The showjumping phase of the CCI4*-S eight- and nine-year-old class at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials proved highly influential today (21 September). Sixteen competitors from 66 starters managed to jump clear within the time, which caused a shake-up of the leaderboard.
William Fox-Pitt and Australia’s Christopher Burton now jointly hold the lead on their 29.7 dressage scores.
William, who is riding Pep, Tara and Robert Glen’s eight-year-old Georgisaurous (pictured top) was understandably delighted with the gelding’s performance saying: “He’s quite cool and I really like him — he’s not normal as he has always been one step ahead. I’m not sure I want to gallop him round here tomorrow yet and I need to have another look at the going first — I think this class is better suited to nine-year-olds and there is a bigger picture in mind for him.”
Chris Burton finds himself holding the joint number one spot at his first ever competition with Dr Geoffrey Guy and Kate Guy’s nine-year-old Clever Louis (pictured below).
“He’s a lovely horse and a great jumper,” said Chris of the gelding by Cyrkon and out of a Cor De La Bryere mare. “I’m lucky to ride this horse and train in a place thanks to my great sponsors in the form of the Guys. It’s my first competition with him and there’s a lot to learn about him on the cross-country tomorrow.”
Twenty-two-year-old Yasmin Ingham has risen from seventh after the dressage into third after the showjumping thanks to a polished round with Rehy DJ. Owned by Sue Davies and Jeanette Chinn, the nine-year-old gelding goes into the final cross-country phase on his 30.1 dressage score.
Piggy French has dropped out of contention when lowering three poles on Calling Card, relinquishing first place to now sit in 38th position. Sam Griffiths, who was in second with Freestyler is now in 35th having incurred 9.6 penalties.
Find out how the cross-country has influenced the dressage result at Blenheim this morning
Just 4.1 penalties separate the top 10 with Tom McEwen in fourth on Dreamaway II (31), Francis Whittington in fifth with DHI Fiktor Nita (32.8), Ryuzo Kitajima from Japan in sixth with Feroza Nieuwmoed (32.8) and Izzy Taylor in seventh with Artful Trinity (33.5). The top 10 is completed by Ireland’s Aoife Clark and Celus D Ermac Z in eighth (33.5), Aaron Millar and Friendship VDL in ninth (33.6) and Tim Price and Senza Fene in 10th on 33.8.
The cross-country is due to commence at 10am tomorrow.
For the full report from the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials, don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound — out Thursday (26 September).