Daisy Berkeley and Spring Along, one of the most popular combinations in the sport of eventing, won the British Eventing Open Championship at Gatcombe today and became national champions.
Daisy and the 17-year-old Spring Along whizzed round Gatcombe’s hilly cross-country, adding just 0.8 of a time-fault to their dressage score of 32.7 to rise from eighth to first.
“This is a lovely title to hold,” said Daisy. “It’s nice to have him on a roll of honour; he’s given me so much.”
Daisy also announced that her first baby is due early next year, and therefore this would be Spring Along’s last event of the season.
Listen to Daisy Berkeley’s interview
Joe Meyer finished second on Sanskrit, going inside the time across country and finishing on his dressage score of 36. Gemma Tattersall was third on King’s Gem – she added just 0.4pen to her 38.4 dressage mark. Fourth were Mary King and Apache Sauce, and fifth were Caroline Powell and Lenamore, who also went inside the time on the cross-country.
Oliver Townend led after dressage and showjumping on Ashdale Cruise Master, but didn’t run across country, and neither did second-placed Paul Tapner and Inonothing, who head to Hartpury next weekend.
Smith & Williamson Intermediate Championship
Ruth Edge won the Smith & Williamson Intermediate Championship on Applejack II. It was Ruth’s fifth Gatcombe title. She led after dressage on the Belgian-bred son of Calvados, but dropped a place with one pole down in the showjumping. Bill Levett decided not to run One Two Many NJ across country however, and Ruth’s 3.2 time-faults were enough to push her back into the lead.
“His dressage test [26.9] was probably the best he’s done, and I thought having a pole down in the showjumping would cost me, but in the end it didn’t,” said Ruth. “He was fantastic across country — he’s getting faster and really starting to take me.”
Second, on a score of 34.6, was Paul Sims on Power Of Dreams. Paul has only recently started riding again after suffering a blood clot in his chest in February.
“I have to thank my whole team for keeping things going,” he said.
Caroline Powell and Thornfield Jones were third on 36, just ahead of Oliver Townend and ODT Sonas Roviato.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action from the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 12 August