New leader holds first and second in Bicton under-25 class: ‘I’m so proud of them’ *H&H Plus*

  • Find out why dressage leader Yasmin Ingham took two long routes and what Bubby Upton said about her two brilliant rides

    Bubby Upton holds the top two spots in the under-25 class after the Bicton Horse Trials cross-country.

    “I can’t believe it – I’m so proud of them,” said Bubby, who sits first with Cola III and second with Cannavaro. “I know it sounds weird, but I loved the course. I walked it and I thought, ‘Bring it on’ – this is just what I wanted, a chance to show how class they are.

    “I felt like you couldn’t sleep for one second at all. But I thought it was an incredible course because you had to make a choice – if you landed and sat still, you were on half stride.

    “Hats off to Helen West [course-designer] and her team and everyone on the ground – they made such an effort. I’m quite fussy about ground and when people make an effort like this, I can’t tell you how grateful we all are.”

    The 22-year-old piloted her mother Rachel’s Cola III to the only round inside the time in this section.

    “He’s something else – I say it time and time again, but he just continues to pull it out of the bag for me,” said Bubby.

    Bubby had 5.2 time-faults on Cannavaro, also owned by her mother Rachel, who moved up from third after dressage to second.

    “I definitely doubted him coming here because he’s only 20% blood and really struggles with the hills,” said Bubby. “I came up the last hill and gave him a press and he went – he’s the definition of a heart of gold and tries so hard.”

    The dressage leader, Yasmin Ingham, took two long routes at the Offset Brushes (fences 9 and 10) and the Course Designer’s Conundrum (fence 15abcd). She came home with 8.4 time-faults on Banzai Du Loir, owned by Sue Davies and Janette Chinn, to drop to fourth.

    “He’s still only 10, so he’s still a bit young and inexperienced at this level and it’s his first four-star long,” said Yasmin. “I watched the seniors this morning and there was lots having issues and I thought he’s such a nice a horse that I don’t want to scare him. So I thought I’d just give him a nice time and I wanted him to grow in confidence around the course.

    “Come the next four-star long, we’ll challenge him a little bit more, but today’s aim was to just get round clear.”

    Heidi Coy now sits third with David Ottewell’s grey mare Russal Z, who had 4.8 time-faults today to move up from fourth after dressage.

    “She’s such a genuine little horse – she’s only nine, but everything you say to jump, she just jumps,” said Heidi. “I didn’t push it the whole way around as I was worried about her fitness and she’s never done a track like that with the hills. I thought I’d save a bit in the tank, but actually, she galloped up that last hill really well.”

    Rose Nesbitt sits fifth behind Yasmin on Eg Michaelangelo, who had 7.2 time-faults.

    “I’ve had him from a six-year-old – he showjumped in Ireland but hadn’t evented until I got him. I’ve produced him from BE90 to it’s a dream even to be here,” said Rose.

    Bicton Horse Trials cross-country: 32% clear in under-25s

    The course rode as strongly for the under-25 competitors as it had for their senior counterparts earlier in the day. Out of the 34 starters, 65% finished and 32% went clear.

    France’s Barbara Sayous and Opposition Filmstar were fifth after dressage but fell at fence 12a, the oxer into the Chedington Complex.

    Ailsa Wates retired Woodlands Persuasion, sixth after dressage, and Felicity Collins had 20 penalties at the second Offset Brush at fence 10 with RSH Contend Or, who was seventh equal after the first phase. Phoebe Locke (Bellagio Declyange) shared that spot with Felicity after dressage and now sits eighth after having 13.6 time-faults today.

    Phoebe said: “I had a really good ride – he’s still pretty inexperienced and I’ve produced him at the levels, but he’d never have gone around a course like this. So I just really wanted to look after him and give him a nice experience. I knew he was capable of doing all the straight routes, but I didn’t want to risk anything.”

    Phoebe admitted she had had an emotional week as she had sold the other horse she had entered in this section, Cooley Challenger.

    “So I just came with him, but he really stepped up to the mark and dug deep for me,” she said.

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