Oliver Townend has well and truly stamped his influence on day one at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, with first, second and third place in the Evelyn Partners British Intermediate Championship class.In first place with a score of 24.9 with Finley Du Loir, last year’s winner of the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship at The Festival. The eight-year-old grey gelding owned by Caunton Stud started his affiliated eventing career last year and in only his second run he won at Great Witchingham in the Novice. Following less than a penalty point behind on his second ride, Crazy Du Loir, and then just as close in third with Caunton First Class. Both mares are also Caunton Stud horses, which Oliver took over the ride after agreeing a significant deal with the stud, becoming the official rider for them in 2021. In the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship dressage, Jason Wood is holding the top spot with Nitor, a 10-year-old gelding by Fuerst Romancier out of Dechada. Owned by Alexandra and Charles Lloyd, Nitor started his eventing career with Alexander Whewall before Jason took the ride in May 2022. Jason hasn’t travelled far to compete this weekend as he is based at Zara Tindall’s yard and even used to compete her Gatcombe ride Classicals Euro Star. With a score of 22.7, they sit 3.9 penalties ahead of second placed En Taro Des Vernier ridden by the very busy Oliver Townend. Megan Brown on the diminutive 15.3hh, 16-year-old bay gelding Don Stefano is lying in first place after the dressage phase of the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Horse Championship with a score of 30.7. Having only raced lightly, Don Stefano ran his final race in early 2011 and has since produced consistent results in eventing. The TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup is led at the end of day one by Eloise Van Praagh on Lough Derg Joe. The 10-year-old grey gelding stepped up to Novice this year following his appearance at the Voltaire Grassroots BE100 Championship at Badminton in May 2023. The dressage phase for the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship and the TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup continue tomorrow and show jumping will start in the main arena from 8.00am and cross country from 10.30am.
It’s all about the ‘Catherine’s’ in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing
Everything was set up today for the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes where judges are looking for potential for the future; an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude, which, with effective training will develop physically and mentally into a world class event horse.
All horses are judged on a dressage phase, showjumping phase, a ‘gallop’ which shows their potential to lengthen stride and then finally suitability and type, where they are trotted up in-hand without a saddle.
The day started with the four-year-old class where it was all about the ‘Catherine’s’ as Catherine Robinson took the top spot riding Nicky Coats and Penny Cabourne’s Malawi Lancer. The 16.2hh bay Anglo European scored 28.5 in the dressage phase, 32 for the jumping and 4 out of a possible 5 for the gallop. “He looks to have everything to be a top horse,” commented owners Nicky and Penny. They went on to comment that “Catherine does a great job of producing young horses and this Lancer Stud bred four-year-old is very exciting.”
During the afternoon the five-year-olds took to the arena which was hugely popular with 54 entries. Eventually, the top spot was taken by Catherine Burrell and Fortendro, a stunning steel grey gelding. “I almost withdrew this morning, I didn’t think he was ready, he’s so green,” commented winning rider Catherine. “When I got here, I thought about putting my air jacket on as he has never seen anything like this, but he was fantastic. I certainly don’t envy the judges, as there were some brilliant horses in the class,” she continued. Owned by the ‘Day old donut’ syndicate, Fortendro fought off second placed Tom Grant and Nightshade and third placed Kate Honey on Meridianway Victory, a 16.2hh grey sport horse out of well-known Billy Stud sire Cevin Z.
Qualifying horses will go forward to the Dubarry Young Event Horse Final at Burghley Horse Trials on Friday 1st September.
Nags Essentials Pony Club Team Show Jumping Results
The Pony Club show jumping, sponsored by Nags Essentials, is for invited Pony Club teams and was held in the Main Arena on Friday 4th August. Each team has three or four members with only three scores to count. All members of the team jump consecutively in both show jumping rounds.
The first round in the morning starts at 1m in height. The course is altered for the second round and this time, it’s against the clock. The teams then jump in reverse order of merit making for an exciting climax.
With three teams on zero faults, it was all to play for and the tension rose as the Beaufort Hunt team lying in third place completed with no faults and kept that precious zero on the scoreboard. With two teams from the Old Berkshire Hunt in second and first place the pressure was on to go clear. It was nail-biting action as the team in second had 16 faults to count dropping them to seventh place. The next Old Berkshire Hunt team shared a total of eight faults giving them second place. So, the Beaufort moved up from third to first and took the win on a clean sheet. Congratulations to the Beaufort Hunt on a fantastic performance.
1st The Beaufort Hunt
Florence Wiles and Shadow Lad
Natasha Bailey and Troys Vivendi
Hannah Luddington and Ronnoco Silver
Iona Stokes and Hamiro
2nd Old Berks Hunt
Lucas Murphy and R Candy Girl
Charleigh Pettit and The Master’s Rebel
Sophie Stiles and Supreme Watt
Scarlett Starkey and Ink Red Rebel
3rd Llangibby Monmouthshire
Megan Yeoman and Wilberforce
Georgie Williams and Chilli Lady
Sophie Smith and EMS Futura Estrella
Ruby Fraser and Fleetwood Mac V
4th Cheshire North
Oliver Cliffe and Playdun
Max Austin and Little Ted
Kiran Lyonette and Zametty
Verity Sellers and Blaze
5th Dulverton West North Molton
Zac Flanagan and Kiltown Dreamer
Lolly Meyer and Golden Power
Holly Morris and TS Shanghai
Bethany Floyd and TC Spirit Bounce
6th North Cotswold
Mary Maude and Cynthia
Will Bevis and Windy Gale
Rosie Bush and Minstrel’s Melody
Arabella Henderson and Our Billie Ellie
Update – Saturday 5th August
The British Novice Championship Showjumping times will be amended to allow for fences to be moved over slightly halfway through. There will be an opportunity for competitors to have a course walk as well. This will also effect the show jumping start times for the Open Intermediate as the fences will be moved onto fresher ground. Please check Eventing Scores for revised times.
Unfortunately, due to the wet weather, we will not be running the arena attractions on Saturday.
General admission tickets for Saturday that are not used due to the weather conditions, are transferable to Sunday. Hospitality for Saturday cannot be transferred.
Thank you to everyone for your patience and to Gatcombe’s dedicated team who are working hard to adjust the format for tomorrow to ensure we have the best conditions for Sunday.
For more information, please visit www.festivalofbritisheventing.com