World and Olympic champions were among the 343 competitors from 10 countries at Ireland’s showcase Tattersalls horse trials in County Meath at the weekend.
It was Italian rider Vittoria Panizzon who prevailed in the main event, the CCI3*, on Chequers Play The Game with a score of 35.5. She is the first ever Italian rider to win at Tattersalls, leading from the first day’s dressage phase through a faultless cross country performance and having just one time fault in the showjumping.
British riders took out the next three places, with Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo second on her dressage score of 39.3. Will Newton and Caja 20 were third, with Oliver Townend fourth on Ballaghmore Class. Riders from the US took the next three placings, with Phillip Dutton fifth on Z and seventh on Fernhill Revelation, with Buck Davidson sixth on Carlevo.
The international event is important from an Irish perspective for potential selection for the European Championships later in the year, and is the start of the next Olympic cycle for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The shorter format CIC3* was won by Frenchman Luc Chateau on Propiano de l’Ebat with a final score of 37.2. He incurred just 1.2 time penalties on his cross country round, while British rider Oliver Townend was second on MHS King Joules with a clear cross-country round, finishing on 39.70. New Zealand’s Tim Price was third on Ascona M, on 43.70, ahead of Ireland’s Sam Watson on Ardagh Highlight on a score of 48.
France won the Nations Cup class with a great overall display by their riders Luc Chateau, Raphael Cochet, Sidney Dufresne and Pierre Touzaint, who finished on an overall score of 137.60.
The British team jumped into second place with 167.50, and Team Ireland was third on a score of 197.90.
Tim Price and Kilcooley Cruising led the CCI2* from the dressage phase right through to the end, finishing on their dressage score of 38.3 to prevail over Italian riders Vittoria Panizzon and One Night Love (2nd, 42.0) and Arthur Duffont and Cemie (3rd, 42.2). Price also took fourth place on Pats Jester with a score of 42.6.
Best of the Irish was Austin O’Connor with Lucky Contender in 18th place on a score of 54.
British riders took out the top 10 placings in the CCI2* Under 25 competition, which was won by Samuel Ecroyd on Tuallaher Sunrise with a score of 42.7. Tom Jackson and Courvoisier was second on 42.70, and dressage leader Millie Dumas was third with Cameya (44.5) and fourth on RF West Indie (44.6). The best of the Irish was Tessa Harley in 11th place on Catsky, on a score of 56.8.
CCI1* – 6 and 7-year-olds
There were 50 starters in the 6 and 7 year old event, which was won by Oliver Townend on Menlo Park with a score of 42.4. William Fox-Pitt took out the next two placings with The Graduate (45.5) and Shannondale Percy (45.6). New Zealand’s James Avery was fourth on Vitali, slipping down from second after dropping a rail in the jumping phase to finish on 46.4.
New Zealand’s Tim Price continued his good weekend with a win on Falco (37.9) in the CCI1*, with Ireland’s Michael Ryan second on Kilpipe Jewel (42.8). Dressage leader, Ireland’s Charlotte Dixon, dropped two jump rails to finish fourth on V Zermie 51 (44.0), just behind Britain’s Tom Jackson on Court Casper (42.8).
CCI1* – Juniors
The junior competition was won from start to finish by Clane, Co Kildare rider Alex Power, who added just a single jumping time fault on Lakantus to his original dressage score to finish on 42.5. In second was Katie Riley and Versace Biscuit (46.1) and third was Issy Riley and Ballycarron Lad (48.0).
CCI1* – Ponies
The CCI1* pony competition was won by Ireland’s Sophie Foyle who led throughout on Little Miss Fernhill to finish on a score of 46.
Hannah Adams and Myshall Rodge moved up from fifth after dressage to second place, finishing on 46.8, well ahead of third-placed Cameron Kiernan and Mr Blueskies on 54.3.
A crowd of 32,500 attended over the five days of the event, up on last year’s figure of 30,000.
Some well known celebrities enjoyed the country action in Co Meath including TV sport commentators Ted Walsh and Tracey Piggott, Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Robbie Power and top trainers Gordon Elliott and Irish Grand National heroine Jessica Harrington. Well known names in the sport of eventing taking part were Olympic medallist and former World Champion Zara Tindall, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, and Bella Lloyd Webber, daughter of composer and impresario of musical theatre Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
It wasn’t all about horses at Tattersalls; The shopping village consisting of local artisan foods, pancakes, gourmet burgers, arts, crafts, country clothing reported a brisk trade. The jumping mini ponies proved to be really popular with the youngsters along with the novelty dog show with special prizes for the waggiest tail and best six legs (dog and owner).