There was a dramatic leaderboard shake up on the final day of the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials as Yoshiaki Oiwa sealed victory with a clear showjumping round and became the first Japanese rider to win here.
Riding 10-year-old gelding Calle 44, who didn’t touch a pole and wouldn’t look out of place pure showjumping, Yoshi rose from third place after the cross-country to take the title
“This win was unplanned but I wanted to be competitive,” admitted 40-year-old Yoshi. “My horse is so careful and can sometimes jump too high, wasting time. I didn’t ride as well as I wanted to today as I was a bit backwards — I wanted to be more flowing — but I’m so happy and this is the biggest win of my career.”
Cross-country leader, Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V, had the back rail of the triple bar down, plus one time-fault which dropped them to second place.
“I’m absolutely gutted as ‘Pebbles’ has never had a fence down at a three-day event, but she went beautifully,” said Gemma. “I don’t know why we had the fence down and I think Pebbles was just as surprised as everyone else, but it’s still a good result and it’s nice to be back on track after the Olympics [where the pair incurred 40 penalties across country].”
Gemma described the showjumping as a “serious track”.
“I think it is one of the toughest courses I’ve ever seen at a three-day,” she explained. “The oxers were all big, wide and square and there were some touch distances.”
Australian rider Sammi Birch who was third going into the final phase, also had a fence down on Hunter Valley II, but they maintained their overall position, one better than last year, when a rail down in the same class also cost them the win.
“I’m pleased with the overall result given the strong jumping phases and tough competition,” said Sammi. “I didn’t fall off or do anything stupid and I’ve achieved what I came here to do which was to gain our four-star qualification.”
Yoshi’s fellow countryman, Toshiyuki Tanaka rose from 35th after the dressage thanks to a speedy clear across country on Talma D Allou, to eventual fourth, incurring just one time-fault today.
Nicola Wilson, who was fifth going into the final phase riding One Two Many had two fences down, including the first which dropped her to eighth.
Other notable British performances included Willa Newton and Chance Remark who put a fall at Badminton behind them to finish fifth, plus Piggy French and Vanir Kamira who were sixth and James Sommerville and Talent, who also fell at Badminton who finished seventh here.
Clear rounds in the showjumping were few and far between, with just five combinations jumping clear inside the time allowed of 79 seconds. Those included Simon Grieve and Drumbilla Metro (10th), Roo Fox and Fleet Street (28th), Georgie Spence with Halltown Harley (12th) and Laura Collett with Mr Bass (24th).