William Fox-Pitt added yet another Gatcombe title to his impressive collection when he won the Martin Collins British Novice Championships this afternoon at the Festival of British Eventing, presented by BETA.
His mount was Top Biats, a seven-year-old owned by Judith and Jeremy Skinner and David and Margie Hall. The pair led the dressage on 23.3 and added just six time-penalties across country.
“I knew I had a cushion and didn’t need to push him for the time,” said William.
Dutch rider Andrew Heffernan took second on Wendy Penny’s Lawless Lil.
“I’m not surprised to be in top three, but I certainly didn’t come here expecting it as she has only just qualified and has only done one intermediate,” said Andrew.
Sharon Hunt claimed third with Loughnatousa Fabio, owned by her parents Janice and Terry, as well as David and Sue Howard.
“He’s really competitive — he moves, jumps and is scopey. I can’t fault the horse,” said Sharon.
Aoife Clark took the Equex China advanced section on PJ Hegarty’s Fenyas Elegance. The 10-year-old chestnut mare won last year’s Blenheim and this year’s Bramham CCI3*s and heads to the World Equestrian Games (WEG) with the Irish team.
“She was eighth here last year in the British Open, so I know it suits her, which is why I came as a prep run,” said Aoife. “And the timing is good — it’s close enough to WEG to keep their minds on the job but there is time for them to recover as the hills can be quite taxing.”
Australia’s Sam Griffiths leads the British Intermediate Championships after dressage on Favorit Z. Francis Whittington holds top spot in the Open with Easy Target. These classes conclude tomorrow with the showjumping and cross-country phases.
Log back on tomorrow for a report on the British Open and Intermediate Championships and buy H&H on Thursday (7 August) for a full report.
Picture by Stephen Sparkes