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Finnish rider triumphs at Luhmuhlen CCI***

Pia Pantsu, who has long flown the flag for Finland with brilliant style, added nothing to her initial dressage score on Karuso at northern Germany’s three-day event in Luhmuhlen to snatch the lead from national heroine Ingrid Klimke.

The two riders had been separated by only 0.2 of a dressage penalty, but Ingrid slipped below Pia when she added just 0.8 of a cross-country time penalty to her score. Pia went on to show jump clear while Ingrid and Robinson’s Concord eased the pressure by having one rail down. Ingrid, however, remains German national champion for the third consecutive year.

Luhmuhlen was a good event for the Scandinavians, as Swedes Sofia Andler and Tobias Groenberg filled third and fourth places – confusingly, both riding horses called Amaretto. Last year’s winner, Edith Beine on Pa’s Hope was fifth, ahead of leading Dutch rider Alice Naber-Lozeman on Clark Kent.

Darrell Scaife was best of the British contingent, finishing seventh on Sue Benson’s Chase The Melody, who just added a show jump and one time penalty to his dressage score. Darrell is currently shortlisted for the European Championships on Midnight Dazzler.

Blyth Tait pulled several placesup the order with a fast cross-country and clear show jumping round to finish eighth on Eze (he was also 16th on new ride Rongotai), while two German Bettinas (Horich and Overesch) completed the top 10, riding Dusty Ches and Unsung Hero respectively.

Pippa Funnell slipped to 11th on Anne Burnet’s Jurassic Rising with six cross-country time penalties and a rail down, while Sarah Cutteridge rose significantly up the order to 12th on Vin Jones’s mare Erbium, having added just two show jumping time penalties. Ian Wills also went fast and clear across country, adding just a show jump down, to finish 14th on Robert Lumb’s stallion Pembridge Minstrel.

Apart from Gary Parsonage (Full Throttle) and Christie Lomas (Carbon Copy), who had mishaps, allthe British riders went clear and fast across country: Young Rider Clare Chamberlayne (Headly Kingdom, 24th), Richard Waygood (Master Fred, 25th), Polly Stockton on Eye Spy, who dropped back to 28th with three show jumps down and Vicky Brake (Charlton Connor), who then had a disastrous show jumping round, somehow clocking up 59 penalties!

The CIC** was a washout – literally – after a massive rain storm on Saturday night in which the fire brigade had to be called to pump out the stables. Bettina Overesch was in the lead at that stage, after dressage and show jumping, on Woodsides Ashby.

Click here to read the results.

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