‘He was phenomenal’: Tom McEwen tops Blair Castle Horse Trials CCI3*-L dressage with untouchable score

  • Tom McEwen heads the leaderboard of the Land Rover Blair Castle Horse Trials CCI3*-L with Brookfield Cavalier Cruise after posting an untouchable 22.9 dressage.

    Tom threw down the gauntlet on Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s nine-year-old gelding on the first day of dressage on Thursday (25 August) and no other combinations came within touching distance as the first phase concluded on Friday. Coral Hardman (nee Keen) is in provisional second with her own and Ginnie Welling’s nine-year-old gelding Impuls V on 26.6. Sam Ecroyd lies in third with his mother Penelope Ecroyd’s 11-year-old gelding Withingon on 28.6.

    Brookfield Cavalier Cruise, known at home as Fletcher, produced a flowing confident test and the striking gelding commanded attention from the spectators.

    “He’s a beautiful mover and has a beautiful way of going. He’s a stunning horse,” Tom told H&H.

    “He was a good few marks ahead of everyone else, and deservedly so in my opinion. He was phenomenal; very correct, clear and accurate.”

    Tom added the atmosphere at Blair Castle is already building.

    “It’s amazing,” he said. “The past two days, apart from probably Badminton or Bramham, there’s not been this many people watching a dressage test all year really,” he said, adding having the one- and two-star dressage arenas either side of the three-star provided a great experience for the horses.

    Tom will tackle the Scottish hills tomorrow (27 August) for the cross-country phase and said the ground is “beyond perfect”.

    “I’m looking forward to cross-country tomorrow with Fletcher,” he said. “We were at Gatcombe Horse Trials on the hills, so hopefully the hills here will suit him. But it’s a good place to find out and it’s a good strong three-star track.

    “We’re very excited to see green grass and good ground. It’s refreshing.”

    Tom has four rides at Blair Castle Horse Trials; Brookfield Quality and Brookfield Benjamin Bounce are in 5th and 34th place respectively overnight in the CCI4*-S. He lies in second overnight in the CCI4*-L with his British intermediate champion Luna Mist.

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