Emilie Chandler keeps top spot in the CCI4*-L at the Land Rover Blair Castle Horse Trials after a fast cross-country round today (Saturday, 24 August).
Emilie and Maria Doel’s Gortfadda Diamond led after dressage by 1.5 penalties and extended their margin to 13.1 penalties after the only cross-country round with fewer than 10 time-penalties in this class. They added 3.2 to their 31.8 dressage score today.
“He was very good and kept his eyes on the line all the way round,” she said. “He never tired — he kept galloping all the way to the end and gave me a fantastic ride.”
Speaking about tomorrow’s showjumping, Emilie added: “He’s an out and out event horse — good at all three phases, but of course it depends how much today has taken out of him.”
Rosa Onslow has moved up from fourth after dressage to sit second overnight with Diamond Sundance, after finishing with 11.2 time-faults today.
Simon Grieve holds third in this class with Mr Fahrenheit III, who had 13.2 time-penalties across country.
A new face leads the CCI3*-L — Eleanor Hope rose from 13th after dressage with a clear round in the time today on Limestone Romeo. Eleanor turns 20 tomorrow.
“The course was big and long, but he was just point and shoot today — he’s a willing horse and always tries his best,” she said.
The only other fault-free rounds in the class came from Victoria Wilson (Dont You Know) and Ashley Harrison (Zebedee IX), who hold second and third. Dressage leader Astier Nicolas (Lumberton) dropped to 11th with a run-out at the corner out of the Malcolm Lochan.
Polly Stockton has moved up to first place in the CCI2*-L after a penalty-free round on Cressida Legge and Mafra Smithers’ Sir Alfred III.
The rider finished the day on the same score as second-placed Josephine Schnaufer of Germany with Ronaldo IV, but Polly has the upper hand because she crossed the line closer to the optimum time.
Hayden Hankey sits third in this class on Cartown Galaxy.
“I was four or five seconds up on the clock all the way, so could look after her down the hills,” he said.
The dressage leader, Emma Murray on Wainthropp, dropped out of the running in this class with a fall at the seal out of the first water combination, the Malcolm Lochan.
The three “long” classes all finish tomorrow with the showjumping phase.
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In the CCI4*-S class, Daisy Berkeley showjumped clear to retain her lead with Ballinteskin Cooper S, who is owned by Roxana Janet White and Mary Scott-Gall, as well as Daisy and her mother Caroline.
Behind her, Sam Ecroyd also went clear for second on Davinci III, while Astier Nicolas — who had been equal second with Sam after dressage — dropped to fourth with the second part of the double down on Babylon De Gamma. Wills Oakden has moved up from ninth after dressage to sit third, courtesy of his clear on Oughterard Cooley.
The competitors in this class conclude their competition with cross-country tomorrow.
More news from Blair onover the weekend, plus full report in next week’s magazine (dated 29 August).