The German team scored a narrow win over Australia in the eventing Nations Cup CICO3* at Houghton Hall Horse Trials, Norfolk this weekend (26-29 May).

The team made up of Josepha Sommer (Hamilton 24), Peter Thomsen (Horseware’s Barny), Josephine Schnaufer (Sambucca 10) and Bettina Hoy (Seigneur Medicott) led the dressage on a team total of 127.5.

Australia was a close second after the first phase on a team total of 130.9, a squad made up of Sam Griffiths (Beaurepaire Nemo), Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen), Kevin McNab (Wonham What Next) and Tim Boland (GV Billy Elliot).

New Zealand was in third after the dressage but faults in the showjumping and time-faults on the cross-country put paid to their chances to finish in eventual fifth.

The British team, comprising Izzy Taylor (Call Me Maggie May), Laura Collett (Mr Bass), Coral Keen (Wellshead Fare Opposition) and Sarah Bullimore (Valentino V), finished the dressage in fourth place. Despite their best efforts in the showjumping where they carried forwards three clear rounds, a run-out for Izzy Taylor at the open corners at fence eight on the cross-country course, plus the 14.4 time-faults clocked up by Coral Keen, meant the team had to settle for eventual fourth on a total of 152.3.

In the end, Germany finished on a total of 137.1 and Australia, who were second, on a total of 143.5. France finished in third thanks to a couple of speedy double clears.

Chef d’equipe of the Germans, Chris Bartle, described the win as “a great team effort”.

The mixture of experienced riders Peter Thomsen on his seasoned campaigner Horseware’s Barny and Bettina Hoy, albeit on the relatively inexperienced Seigneur Medicott, with two less exposed riders, Josepha Sommer and Josephine Schnaufer seemed to be a winning one.

“Josepha and Josephine were both making their team debuts this week,” Chris said. “They have also both been based on my yard in Yorkshire recently so it’s nice to see them going well. We’re also very excited about what the future holds for Bettina’s horse.”

Chris was quick to praise event organiser and cross-country course-designer Alec Lochore’s cross-country track. “He produces excellent questions and the beautiful setting is why we come here each year. It also works very well with our preparations for the rest of the season.”

Wilson is a winner

Nicola Wilson put some recent bad form at Belton, Badminton and Chatsworth well and truly behind her when clinching individual first and third places in the CICO3* on One Two Many and Annie Clover respectively.

One Two Many finished on his impressive dressage score of 36.3 with a showjump in hand.

1.2 time-faults across country on Annie Clover meant that Nicola had to settle for third on the mare but the result was something Nicola described as “a huge relief” following her run of bad luck.

Second place went to French rider Matthieu Van Landeghem riding Trouble Fete Ene HN. This was the nine-year-old gelding’s first attempt at CIC3* level so his rider was understandably happy and excited about what the future might hold.

Andrew Hoy finished fourth on Rutherglen and Oliver Townend was fifth riding Dromgurrihy Blue.

Dressage leader Gemma Tattersall withdrew her ride Chico Bella P after an impressive test to score 32.7. Gemma said at the time of her withdrawal: “It was always my plan not to go cross-country here, because Bella is going to Bramham for our final trial. I’ve withdrawn before the showjumping because the ground is slightly firm for her, and there’s a small event down in South America this summer that we hope to go to!”

Sam Hobbs was taken to hospital and was being kept in for observation after a horse fall with Treblare at the first of the two Shadwell Estate Company rails. Treblare walked away.

Read the full report from Houghton in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 2 June