JL Dublin on sensational form to win CCI4*-S at Hartpury horse trials

  • JL DUBLIN continued his sensational run of form when topping the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S under Nicola Wilson at NAF Five Star Hartpury. The 10-year-old added four faults in the showjumping and 1.2 cross-country time-faults to his leading dressage of 23.9, clinching victory by just 0.2 of a penalty.

    “He really showed off in the dressage and the fence down was unlucky,” Nicola explained. “I thought the cross-country was cleverly designed with some difficult combinations, but Dublin felt as if he’d already looked at the course plan.”

    JL Dublin, who is owned by James Lambert OBE, Jo Lambert and Deirdre Johnston, recorded the equal second fastest cross-country time of the day, but Nicola said that he isn’t naturally quick.

    “He isn’t very thoroughbred, but he is a powerful horse and he’s got a good engine,” explained Nicola. “But we get them as fit as we can and this horse is improving all of the time.”

    Kitty King was second with Vendredi Biats, another proving super-consistent at this level.

    “I’m delighted with how he went – we didn’t come here to win, but to have a solid run before his autumn campaign,” explained Kitty. “It was never my plan to chase the optimum time, so it’s a nice result and I felt like he did a great job.”

    Kitty and the grey, owned by Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker, added 4.4 cross-country time-faults to a 24.9 dressage – however, there was one pair who managed to conquer Hartpury’s notoriously elusive optimum time, with Gemma Tattersall and Chilli Knight coming home four seconds inside the 7min target, which helped cement third for them.

    “He is a freak across-country – an incredibly fast horse but also very rideable, amazing at measuring his fences and moving up and down through the gears,” Gemma explained of the 11-year-old son of Chilli Morning, owned by Christopher Stone. “‘Alfie’ is a real ‘yes man’ and always wants to go in between the flags.”

    Gemma and Alfie were another to have an unlucky four faults in the showjumping, which was added to their personal best 27.2 dressage.

    “We were gutted just to have a stupid fence down, which in the end cost us dearly,” Gemma admitted. “He really deserved the dressage mark as he tries so hard, despite not being a big mover.”

    All the top three horses are on the British long-list for the European Eventing Championships.

    • More reports on the action from NAF Five Star Hartpury to follow on HorseandHound.co.uk and in H&H magazine, on sale Thursday 19 August, 2021

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