Two riders seriously impress in Bramham’s CCI4*-L to rocket up the final leaderboard

  • Two riders who finished in the top 10 in the Bramham Horse Trials results in the CCI4*-L class enjoyed flying their way up the leaderboard after the showjumping phase this afternoon (12 June).

    Ireland’s Susie Berry was in 10th after her cross-country round yesterday aboard Helen Caton’s 13-year-old Ringwood LB (‘Albie’), but they eventually finished fifth, despite adding four faults in the showjumping. Susie also finished 16th on Helen Caton’s 10-year-old, Monbeg By Design (‘Arthur’), having started off in 26th after the dressage and 23rd after the cross-country.

    “I’m so pleased with both of them – and with Arthur as much as Albie as he has no experience and he was such a little pro today,” Susie said after her two rounds of showjumping. “Alby was class – it was a shame he had a fence down but God, he jumped really well and didn’t feel tired. Warming up he is quite uninspiring and just sort of flops over fences, but he goes in there and comes to life.”

    Coming into Bramham, 26-year-old Susie said that she didn’t have many expectations of Arthur.

    “He’s been quite sparse on runs over the past couple of years due to Covid, then my arm broke while I was hand grazing a horse, plus he’s had a few different niggles. Then this year I’ve just tried to be brave at keeping him fresh for the big events – he’s only done three events and then come here, with his last run being in the CCI4*-S at Burnham Market in April.”

    Susie did however have high hopes for Albie’s week of competition at Bramham.

    “I hoped he would come here and pull out a result because he’s always knocking on the door,” explained Susie. “He gives me such a good feel and I quite often get two out of the three phases really good and then miss out because something happens cross-country or I do a sh*t change in the dressage, so it’s really nice it all came together and he finished fresh and like he hadn’t done anything.”

    Susie, who originally hails from County Down in Northern Ireland, moved to England to pursue her eventing career and was based with Piggy March for several years. She set up her own yard in Northamptonshire in November 2019 and now has 19 horses in her care. But last spring she picked up an injury when a horse she was hand-grazing kicked and broke her arm.

    “When I broke my arm both Albie’s and Arthur’s form sort of fell apart – my other horses didn’t care, but these two did,” said Susie. “Other people were riding them at home for me which I don’t think these two liked and then when I was ready to get back riding, I wanted to crack on straight away and they just weren’t themselves. Thankfully this year everything has been great.”

    Plan-wise Susie is now spoilt for choice heading into the second half of the season.

    “I haven’t really thought about a solid plan. They both performed so convincingly this week and I wasn’t sure before whether they would have gone so well, but I think they’ll possibly both do a five-star at the end of the year,” she explains. “I think Albie will go to Burghley and Arthur to Pau, but equally I now have three horses [including John The Bull who Susie was 17th with at Badminton this year] who are hopefully in contention to be selected for the World Championships in September.”

    Kristina Hall-Jackson was another competitor to enjoy rising up the Bramham Horse Trials results leaderboard. She was 42nd after the dressage on her own and the KHJ Syndicate’s CMS Google on 35.9, but then put in a great round of cross-country, picking up just 2.8 time-faults. She then followed this up by adding just 0.8 of a time-fault in the showjumping to ultimately finish in sixth place.

    “She finds dressage difficult, but we’re getting there with it, training very hard and she’s really improving,” said 25-year-old Kristina after the Bramham Horse Trials results. “She tries all the time but she’s not built to do dressage – she’s an out and out jumper and yesterday on the cross-country she gave me an amazing ride. She runs in her own style with her head on the floor like a truffle snuffler, but she is actually quite quick. I just have to be careful with the balance.”

    Kristina, who is and has always been based at her family home near Huddersfield, roughly 30 minutes from Bramham, and where she currently has nine horses in her care, bought ‘Google’ when she was four, some eight years ago from Vere Phillipps.

    “She had just come over from Ireland where she’d basically done nothing,” said Kristina. “At the start she was a bit quirky in that she was just a bit of a madam – she likes it to be her own way and to come off to these events on her own and have me all to herself. She absolutely loves people and attention and is the kindest mare.”

    Kristina had no doubt that this is her career highlight to-date.

    “For sure this is my best result – Google once won Ballindenisk one-star [now CCI2*-S], but that’s a bit different to this!”

    There is a certain event that Kristina has planned for her and Google to have a crack at later this season.

    “The plan now is to go to Burghley for both of our first five-star attempts. I think she will be the perfect horse to do it on because we trust each other so much and have such a good partnership. She was meant to go to Badminton this spring but she knocked herself out hacking, but looking back on it all now that we have this result, maybe it was all meant to be.”

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