Millie Juleff, from St Breward in Cornwall, took the honours at Nunney International Horse Show where she won the CCI-S3* riding Viktor Krum, a feat all the more remarkable as she had only acquired the gelding four days before the start of the event.
She explained: “I’m really lucky that my dad was able to buy him from Joy Jackson who had him with Bubby Upton. We picked him on Monday and went straight to Caroline Moore’s for a lesson. On Tuesday I had a dressage lesson with Ben Van Sommeren, Thursday we went to Rosamund Green for some cross-country and I jumped one showjumping track. Tim Cheffings, where I’m based near Tiverton, also helped me a lot and we just clicked straight away.”
The 20-year-old went into the show jumping lying in second place following an eye-catching dressage test which earned her a score of 29.2. Incredibly, had she not made an error on the course that cost her two penalties she would have been in the lead.
A foot perfect clear show jumping was followed by a beautiful cross-country round, with Millie saying afterwards that the gelding reminded her of All We Need with whom she won the European Young Rider Championships team gold last year before he sadly had to be put to sleep with cancer in March.
“We’ll aim for a three star long in Ireland next as we’d like to qualify for the Europeans,” she said.
Max Warburton finished in second place riding Pencils Candy Man on a busy weekend for the Warwickshire-based 25-year-old who had nine rides across Nunney and Little Gatcombe.
Max also scored in the Intermediate seven-year-old class riding United 36, with whom he finished eighth last year at the Young Horse World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers.
Coral Keen won the CCI-2* riding Ginnie Wellings’ and Crystal Coake’s De Facto.
The impressive-looking eight-year-old had sparkled in the dressage with a solid score of 25.9 to stand second going into the showjumping phase. Izzy Taylor riding Hartful Flamenco was in pole position on 25.7.
Both riders rolled the last pole but remained at the head of affairs heading into the cross-country phase.
Coral’s foot perfect round put them at the top of the leaderboard, with Izzy getting an elimination on her mount.
“I can’t fault him,” said Coral of her ride. “I came here hoping to get qualification (for Hartpury 2* long) and didn’t expect to win.”
De Facto was a chance find for Coral who had stumbled across him in Wales having gone to look at another horse. “That horse wasn’t suitable but the owner said they knew of an older horse just down the road,” she said.
Since he joined Coral 18 months ago, he’s been produced very slowly, winning at West Wilts earlier this month. “It’s the first time I’ve been able to take the handbrake off and he felt really great. He’s my next big hope! He’ll have a quiet couple of weeks and then he’ll go to Tweseldown, and then Hartpury,” said Coral who was quick to thank Ginnie for her constant support, and her mother who rides out everyday and does a lot of hill work, and also took her HGV test last year so that she could drive the lorry.
“Ginnie is a huge supporter of mine. She’s a brilliant pair of eyes on the ground, and she’s also a very good friend. She’s a huge believer in me and the horses.”
Coral is based near Warminster on Salisbury Plain and is currently building her own facilities at her home with her husband Oliver where she’ll move her team of eight horses in July.
“We’re doing it ourselves so I’ve become very good at driving a digger and cementing,” said Coral.
It was a golden weekend for Coral who also won an intermediate section on Friday on Impuls V, or Impy, as he is known, and Ginnie’s first venture into ownership with Coral.
“I rode him last year in the 3* and he’s come on in that time. He feels much more established at this level and felt great. He’s such a good jumper, and I had a great round. He’ll go for the advanced intermediate at Aston le Walls next,” she said.
Organiser Bridget Parker was delighted with the event which again earned plenty of plaudits from riders. “It’s very popular with riders, particularly professionals, who want to give their horses an educational outing as the terrain is hilly and there are a lot of natural elements like the water and streams. We’ve had some really positive feedback.”
For full results, visit https://bit.ly/3Nn8Jd8