Bubby Upton wins under-25s at Bicton – but not on the horse we all expected…

  • Find out why Bubby Upton feels this win has been a long time coming and what runner-up Heidi Coy said about the little mare Russal Z

    Bubby Upton took the under-25 title in the Bicton Horse Trials showjumping this afternoon (13 July), the second winner crowned at this event supported by Chedington.

    However, the session didn’t pan out quite the way most might have expected.

    Bubby was lying first and second overnight on Cola III and Cannavaro, both horses belonging to her mother Rachel. She therefore jumped Cannavaro out of order and went clear on the former showjumper, with just 0.4 of a time-fault.

    This secured Bubby’s win in the class with Cola yet to come. He jumped last, as is traditional at a three-day event, but brought down three fences, including a brick out of the wall at fence eight and both jumps in the final line, which dropped him to fourth.

    “It feels good finally to be a British champion,” said Bubby, who reckons she’s held the lead six times in under-age championships, without ever winning one. “They always ended up pulling it out the bag at the pony, junior or young rider Europeans so I didn’t mind. But there’s no under-25 Europeans, so it’s nice actually to seal the deal.

    “Cannavaro really deserves it. He’s got a heart of pure gold and he showed it all week, so I’m delighted for him. He’s incredible jumper so I just go in on him full of confidence. He’s meant to be a jumper really, and I said when I walked this course, maybe we should make him a jumper because of all the hills, but he proved this weekend that he’s every bit the eventer.”

    Bubby said Cola actually jumped well, despite his 12 faults: “He just put a toe on the wall and then I think over the last two just got a bit flat – I need to go back and review it and have a look. Obviously I would have preferred to jump a clear like I know he’s perfectly capable of, but it gives us more to work on and we just constantly push towards getting better.”

    Heidi Coy moved up from third overnight to second with a fault-free round on David Ottewell’s Russal Z.

    “I was worried about yesterday taking it out of her, but my God today she answered every question and she just jumped out of her skin for me,” said Heidi. “She’s a little mare, but so feisty and will do anything for me. She just gets her head down and gets on with the job.”

    Bicton Horse Trials showjumping: dressage leader has one down

    Yasmin Ingham had the final fence down on the dressage leader Banzai Du Loir, owned by Sue Davies and Janette Chinn, but still moved up from fourth after cross-country to third.

    Yasmin said: “I was so gutted actually – it didn’t actually reflect the round that he jumped because I felt he was so on it and really careful. It was so smooth a round I was actually really enjoying it, maybe a little bit too much. He just came down that final line and that plank at the end was just tiny and I think he just caught it behind ever so slightly, which was a shame.

    “But I’m delighted with him – it’s his first long format four-star, so for him to come out and jump like that after the cross-country we had yesterday was very impressive.”

    Phoebe Locke showjumped clear to move up from eighth to fifth on Bellagio Declyange. James Rushbrooke (Milchem Eclipse) had fence three down to finish sixth, Rose Nesbitt (Eg Michealangelo) had four jumping and 1.6 time-faults for seventh and Yasmin Ingham had another horse in the top 10 with Night Line in eighth.

    Former under-25 class winner Emily King took ninth on Valmy Biats, who had 11 penalties for breaking the frangible corner at 12b yesterday, on her final ride in this class as she ages out next year.

    Heidi Coy rounded out the top 10 with another of her three rides, Carrigsean Tigerseye.

    More from Bicton Horse Trials: