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Nations Cup win for Britain’s eventers

Good result for Britain as event team hold onto the lead at Boekelo CCI*** in Holland, while Bettina Hoy and Ringwood Cockatoo jump clear to stay on top in individual

Bettina Hoy led from pillar to post to claim the 32nd running of the military CCI*** at Boekelo in Holland, which saw a record 99 starters, including 18 British and a further 20 British-based combinations.

A smooth, accurate test by Kiwi Heelan Tompkins on the oldest horse in the competition, Lesley Shelley’s Glengarrick, 16, saw her take a slim overnight lead over Nicolas Touzaint (Galan De Sauvagere) on 32.81.

Other notable tests came from William Fox-Pitt (Springleaze Macaroo), and Private Colin, ridden by Australian Sam Griffiths.

A further five were to break the 40-mark barrier on the second day, with the evergreen Stunning, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, on a career best of 36.60, just behind the Punchestown winner Ballyleck Boy (Lucinda Fredericks) on 36.41. Ahead of all these came Bettina Hoy on Ringwood Cockatoo, finishing on 30.60.

In the Grolsch Nations Cup, France held a narrow lead over Germany, with Australia in third place and Britain fourth. Good tests from Diamond Hall Red (Leslie Law), Ryan V (Mary King) and team debutantes Chris King and Sir Lancelot VI, combined with Springleaze Macaroo, left them less than six points behind the leaders.

Cross-country day

Although concerns about the time on the revamped steeplechase proved to be justified, with penalties incurred by 45 starters, the cross-country rode well, with the first water combination proving influential.

Its most noteworthy victims included Springleaze Macaroo, who landed steeply into the water and fell, and Ballyleck Boy, who ran out. In all, 13 riders incurred penalties here, with 23 other problems on the course.

Four horses fell, one avoiding a nasty mishap when the frangible pins broke on fence 21.

In addition to Peter Thomsen, who fell on both his horses in the first water, a further five riders fell, including Joss Gray on John Atkins’s Doubting Thomas IV, whose mistake happened at the last fence.

Clear rounds inside the time by Leslie Law and Mary King, with Chris King 7sec over, saw the British take over the lead in the team competition.

Ringwood Cockatoo remained in the lead individually, with Glengarrick in second. The fall of Galan De Sauvagere at the seemingly innocuous oxer at fence 17 promoted Stunning into third, with new World Champion Jean Teulere, this time riding Famoso Mail HN, in fourth, and Andrew Nicholson and Sheffs Choice completing the top five.

The final test

Poles tumbled on the last day and Sacha Pemble on Dazzling Effects was the only rider outsidethe top 20 not to add to her overnight score.

As the top 10 riders set out, all manner of results were possible. In the end, William Fox-Pitt and Stunning had two fences down for fourth place, and Leslie Law, Andrew Nicholson, Sam Griffiths and Chris King each took one pole out.

Bettina and Ringwood Cockatoo jumped clear to stay on top, and Glengarrick, Famoso Mail HN and Ryan V were faultless to leave Heelan second, Jean Teulere improving to third and Mary King fifth.

Britain held on to win the Nations Cup, with New Zealand next and Germany third.

Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (24 October), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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