Britain claimed Nations Cup glory at Compiègne CDIO5*, France, this weekend, beating a strong Swedish team by just three points.
The British team of Gareth Hughes, Carl Hester, Richard Davison and senior team debutante Lottie Fry led overnight after the grand prix, in which Carl and Hawtins Delicato finished second to Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Well Done De La Roche CMF, with Gareth and Classic Briolinca in fifth and Richard in seventh on Bubblingh.
The following day, with Sweden on their heels, Britain had all to fight for, and a fantastic plus-77% personal best from Gareth and the Trento B mare Briolinca in the grand prix special helped clinch victory.
“In the special she gave me a gorgeous ride — at the end I felt as though I could have turned around and done it all again,” Gareth told H&H. “She feels really solid in all the lines now.”
Carl and his World Equestrian Games ride Del finished third in the special — the horse’s third ever — just 0.32% behind Patrik Kittel.
“Del still gets nervous in the ring, and there is quite a decent atmosphere in Compiègne,” Carl said of the 11-year-old Diamond Hit son. “It’s just silly things really, but the talent is there.”
Richard and Lottie both put in solid performances for the team in the grand prix freestyle, with Richard finishing on plus-75% for sixth and Lottie in eighth on Dark Legend, her reigning under-25 European champion.
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In addition to receiving her senior flag for her first team appearance, Lottie enjoyed a successful weekend with two exciting Lord Leatherdale sons.
The eight-year-old Glamourdale scored plus-77% to win both the prix st georges and inter I, while 10-year-old Everdale — making his international debut at senior grand prix — triumphed in the three-star freestyle with over 76%.
Don’t miss the 23 May issue of Horse & Hound for the full report from Compiègne.