“It’s very exciting to win here – he’s fast and we hoped to be competitive,” said Christopher.
TS Jamaimo, a 16-year-old thoroughbred on whom Christopher won the Adelaide CCI4* in 2013, was ninth after dressage with 36.9, and stayed in that position after one show jump down. But the second-fastest cross-country time of the day for just 2.8 time-faults propelled them up the leaderboard.
New Zealand’s Jonelle Price finished second on Trish Rickards’ Classic Moet, 4.5pen behind Christopher and TS Jamaimo, while Nicola Wilson is the new British national champion after taking third place with Ann and Valerie Robson’s Beltane Queen.
“I’m pinching myself,” said Nicola. “I’m so proud of her – she gets better and better.”
Oliver Townend, third after dressage with Armada with a mark of 33.5, hit four showjumps. But he was the only rider to go inside the time across country, which meant that, despite dropping to 23rd after showjumping, the pair ended up in fourth place.
Louise Harwood and Whitson, third in this class last year, were fifth this time, up from 16th after dressage. Georgie Strang and Cooley Business Time took sixth place.
Dressage leaders Andrew Hoy and Rutherglen had three showjumps down, and later fell on the cross-country.
Andrew Nicholson and Cilnabradden Evo, fourth after showjumping, fell at the final cross-country fence and Andrew then withdrew Perfect Stranger, who had been in third position. Andrew was taken to hospital for precautionary check-ups.
William Fox-Pitt had run-outs across country on both fifth-placed Luxury FH and Fernhill Pimms, sixth after showjumping.
Oliver Townend and Mr Hiho had shared the lead after showjumping with Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, but withdrew before cross-country.
♦ Noah Brook led from start to finish in the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup, a new restricted novice championship for amateur riders. Riding Paul Crompton’s Deo Volente III, the 19-year-old won by a margin of 10 marks and finished on his dressage score of 22.5.
Second was Sara Chittleburgh (Sari De Lobelle) and third was Cathrine Taylor (Lorelei).
Don’t miss the full report on all the action from the Festival of British Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 13 August