One horse withdrawn from Bicton five-star before today’s cross-country

  • One horse has joined the Chedington Bicton Horse Trials withdrawals list ahead of today’s five-star cross-country action.

    Irish rider Padraig McCarthy has pulled Leonidas II out of the competition because he hopes to compete at the European Eventing Championships in Avenches, Switzerland, later this month.

    “He’s shortlisted for the Europeans with a very strong chance of going,” Padraig told H&H. “The selection is on Monday so we thought we’d save him for that.”

    Leonidas – the 17-year-old former Mark Todd ride owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and his rider – was 11th after dressage on 28.5.

    “He definitely brightened up when he went in and saw some of the cross-country jumps in the arena – that’s really his thing – but I think it helped him a little bit, he showed off more,” said Padraig after his test.

    “His last change with maybe a little bit late, but on the whole I think I was really pleased with him.”

    Padraig will still ride the grey HHS Noble Call, a 10-year-old five-star first-timer owned by Pearl Chaffe and his rider. He holds 23rd place on 34.9 going into the cross-country and will start at 12.46pm today.

    Padraig said after his test on HHS Noble Call: “He has been very difficult in that phase – he’s a horse that has a lot of nervous energy.

    “But he’s very, very good cross-country and he’s a good jumper so we really made a plan with just having the two horses here to get him out of the stable as much as possible and keep everything really focused on this phase. I think he put his best foot forward. He’s still very green at this level, but I was very pleased with how he held it all together.”

    Today’s cross-country action at Bicton starts at 12.30pm, when David Doel will be first on course with Ferro Point.

    Dressage leaders Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On are the penultimate pair on course, starting at 3.34pm.

    Assuming no more horses join the Bicton Horse Trials withdrawals list, there will be 31 cross-country starters today.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...