Luhmühlen cross-country a big winner in safety stakes

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Course designer Mark Phillips inspects the frangible device on the Ariat fence during the CCI4* cross-country.
Course designer Mark Phillips inspects the frangible device on the Ariat fence during the CCI4* cross-country. © Jane Thompson

The revamped CCI4* track at the Luhmühlen International Horse Trials proved a huge success, with 21 clear rounds from the 35 cross country starters, 14 of which were inside the time allowed of 11 minutes 10 seconds.

Before the competition, designer Mark Phillips had said that “good horses and good riders will do the time easily”.

The course was focused on safety this year, with additions including new frangible devices on several of the fences, including a new type of device on the Ariat skinny fence.  The release device is in the front of the back element of the fence, and this part of the fence is also on hinges, so if a horse hits it with pressure, it will give.

Phillips said afterwards: “No frangible devices were activated.  The Ariat fence got hit a few times but not enough to activate it.  If you have to put a frangible pin on a fence, the fence is not in the right place. Frangible pins are just insurance.”

» More on the revamped cross-country

Jane Thompson

Jane has always had a keen interest in horses, and was an active competitor in equestrian events from her early days until the late 1980s. » Read Jane's profile

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