Clayton Fredericks (pictured) led from start to finish in the Dodson & Horrell British novice championships at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe this afternoon.
It was the Australian’s second win in the class — he also won on Tennyson in 2004 — and he paid tribute to his ride Bendigo III’s owners, long-term supporters Edwin and Peta McAuley.
“The success of the McAuley’s horses is a tribute to the way they conduct themselves as owners — they let me get on with what I feel is best for the horse,” said Clayton, who took the open championship at Gatcombe in 2006 on the McAuleys’ Nullarbor.
“I’m really pleased Bendigo won here today, as he was bought as a replacement for Nullarbor, who we sadly lost at Saumur last year,” he added.
Fellow Aussie Bill Levett was second on his own and his wife Jenny’s seven-year-old One Two Many NJ.
“I wasn’t going to run quickly, but the ground is very good and in the last two or three events he’s matured and tackled everything very confidently,” said Bill. “He’s always had potential, but I’ve had the handbrake on until now.”
Emma Castle scored a blow for the less-well known riders when she took third on Caroline Webb’s Castle Larchfield Purdy.
“It’s all due to the European CIC** Championships,” said the Warwickshire-based rider who finished 17th at the event Hungary last month. “The training was invaluable, as was the confidence it gave me.”
Daisy Dick won the first of the two advanced sections this morning, putting in the fastest cross-country round to take the section on her 16-year-old Spring Along, the recent winner of Barbury CIC***.
“He’s a legend and we’re rather enjoying ourselves at the moment,” she said. “The best thing is he feels so loose and jolly in himself.”
Listen to Daisy Dick’s interview
Kitty Boggis took the other advanced on her mother Jane and Joanna Jones’ Boondoggle. Kitty is in her second season with the New Zealand thoroughbred, who came from Tim Price.
“Show jumping is his Achilles’ heel — that’s why Tim sold him — and we have struggled with it, but he’s jumped three clears already this year and he only jumped two last year,” said Kitty. “He jumped beautifully today.”
British open and intermediate championship update
Mary King (Imperial Cavalier) and Lucinda Fredericks (Headley Britannia) currently jointly hold the lead in the British open championship, with Clayton Fredericks (Ben Along Time) third. There is still a final session of dressage to take place for this class tomorrow morning.
In the British intermediate championship, William Fox-Pitt holds first place after dressage on Neuf Des Coeurs, with his other ride Corofin Flyer second equal with Piggy French on Flying Machine.
BRITISH NOVICE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
1. Clayton Fredericks on Bendigo III (AUS) 25.1
2. Bill Levett on One Two Many NJ (AUS) 28
3. Emma Castle on Castle Larchfield Purdy (GB) 28.5
4. Oliver Townend on ODT Arctic Fox (GB) 28.8
5. Oliver Townend on ODT Sonas Rovatio (GB) 29.9
6. William Fox-Pitt on Oloa (GB) 29.9
Full results and times for Gatcombe at www.bdwp.co.uk/gat
Log back on tomorrow to find out what happens in the British open and intermediate championships and don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next week for a full report from Gatcombe, including Tina Cook’s column.