A Good Friday for British Stars at Eventing Spring Carnival

A Good Friday was had for a plethora of British stars on the first key day of the Eventing Spring Carnival, at Thoresby Park.

Warner Leisure Hotels sponsored Friday saw record day one spectator numbers for the CCI2*-S, with many also flocking to the sun soaked (making a change from the rain soaked we’ve become used to) Walled Gardens where the Lycetts Grantham Cup and CCI4*-S dressage went down to the wire.

Lycetts Grantham Cup CCI4*
Not even a tenth of a penalty could split Yasmin Ingham and Emily King, as two of Great Britain’s young stars both top the leader board on 23.2 at the culmination of two days of CCI4* dressage.

Reigning World Champions Yasmin Ingham with Janette Chinn and The Sue Davies Fund, Banzai Du Loir, took the early lead in the Good Friday sunshine, moving two points clear of Thursday’s first to go, Ros Canter and Izilot DHI.

“He was very good today,” commented Yasmin. “Obedient, calm, attentive, and HE ticked all the boxes for me.  He had some super work, some big highlights in the test, so I think that’s a great starting point to go into the jumping tomorrow.”

Like many, the Grantham Cup provides the first key international of the Spring for Yasmin and plays a pivotal role in dictating the direction of the early season five-star aims.

“Kentucky is the plan depending on having a good run here at the weekend. Everyone’s strugglED with the weather over the past few weeks, so we were all wondering what we were going to be faced with here, but we’ve got some blue skies and the sun’s shining through.”

From a reigning World Champion to the reigning Grantham Cup holder, Emily King produced some exquisite work with her own, Philippe Brivois, and the Valmy Biats Syndicate’s Valmy Biats to keep one hand firmly on her Thoresby crown.

“He was awesome – he was a really, really good boy and so calm,” she said. “He had a little jig-jog in his walk, but apart from that, he was a really good boy, so I’m dead pleased with him.”

Speaking of Saturday’s cross-country challenge, she added: “It looks really good out there. It’s a similar sort of path, but with a few quite different questions [to last year]. We’ve got a good few places to really open them up and test their fitness, because this is a prep run, in the grand scheme of things, for Badminton. He’s a strong horse, so I like practising galloping on and then settling him back, and we’ve got a few good places to do that here, as well as the more intense sections. I’m going to try to be competitive, but also use it as a great schooling run for Badminton.”

In the second CCI4*-S section it is Saffron Cresswell and Barratt Eventing’s 9-year-old Vivendi Hero who leads the way on a score of 28.5.

“I was really really pleased with Louis’ test today,” she said. “Obviously, at only 9-years-old, he’s still new to the level so I’m delighted with him as he tried really hard in there. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’ve had a walk of the cross-country and it’s big and bold, and requires you to ride nice and positive, which is great.  There’s lots to jump tomorrow so I’m looking for a nice, positive, educational day for him.”

Show jumping for the CCI4* will get underway at 8:30am on Saturday morning with cross-country taking centre stage from 12:00.

Warner Leisure Hotels CCI2*-2
A quality performance sealed victory for Tom McEwen in the Warner Leisure Hotels CCI2*-S where both jumping phases proved influential on the leader board.

Having led from the start, the Olympic team gold medallist produced a masterclass performance with Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s Brookfield Quality, adding just 1.2 cross-country time faults to their leading dressage score of 28.5.

Of the win Tom commented: “Brookfield Quality is an amazing horse. He’s been around Blenheim a couple of times and has come here because, even for Norris, he always starts the year with a Novice, and with no Open Novice today, we decided on the 2*. So, actually, this was perfect with plenty of technicality, and they’ve done as much as they can with the ground.

“Luckily for me, I’ve hunted all my life, so I can see when something wet is coming up and where you need to be, and actually there’s plenty of fresh ground everywhere. Where they’ve done the work at the fences, it’s superb, so it’s been great, a very good day.”

In other news…
The Rathbones incorporating Investec Wealth & Investment UK CCI3*-S got underway with a full day of dressage.

It was Ireland’s Georgie Goss and Sligo Just Touch who held the lead for much of the day with a very good score of 27.8, before Willa Newton and The Sandpiper Syndicate’s Last Hope 10 took a 0.5 lead on 26.7.

BEDE Director Stuart Buntine also shared some thoughts at the end of day 1: “I’m really pleased with how the ground has held up. We’ve had a good drying day, yes there’s been the odd shower, but the ground really has been remarkable and has continued to dry throughout the day. The weather forecast now looks very positive for the rest of the weekend.

“What has been nice is the response from riders with many coming and saying thank you for all the effort that has been put in to run in the way we have.”

Tickets for the remainder of the event are still available to buy online and on the day, with fun for all the family guaranteed.  Due to unprecedented demand, Easter Egg Hunt tickets will only be available to buy online in advance.

Tickets available via

Report provided by BEDE Events.

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