In spite of some high class performances in the dressage arena today, nothing could touch Terry Boon’s score on Drive Time of 36.6, and indeed the top four remained unchanged overnight.
There were two particularly memorable tests today though. Firstly Franck Bourney on Belmont on the Road, a new partnership this season, who have a good horse trials dressage record but will have to work hard over the next couple of days to keep the penalties low, particularly as this is their first international test together.
William Fox-Pitt was a pleasure to watch on the nine-year-old Birthday Night. He slipped in just 0.8 penalty points ahead of Pippa Funnell and Ensign to be snitch sixth place going into the cross-country phase tomorrow.
The cross-country course has been described as “strong” by some riders, and after a kind start, competitors will have to be on their toes, for the track demands technical accuracy and courage from both horse and rider.
A major focus tomorrow will be the team challenge, which is event organiser Mike Tucker’s brainchild, and which has transformed the Windsor International Horse Trials, putting them firmly back on the equestrian map. It brings, literally, the world’s best riders together in what looks set to be an interesting battle of the nations.
There will be several star horses on show, including Stunning (William Fox-Pitt), Topping, who is usually ridden by Polly Williamson but will be under the firm guidance of American David O’Connor this weekend, and the tantalising prospect of Primmore’s Pride, should the ground soften over night.
The competition starts with the dressage tomorrow afternoon, when riders will go head to head against one another. Points are awarded to each nation for the riders’ position in their draw, after which their actual dressage scores become meaningless. The Americas are drawn to go first, Britain second, Australasia third and the Rest of Europe fourth. .
The draw for the Team Challenge dressage is as follows:
Order: The Americas/ Great Britain/ Australasia/ Rest of Europe
Draw 1. David O’Connor/ Zara Phillips/ Andrew Hoy/ Bettina Hoy
Draw 2. Robert Lemieux/ Pippa Funnell/ Tim Price/ Vittoria Panizzon
Draw 3. William Coleman/ William Fox-Pitt/ Andrew Nicholson/ Heidi Antikatzidis
Draw 4. Cindy Rawson/ Sarah Cutteridge/ Matt Ryan/ Constantin van Rijckevorsel
The Savill Arena played host this afternoon to the U.A.E. Windsor Eventing Grand Prix. The event, a new concept at Windsor, sees riders and horses of world-class reputation fight it out in the combined Cross-country and showjumping event. It is an ultimate test of speed and accuracy.
A breathtakingly quick round by German veteran Eddy Stibbe on Dusky Moon clinched the £500 prize, second was Eleanor Van Gils on Arden Beverley Westwood and Nicholas Collins on Kurasso de L’Heribus took third. Meanwhile the Fredericks duo Lucinda and Clayton took fourth and fifth with Headley Britannia and Hunky Dory.
Final CCI** dressage results:
1. Drivetime (Terry Boon) 36.6
2. Wicked Time (Polly Williamson) 42.8
3. Peppershill Oscar (Patricia Polson) 43.6
4. James (Cressida Clague-Reading) 46.6
5. Belmont On The Road (Franck Bourny) 48.2
6. Birthday Night (William Fox-Pitt) 49.0
7. Ensign (Pippa Funnell) 49.8
8=. Flurry Knox V (Isabelle Taylor) 50.0
8=. Plantagenet of Rushall (Louisa Brassey) 50.0
10. Balfern Milly Molly Mandy (Gemma Tattersall) 50.2