Aoife Clark is in the lead at the Fidelity Blenheim Horse Trials after an eventful day of CCI3* cross-country. 2nd after dressage on the 9-year-old chestnut mare Fenyas Elegance, Aoife added 4 time-penalties to her score of 40.
The Irish rider has just 1.5pen in hand over Jean Teulere and Matelot Du Grand Val. The 59-year-old Frenchman — world champion in 2002 — was the 2nd fastest of the day across country with 2.4 time-faults and rose from 4th after dressage to 2nd overnight.
America’s Clark Montgomery holds on to his 3rd place with Loughan Glen after collecting 2.8 time-faults. He and Jean Teulere both sit on a score of 45.5, but Jean was 1sec closer to the optimum time of 10min 10sec.
The highest placed British rider is Gemma Tattersall, 4th on Arctic Soul. The pair were also the only ones to come home inside the time allowed on the cross-country, rising from 22nd place after dressage.
The dressage leaders, Sarah Bullimore and Lilly Corinne, had an unfortunate run-out at 21b, the skinny triple brush out of the Ariat Dewpond.
And re-routing after an early retirement on the cross-country at Burghley last weekend worked out for Richard Jones and Highland Ford, who are 5h at this stage.
New Zealand husband-and-wife team Jonelle Richards and Tim Price take the next 2 places on Faerie Dianimo and Ringwood Sky Boy.
Brits fill the next 3 places in the top 10 — Lucie McNichol is 8th on Zeus Of Rushall, up from equal 30th after dressage, Rodney Powell is 9th on Happy Go Lucky and Nick Gauntlett is 10th with Grand Manoeuvre.
Eric Winter’s cross-country course caused multiple run-outs in a variety of places. The most influential combination was the double of narrow brush corners at 5ab (pictured right), which caught out the likes of Caroline Powell, Charlotte Agnew, Oliver Townend and Julie Tew, among others. Just 32 of the 83 competitors jumped clear.
Willliam Fox-Pitt had a day to forget. He fell towards the end of the course on Before Time and retired Running Order after 2 stops going into the water at fence 12. And, despite showjumping clear on Freddie Mac in the CIC3*, he was eliminated by the ground jury for falling foul of the FEI rule governing what sort of hind boots young horses may wear — as was Sam Griffiths (Favourit Z).
But William is still in the lead in the CIC3* on his other ride, Fernhill Pimms, who also showjumped clear and stayed on his dressage mark of 33.1pen. He overtook dressage leader Christopher Burton, who had one down on Graf Liberty and goes into Sunday’s cross-country in 2nd position.
Emma Dougall is in 3rd in the CIC3* on Belcam Bear, while Flora Harris has risen to 4th with Amazing VIII, one place ahead of Mark Todd and Leonidas II.
Blenheim Horse Trials results after cross-country: CCI3*
1. Fenyas Elegance (Aoife Clark, IRE) 44
2. Matelot Du Grand Val (Jean Teulere, FRA) 45.5
3. Loughan Glen (Clark Montgomery, USA) 45.5
4. Arctic Soul (Gemma Tattersall, GBR) 48.5
5. Highland Ford (Richard Jones, GBR) 49.8
6. Faerie Dianimo (Jonelle Richards, NZL) 54.6
7. Ringwood Sky Boy (Tim Price, NZL) 55.2
8. Zeus Of Rushall (Lucie McNichol, GBR) 57.6
9. Happy Go Lucky (Rodney Powell, GBR) 57.7
10. Grand Manoeuvre (Nick Gauntlett, GBR) 57.8
Blenheim Horse Trials results after cross-country: 8/9 year old CIC3*
1. Fernhill Pimms (William Fox-Pitt, GBR) 33.1
2. Graf Liberty (Christopher Burton, AUS) 36.9
3. Belcam Bear (Emma Dougall, AUS) 39.4
4. Amazing VIII (Flora Harris, GBR) 39.8
5. Leonidas II (Mark Todd, NZL) 42
6. Improvise (Bill Levett, AUS) 42.5
7. Zaron (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 43.8
8. Billy Bounce (Chris King, GBR) 44.6
9. Fernhill Quality Street (Kevin McNab, AUS) 45.6
10. Indian Mill (Paul Tapner, AUS) 45.7