In the TopSpec CCI4*-S at Bicton International Horse Trials (25 – 28 May) Oliver Townend holds the overnight top spot with Swallow Springs, one of five rides for the Shropshire based rider this week. Oliver comes to Bicton off the back of a very successful few weeks including a first for him – taking all top three places in the CCI2*-S at Floors Castle.Gaspard Maksud and nine-year-old Chantilly Amatullah took the lead at lunchtime in the first day of dressage in the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L and held onto his position right until the end of the day. With a score of 24.9, the relatively new pairing showed they mean business, despite being one of the smallest horses, standing at 15.2hh. Tilly, as the mare is known affectionately, has a good jumping record, so they are sure to be competitive over fences too. Tilly is one of four rides at Bicton this week for the French rider who is based in Surrey and the pair come to Bicton off the back of a successful trip to Aston-Le-Walls earlier in the month where they placed second in the OI.
Mexican Law ridden by Isabelle Cook, certainly laid down the law to his fellow competitors in the Chatham CCI3*YR-L. The 11-year-old gelding out of Devine Law by Billy Mexico showed the spectators how it’s done, with the pair presenting the final test of the class. Leading by 0.2 points, it’s another Billy Mexico offspring hot on their heels with Daisy Bathe and Mexican Wave sitting in second place overnight. Isabelle took over the ride of Barley from Mother, Kristina Cook at the end of 2021 and have since enjoyed great success including a win at Cirencester Park in the ONu18 in early 2022, a win at Belsay International in the CCI2*J-L and notably, a second place at the Hartpury Junior and Young Rider European Championships last summer.
Leading the way in the Empire Coachbuilders CCI2*-L, Kitty King and Ogue Verdi left it until the last minute to make their mark, being last to go for the day. The eight-year-old gelding, Kitty’s partner of three years took a significant lead on 27.6, with second place Brier Leahy on 31.5 with Caherconree Rocky. Kitty campaigns three horses here, with Billy Maple (another horse by Billy Mexico) currently lying in sixth place in this same class and Kitty’s Badminton ride Vendredi Biats lined up for tomorrow in the CCI4*-S.
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Images courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography