One horse was spun and three others were held in a lengthy final CCI4*-L trot-up at Blenheim Horse Trials, with 76 horses going through to the showjumping.
A total of 77 horses were presented to the ground jury of Seppo Laine, Judy Hancock and Jane Tolley, and FEI veterinary delegate Liam Kearns, on a chilly autumnal morning in front of Blenheim Palace.
MGH Maybe A Mission, ridden by Tom Rowland owned by Robin Patrick, was sent to the holding box, but was not accepted on re-inspection. The 12-year-old Irish sport horse gelding was in 37th place overnight on a score of 40.2, following a dressage of 29 and a cross-country jumping clear with 11.2 time penalties.
In all, four horses were sent to the holding box – including MGH Maybe A Mission. John The Bull, ridden by Ireland’s Susie Berry and owned by Helen Caton, was the highest-placed of these. The 10-year-old Luidam son is in provisional fifth after cross-country on a score of 27.9.
Tom and Susie re-presented their horses one after another. The crowd’s disappointment for Tom turned to relief for Susie in what was an anxious few minutes for connections.
Happy Days, one of Izzy Taylor’s two rides in the CCI4*-L, and Ballycoog Guinness, ridden by Matthew Heath, were also sent to the holding box.
The nine-year-old British-bred gelding Happy Days, owned by Alex Colquhoun, Lavinia Taylor and Caroline Wilson, is in provisional 30th after cross-country. He was asked to trot twice on re-presentation, before the ground jury gave him the nod of approval.
Ballycoog Guinness, one of Matthew’s three CCI4*-L rides at Blenheim, is in 40th overnight. The 10-year-old Irish sport horse gelding was waved through on re-inspection.
Katherine Coleman’s ride Monbeg Senna, owned by Kalai LLC, was among those looking fresh on the final morning, squealing at the ground jury before springing down the run-way.
Yasmin Ingham’s overnight leader, Banzai Du Loir, owned by by Sue Davies and Janette Chin, passed without issue.
Piggy March, who sailed through with her two contenders (Brookfield Quality, provisional second and Sportsfield Top Notch provisional sixth), also trotted up Harry Meade’s ride Cavalier Crystal. Harry took a tumble from his other CCI4*-L ride, Red Kite, on the cross-country, so has just the one horse through to showjump today.
There were three overnight withdrawals ahead of the final horse inspection, meaning a final field of 76 combinations now go forward to the showjumping.
Forever Noble, ridden by Holly Needham, was not presented. The pair jumped clear across country in an emotional performance and held 39th position overnight.
The other two pre-final trot-up withdrawals are Wills Oakden with MacGregors Cooley (18th after cross-country) and Charlotte Jenkins’ ride Cuffesgrange ARS Royale (provisional 46th).
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