The SPC Holdings Burnham Market International Horse Trials – Day Three

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Riders from around the world flocked to the SPC Holdings Ltd Burnham Market International Horse Trials on Saturday, for the final of the three day competition. As the weather had improved from the two previous days, with sun and wind helping to dry out the ground for good going on course, there was a truly international flavour to the riders. A good crowd of spectators watched riders from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Brazil as they tackled Alec Lochore’s course, which included a number of new elements this year. A new configuration at the second water complex provided spectators on the hill with some exciting viewing, as some riders struggled with the tight lines through the narrow double.
The top section was the CIC*** and it was our own Oliver Townend riding Nina Barbour’s Pepper Anne who took the honours in section C, ahead of Ruth Edge and her experienced old campaigner Two Thyme. In section D it was Australian Clayton Fredericks and Walterstown Don who jumped a polished double clear to finish ahead of local girl Piggy French and DHI Topper W. Just behind in third was New Zealander Lucy Jackson and Animator II.
The CIC** also provided some excellent sport for the spectators, with German rider Niklas Bschorer on Chris Bartle’s gelding Ballyengland Rebel taking first place in section A, while Oliver Townend picked up second place on Black Tie II ahead of Ireland’s Sarah Ennis. Black Tie II, owned by Karen Shuter, is an exciting prospect coming into his own this season, after a good second place at Gatcombe at the end of March setting the scene for success this year. Section B was lead by the girls, with Jodie Amos riding Wise Crack into first place, ahead of Fiona Hobby in second and local girl Piggy French and Kiltealy Brief in third. Piggy, born and bred in Norfolk but now based at her own yard in Leicestershire, is always a popular rider at this event on home turf, particularly as she sets her sights on Olympic selection.
The final class of the day was the Advanced and it was once more an international affair, with Germany’s Bettina Hoy and Lanfranco TSF leading the way, ahead of William Fox-Pitt and Neuf Des Coeurs, with Andrew Nicholson from New Zealand in third, on Tristar II. Organiser Alec Lochore, on a quick trip away from London where he is Olympic Eventing Manager, was pleased with the event and was quick to praise the Musketeer Event Management team, lead by Di Wass, who ensured the event ran without a hitch. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this year’s event was the number of international riders attending. Alec explained: “If you take a look at the score board you can see it was a pretty international affair. The Czech rider was trying to qualify for the Olympics and I think he stands a good chance of doing so with his result. Some of the riders are now basing themselves over here in the run up to the Games and those riders from the southern hemisphere are bringing their horses over to acclimatise them as they would usually be competing in their winter but it will be our summer.”

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