‘Zero to hero in less than a second’: strong British contingent impress in first phase at Luhmühlen

  • British riders are in strong positions ahead of the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials cross-country after impressing in the first phase.

    Overnight leaders Bubby Upton and Cannavaro, owned by Rachel Upton, head the overall dressage results at Luhmühlen Horse Trials, with a strong continent of Brits within touching distance of the top spots.

    Oliver Townend and the Jumbo son Dreamliner, owned by Angela and Mark Chamberlayne, is in provisional sixth on 29.6.

    “The canter was good, the trot he made me carry him a bit too much today, but he’s a big horse in the heat. I gave him about a 10-minute warm-up, that might have been eight minutes too much,” said Oliver.

    “He is very easy in the cold rain at Lincoln with the wind up his backside. When it’s warm and still, he is a big horse and obviously it affects them more.

    “We are where we are. I was happy enough, it’s what we expected and onto tomorrow – I’ve had a lot of luck out of sixth position.”

    Fiona Kashel was among the stand-out British performances on Friday afternoon. Fiona is new to this level, having made her five-star debut at Badminton aboard Creevagh Silver, and this was the first CCI5* start for her ride here, Frank Breach’s WSF Carthago.

    Fiona has played the long-game with this sparky Irish Sport Horse gelding, putting him on the lorry to experience the atmosphere of big events as a young horse.

    “He is a really talented horse, but he needs managing. He’s got a switch that goes from zero to hero in less than a second,” said Fiona.

    “He is very good on the flat. He’s really come on and he’s just got so much strength. Being at three days suits him, because he is so rideable here.”

    The pair are in equal ninth overnight with fellow Brit Tom McEwen and rising star Bob Chaplin, owned by Fred and Penny Barker, on a score of 30.9.

    “He was really good, I probably did five minutes too much in the warm-up, so I’m kicking myself for that really,” said Tom. “He probably hasn’t had an experience like that since Le Lion with Tappers [Paul Tapner] when he was six. Even though he is super chilled, he gets a bit nervous in there. But he stuck at it the whole way through and tried his best.”

    Badminton re-routers Kirsty Chabert and Classic VI, owned by Carol Sommers and John Johnston, are in 11th on 31.1, while Kylie Roddy and the Fox family’s SRS Kan Do are in 12th on 31.4.

    “He actually felt better than he was at Badminton, I just missed the first change and at this level it becomes a bit expensive, doesn’t it?” said Kylie.

    “His superpower is that he is a very rideable horse. Sometimes he lacks sparkle in the arena because of that. With the heat today, maybe that bit of him was turned down a bit, but I can’t take away from what he gave me in there.”

    Kylie has worked with her farrier to try a new shoeing approach with “George”, after losing a shoe at Badminton and then another at Little Downham, which will be put to the test on Saturday.

    “Sometimes when one door closes another one opens, I think that’s what you’ve got to make sure you’re aware of in this sport,” she said, adding she likes the look of Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross-country course.

    “He’s a great big gallopy horse, who can turn into a quad-bike. Normally you get the little pocket-rockets that are good at this, then you get the great big scopey gallopers who are good at the other bit. Somehow, he manages to juggle both of these balls.”

    Barrister Max Gordon is in provisional 22nd aboard his family’s Redwood Clover on 36.6. Pip Cross and Scoop De Ferbet, who she co-owns with Tina Hayward and the Scoop Syndicate, is in 28th (39.1). David Doel and Danielle Dunn are in 31st and 32nd respectively with their rides Ferro Point (40.4), owned by Christine Lees, and Grandslam (40.6), who Danielle co-owns with Anne Chapman. David is also in 41st with the Pages’ Dunges Don Perignon (41.1).

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