The Chatsworth Ssangyong International Horse Trials spoke German this year, after Bettina Hoy, Ingrid Klimke and Frank Ostholt performed a one-two-three which left the home riders well behind.
With fantastic weather, Mike Etherington-Smith’s excellent cross-country course and the striking new sculpture fence sitting proudly atop a hill, Chatsworth looked like a recipe for eventing bliss. But British hopes were soon to be quashed under an irresistible German wave.
Hoy, who rode her trusted Ringwood Cockatoo, excelled in the dressage as usual and managed to cling to the top spot throughout. She attacked the cross-country course with gusto, finishing in second place. This left her enough leeway not to worry about knocking a fence in the show jumping arena.
William Fox-Pitt, riding Moon Man, had initially looked well poised to challenge Hoy for first place. He had finished fourth in the dressage behind Hoy, Klimke and Matt Ryan. A powerfully-paced cross-country round brought him in to second place, just 1.2 points behind Hoy. But Moon Man slipped in the show jumping, knocking two fences, and this was their undoing. The pair slid back from second to fourth place, making the podium an all-German affair.
Klimke and Sleep Late were competing at only their second ever event in Britain, but they did not let that affect them. The German combination had done well in the dressage, ending in second place. Like Hoy and Fox-Pitt, their dressage score was to prove influential in the end. They slipped down one place to third after the cross-country and had one fence down in the show jumping arena, but it was good enough to secure them second spot.
Ostholt was a bit more of a surprise. He rode Air Jordan to sixth place in the dressage and went up to fifth after cross-country. But a superb clear in the show jumping arena allowed him to leapfrog both Fox-Pitt and Australia’s Matt Ryan — who had been lying in fifth place with Bonza Katoomba after the cross-country phase — to land third place.
Badminton victor Pippa Funnell didn’t have the greatest of days and ended in ninth place with Cornerman, second-best of the British after Fox-Pitt.
Chatsworth was Hoy’s second victory in a World Cup qualifier, after she won Fontainebleau in March and finished second at Burnham Market in April. She was thrilled at negotiating the challenging cross-country course so successfully, and very pleased with the German sweep.
“It was a bit of a German weight force,” admitted Chatsworth’s spokeswoman Kate Green after the event.
Chatsworth Ssangyong International Horse Trials results
1. RINGWOOD COCKATOO (Bettina Hoy) GER 55.1;
2. SLEEP LATE (Ingrid Klimke) GER 58.6;
3. AIR JORAN (Frank Ostholt) GER 58.7;
4. MOON MAN (William Fox-Pitt) 60.3;
5. BONZA KATOOMBA (Matt Ryan) AUS 65.6;
6. KOYUNA SUN-GLO (Lucinda Fredericks) AUS 70.6;
7. BEN ALONG TIME (Clayton Fredericks) AUS 72.3;
8. FIFTH AVENUE FAME (Yoshiaki Oiwa) JPN 73.4;
9. CORNERMAN (Pippa Funnell) 73.7;
10. HEADLEY BRITANNIA (Lucinda Fredericks) AUS 73.7.