than the CCI*** — 21 fences rather than 27, with a 6min optimum time (the CCI*** optimum time was 10min 21sec).


1.Piggy French on Flying Machine (GB) 46.2
2.Andrew Nicholson on Avebury (NZL) 46.5
3.Ruth Edge on Nick Of Thyme (GB) 47.1
4.Pippa Funnell on Mirage D’Elle (GB) 47.7
5.Mary King on Fernhill Urco (GB) 47.9
6.Oliver Townend on ODT Master Rose (GB) 50

Full times and results

Report of today’s CCI*** cross-country

Stay up to date with more reports from Blenheim tomorrow on www.horseandhound.co.uk and buy Horse & Hound next week (17 September issue) for a full report.