H&H Festival of Eventing: ‘he could have gone round twice’ — 80cm leader holds on to the top spot

  • Clare Drury has held firmly on to the top spot of the Spillers 80cm class at the H&H Festival of Eventing after the cross-country today (26 May).

    Clare and Kingsleypark Panther produced a confident clear round to remain on her dressage of 23.5.

    Clare told H&H: “Cross-country is his favourite, he takes control. It’s a lovely course and it flowed really well, the going was perfect. Panther was just like ‘bring it on’ – he could have gone round twice.

    “He was quite strong to begin with but settled into a rhythm. I thought I might have been going a bit too fast so I had a check on my watch before the corner and as it happens I had to speed up a little bit at the end.”

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    Clare spent the morning fence-judging the 100cm and Ariat 90cm classes.

    “It was nice to see how the course was riding and it’s always good to give something back. It also gave me something else to focus on or I would have stewed on the cross-country all morning,” she said.

    Clare said she is nervous ahead of the showjumping tomorrow (27 May)

    “I have weekly showjumping lessons with Chris Addington but it’s not been easy. I have to say a big thank you to Maddie Burchell who helps me with my dressage. Panther will like the arena tomorrow, there’s a nice bit of space for him so I’ve got everything on my side – but we’ll see how it pans out,” she said.

    “I’m turning out Panther for the trot-up and will concentrate on that in the morning. I’m going to sew in his plaits, do his quarter markers and get him looking tip-top. I want to make sure he is gleaming and get his tacky ready.”

    The top three remains unchanged with Alex McNamara sitting in second place with Termon Captain on a dressage of 28.0, and Serena Allery in third with Pocket of Silver on a dressage of 28.5.

    Clare said the atmosphere at the event is “electric”.

    “If I can’t get all three bits brilliant then that’s the way it goes. I would love to win but as long as he comes back safe and sound. If I don’t win, someone else will and I’ll be pleased for them. Winning isn’t the be all and end all, it’s just a nice weekend,” she said.

    Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June

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