Australian eventer Bill Levett will ride at the British Open Show Jumping Championships (3-6 April) after winning the indoor cross-country competition qualifier at Addington last Friday, 15 March.
This is the first time there has been a qualifier for the indoor-cross country competition at the British Open, which is normally open only to invited riders.
Lauren Shannon (Quixotic) and Ginny Howe (Cavort) — who were both on the British squad at last year’s young rider European Championships — finished second and third to take the other qualifying tickets.
The qualifying class was run over a combination of fixed indoor cross-country fences and show jumps, with three seconds added for each fence down.
Mark Kyle recorded the fastest time on Drunken Disorderly — a specialist in these types of class — but fences down dropped him to fourth.
Winner Bill Levett rode a clear round on Norwegian Connection NJ, a 17-year-old who he previously competed at top level (the pair are pictured above at Badminton 2003) and who is now evented by his wife, Jenny.
Bill said: “The great thing about this horse is he doesn’t get strong. You can ride him fast and it doesn’t blow his mind. I didn’t go mad in the show jumping section, but it was one of those classes where you had to take a few chances.”
1. Norwegian Connection NJ (Bill Levett, AUS)
2. Quixotic (Lauren Shannon, GBR)
3. Cavort (Ginny Howe, GBR)
4. Drunken Disorderly (Mark Kyle, IRE)
5. Sir Roselier (Julie Tew, GBR)
6. Astronave (Clare Chamberlayne, GBR)
7. Lazy Acres Skip On (Sarah Stretton, GBR)
8. Wulstan Rock On (Laura Shears, GBR)
9. Bit Of A Barney (Louise Skelton, GBR)
10. Claverleys Cairolina Breeze (George Hilton Jones, GBR)