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Fiona Moore brought Realms Of Glory (pictured) home bang on the cross-country optimum time to win the individual senior intermediate challenge title at the NAF British Riding Clubs’ Festival of the Horse championships at Aston-le-Walls on 4-5 June.

The victory was a “fairy tale” for the combination, who represent Cheltenham Riding Club (RC).

“We’re both veterans — I’m old enough to go on a Saga holiday and he’s 18 and has been in the wars,” said a delighted Fiona.

Ex-racehorse Realms Of Glory “doesn’t do dressage”, so this competition, where riders tackle a round of showjumps before heading straight out on to the cross-country, was ideal.

The questions started early, with the Pink Powder Puzzle at fence four — a step and narrow brush combination — catching out those who hadn’t found their rhythm. Fiona and Realms Of Glory suffered no such problems, with an attacking round, particularly through the EnerG Required complex, where many of their rivals shuffled in an extra stride on top of the bank.

The challenge is scored on proximity to the optimum time and, in the event of a tie, on the fastest showjumping round — which was the decider in this class.

Runner-up Laura Walkden, a freelance groom, had the consolation of being part of the winning team, Longton. Laura has owned eight-year-old 17.2hh bay gelding Buckingham for three years, although he was “originally bought to sell”. Joining Laura on the Longton team was her sister Hannah and fellow sisters Laura and Sam Rippon.

Full report of this championship in H&H, 23 June 2011 issue.