The nine-year-old Cooley Snapchat, ridden by Selina Milnes, marked himself as a star of the future when he topped the Bramham Horse Trials results in the Defender CCI4*-S today (10 June).
“It’s really nice to win here because this is such a big event and they make such an effort and Ian Stark’s courses are amazing to ride,” said Selina. “I came here thinking he could win and he did.”
Selina piloted William and Angela Rucker’s son of Kannan round to finish just three seconds over the 6min 42sec optimum time, having earlier showjumped clear. This meant they moved up from eighth after dressage to fifth following showjumping and then into the top spot.
“I actually thought he may have gone into the main ring and gone a little green with the crowds – he hasn’t done a lot to be honest – but he was jumped really, really well. Cross-country he was just on it and he’s so easy to ride. He’s straight, he’s not strong, and he just keeps coming,” said Selina.
Despite saying yesterday that this weekend was all about educating Flow 7, Mollie Summerland put in one of only two rounds inside the time with her own, Paula Cloke and Mark Johns’ nine-year-old, elevating herself into second place from outside the top 10 coming into the final phase.
Mollie said: “He just continues to exceed expectations. I bought him unseen off the internet, never tried him, and he didn’t start eventing until he was seven. He’s just blows us away with his ability. He was totally fearless and I didn’t even feel like I was going fast. He just eats up the ground and he’s such an exciting horse for the future.”
Zara Tindall had four time-faults on the experienced five-star horse Class Affair to finish third in the Bramham Horse Trials results for this class. She explained she has to adjust her natural style to get the best from Gleadhill House Stud’s 14-year-old, riding him differently to her former stars Toytown and High Kingdom.
Zara said: “My other two good horses would look for the flags. Class Affair has all the ability but he’s probably not the most genuine, whereas the other two would move themselves out the way to get around the flags.
“He’s just tricky in his brain and with my competitive head on, I think, ‘I’m going straight here’ whereas I need wind my neck in and ride him differently and maybe not be as gung ho and competitive. I have to try and start out a little bit slower – it’s not really me but I have to do it because otherwise we end up running out.
“When you jump big fences on him he feels amazing and I’ve been guilty of getting overexcited while going around and then not paying attention. When he’s 19 it might all come together at the same time!”
Will Rawlin and Ballycoog Breaker Boy recorded the other clear inside the time for fourth.
Influential fence impacts Bramham Horse Trials results
The top two after showjumping both faulted at the most influential fence in this section. This was the triple brush arrowhead on a bounce distance from a step-ditch at fence 7abc, The Bramham Round House. Many horses ended up underpowered up the step and were too far off the arrowhead or seemed not to sight it. The play of light and shade on the fences was potentially also a factor in the faults here.
Winner Selina said of her ride here on Cooley Snapchat: “I was obviously worried about fence seven. That was a real question for a young horse and he’s never ever seen anything like that in his life. I thought he’s either going to do it or not, and he jumped up and just read it really well.”
Tom McEwen and MHS Brown Jack, dressage leaders and second after a single showjump down in the Bramham Horse Trials results for this section, had 20 penalties at fence 7b but went on to complete, while the leader going into cross-country, Australia’s Bill Levett, retired Sligo Candy Cane after he half fell onto the alternative arrowhead at fence seven following his problem on the direct route.
Ros Canter and MHS Seventeen – third after dressage and 11th after showjumping – also had the first of two problems at fence seven.
Stephen Heal and Quidam De Lux were fifth after dressage and moved up to third with a showjumping clear. But they ran into problems early on the cross-country with a run-out at the second element of the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Cones – a similar problem as befell four-star long dressage leaders Ros Canter and Izilot DHI – and then incurred a further 20 penalties at 7b.
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