France’s Tom Carlile repeated his Event Rider Masters win from last year at the St James’s Place Barbury Horse Trials this weekend (7-8 July), rebuilding the confidence of the grey stallion Upsilon.
The pair have had some issues with run-outs across country, starting at last year’s Europeans and the problem reappeared at Arville two weeks ago. But a new training plan with French team trainer Thierry Touzaint has put them back on track.
Tom said he knew the horse was “in” when he had no issues at fence five, the SAP Brush with Technology — a big brush followed by a steep downhill on a left-hand curve to a triple brush arrowhead.
“The fact he snapped out of my fingers through the flags showed me it was game on,” he said.
Tom was equal first after dressage, showjumped clear and then had the second-fastest round across country for 1.2 time-faults. Joint dressage leader Liz Halliday-Sharp, of the USA, finished fifth after one rolled pole in the showjumping and a steadier cross-country round.
Gemma Tattersall was the best Brit in second on Clive Smith’s Pamero 4, adding just 1.6 time-faults to her second-placed dressage score.
“He was mega — I’m so so happy with him,” she said. “I had the most awesome ride.”
Chris Burton was third for Australia on Trisha Rickards’ Polystar I, who was following up on an ERM win in Arville. They were the only pair to make the time across country.
Nicola Wilson won the other CIC3* section on James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana. She was another putting a difficult spring behind her as the European individual bronze medallist has reverted to being strong across country at some events this year.
“I’m relieved and hope we can continue down that road,” she said.
This section boasted a British one-two-three as 19-year-old Richard Coney scored his most high-profile senior result with second on Kananaskis and Gemma Tattersall took third on Chris Stone’s eight-year-old Chilli Knight.
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The three CIC2* sections, which concluded yesterday, were won by Adam Harvey (Picasso V), Hannah Bate (Fanta Boy) and Chris Burton (Bahira M).
Full report from Barbury in H&H this week (issue dated 12 July), including more on how Tom and Nicola have turned their form around.