Polly Williamson jumped a neat clear to hold on to first place in the CCI** at Windsor. Polly was second with Wicked Time after the dressage, but a fall in the cross-country and subsequent withdrawal from the competition for Terry Boon and Drivetime put her in the prime spot.
This is the combination’s best result, and while the world at large may expect a great future of what is clearly a classy horse, Polly’s approach is more laid back:
“I am very relaxed about my future,” she says. “I don’t make any plans for horses any more, I just enjoy them, although this horse does give me a very special feel.”
Mistakes by second-placed Frenchman Franck Bourney, who had two fences down on Belmont on the Road and William Fox-Pitt, who knocked just one pole to the floor on Birthday Night, meant that youngster Isabelle Taylor, who rode nine-year-old Flurry Knox in a beautiful clear round, moved into second place.
Isabelle’s success is particularly special as less than a year ago she fractured two vertebrae in a fall from Flurry Knox, putting a question mark over her eventing career. The accident happened in July last year at Lummen, but by March, she was already competing again. All praise to the hunting field, she says:
“I started hunting with the Bicester again in December, which rebuilt my confidence, and the horse’s, enormously.”
William Fox-Pitt stayed on for third, to continue his excellent form. HE had a successful time with Stunning earlier today in the new Team Challenge event, although their virtually penalty-free performances were not enough to clinch victory for the Great Britain team.
A particular star of the show was without question Oliver Townend, who finished in 11th place on Polvier’s Harold Spirit, a horse which he had never even laid eyes on before Tuesday. The horse’s usual rider, Nat Dixon was unable to take the ride at the last minute, and Oliver stepped in.
Windsor has put itself firmly back in the eventing picture this weekend. The only shadow over the weekend, says course designer Jonathan Warr was the fence-controversy yesterday.
“It is of course disappointing about the second water causing all those falls,” he says. “It takes the edge off what was pretty much a near perfect day.
“It has been really good fun here. Everyone’s got on really well and it’s been a really good process,” he added.
Final Results CCI**
1. Wicked Time (Polly Williamson) 42.8
2. Flurry Knox V (Isabelle Taylor) 50.0
3. Birthday Night (William Fox-Pitt) 53.0
4. First Flight II (Kristina Cook) 54.8
5. Arctic Fox Too (Leslie Law) 55.8
6. Belmont on the Road (Franck Bourny FRA) 56.2
7. Tully Lane (Tamsyn Hutchins) 57.8
8. Hope Street (Joanna Holmes) 58.8
9. Ideal Image (Kitty Boggis) 59.0
10. Deard’s Rebel Yell (Anna Goodson) 59.0