Which rider is going to work for Pfizer? Who celebrated by watching Love Island? Six things you might not know about last week’s Bramham

  • From the story of Xanthe Goldsack to a few breeding gems (yes, pun intentional), we bring you six things you didn’t know about last week’s competition at Bramham Horse Trials.

    1. Bramham Horse Trials competitor Xanthe Goldsack, who finished 11th in the British Horse Feeds under-25 CCI4*-L, did her final exam at Newcastle University at 9.30am on Thursday and then jumped in the car and drove straight to Bramham to ride Hi Tech in the competiton.

    “My mum Alex and my groom David Lannon have been looking after him and David trotted him up for me so that I could focus on my revision,” she said after her dressage test.

    “The past four weeks have been really stressful doing my exams and I knew that this would be a big week having two final exams and then obviously coming straight down here and doing probably the biggest track we’ll have ever jumped. But he’s good horse and I’ve had him for eight years now, so we know each other inside out.”

    Alex was studying biomedical genetics and starts a full-time role with Pfizer in four weeks’ time. She will be working as a brand manager for rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz.

    2. How did Alex Holman celebrate leading the dressage in the under-25 class?

    “We ended up sitting watching Love Island and having a couple of drinks, although I don’t normally watch it,” said Alex, who finished fifth with Carrick Diamond Bard.

    3. Plum Rowland’s Askari, who finished 18th in the CCI4*-L with Matthew Heath, was produced to three-star level by British eventing performance manager Dickie Waygood.

    “When Dickie got too busy to carry on competing at that level, he very kindly handed him over,” said Matthew, who has been riding the horse for three years.

    4. Sarah Charnley, Ros Canter’s groom, averted a sticky situation from escalating when Izilot DHI, who can be a little head shy, ran backwards in the collecting ring as he was having his ear covers removed for routine inspection by the steward after his leading dressage test. Sarah did a good job to keep hold of “Isaac” – and he went on to win the Land Rover CCI4*-S.

    5. A full brother and sister competed in the CCI4*-S class. Chilli Knight (the Bicton five-star winner ridden by Gemma Tattersall) and Chillis Gem (ridden by Sarah Gairdner) were both bred by Chris Stone and are by the Badminton winning-stallion Chilli Morning and out of Kings Gem, who was Gemma’s ride when she won the under-25 national title at Bramham in 2010.

    5. Bellagio Declyange, who finished fourth in the under-25 class with Phoebe Locke, was previously ridden by France’s Karine Larrazet, whose daughter Julie Simonet was also riding in this class.

    “It’s a nice story for them being here as well because they haven’t seen him since we bought him four years ago,” said Phoebe.

    Karine produced the chestnut up to CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) level and Julie finished sixth in a CCI* (now CCI2*-L) on him, too.

    6. Kirsty Chabert’s ride Opposition Loire, who was third in the CCI4*-L, is a home-bred, by Kirsty’s father John Johnston’s Opposition Heracles, who they bred by their foundation stallion Fleetwater Opposition. Opposition Heracles evented at advanced level and his riders during his career included Kirsty and CCI4*-L winner Izzy Taylor. Opposition Loire’s stable name is Daisy – hence why her ownership syndicate is called The Daisy Chain.

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