It went right down to the wire in an exciting finale to the Equi-Trek CCI-L4* at the Bramham International Horse Trials, but it was Britain’s Kitty King who came out on top with a near-perfect showjumping round.
Riding Vendredi Biats for owners Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd-Baker, Sally Eyre and Samantha Wilson, the Wiltshire rider cantered into the arena knowing the rider before her, Gemma Tattersall riding Jalapeno III, had lowered a fence which gave her a further four penalty cushion to add to the 0.1 she had in hand.
The handsome grey by Winningmood VD moved effortlessly around Di Boddy’s technical track, giving every coloured pole clear air. As the last few fences approached, the tension rose but King, ever the professional, kept her cool and ‘Froggy’ was home for a clear round but just 0.4 of a time penalty, leaving the duo on 27.2 which gave them victory by 3.7 penalties.
King and Froggy headed north after a trip to Badminton CCI5* didn’t end as hoped and they retired on the cross-country. Having finished fourth last year, King thought Bramham would be a good re-route.
It was the right decision, with King taking home the Sugden Perpetual Trophy and £5750 in prize money, as well as the use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for a year.
Gemma Tattersall topped off an outstanding week after her short format win on Saturday to finish second on 11-year-old mare Jalapeno III and sixth on nine-year-old Chilli Knight, both owned by Christopher Stone and sired by Chilli Morning. “I gave it a good go didn’t I! To finish second on new ride Jalapeno for Chris and Lisa Stone, I couldn’t be happier for them for such a good result!”
Having already ridden a clear on Chilli Knight, Tattersall had a feel for the course and the time which helped, but Jalapeno just had the middle part of the treble to take the pressure off Kitty King. “Jalapeno has been renowned for not being the best showjumper in the world, so there’s still work to be done.”
Selina Milnes has had a super time at Bramham with William Rucker’s 11-year-old gelding Iron IV. They went clear in the show jumping with just 1.2 time penalties. Milnes is based just south of Bristol with a string of event horses, the combination placed fourth at Blenheim last year but went one better this time.
“I’m absolutely delighted, he jumped really well. He was so full of it at the trot up, I thought I might have to take him for a hack! So I had to really ride him today. I didn’t notice the atmosphere, I told myself I’m not at Bramham, just jumping round a local show. He’s a big open horse, and with this course you were always turning, so I had to get him focused. It’s been a really good week!”
Milnes is now rethinking her plans for the rest of the season, “The aim originally wasn’t Burghley, but I think if you jump well round here, you’ve got a Burghley horse, so who knows!”
Images from the event:
CCI-L4* Under 25s
Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, 22, took out the British Horse Feeds CCI-L4*, finishing on his dressage score of 33.7 with the chestnut mare Rioghan Rua. Securing a clear round in the showjumping led to a nail-biting finish, as the top two dropped a pole each.
Having contested the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina last year where he won a team silver medal, Daniels has high hopes for the partnership’s upcoming future at Senior team level.
Runner-up and finishing best of the Brits to become National U25 champion, was Yasmin Ingham with Sandman 7, previously a ride of Pippa Funnell. They had an unfortunate four faults in the show jumping to complete on a score of 34.1.
The cross country proved a tough track for the Under-25 field with just over half of the competitors completing. Ingham was originally given penalties for jumping the wrong side of a flag for her round aboard Sandman 7 but after an appeal it was taken off and nothing was added to her dressage score of 30.1.
Ingham has had a glittering eventing career so far, having claimed the U16, U18 and U21 national titles previously, and now completes the set.
Finishing third, having also rolled a pole in the final phase, was Will Rawlin and his own V.I.P Vinnie. They finish their Bramham debut on a score of 36.9. V.I.P. Vinnie is an 11-year-old gelding by Valentino, whom Rawlin has owned since he was four and has brought up the levels.
A fault free day at the office for Gemma Tattersall riding the Pebbles Syndicate’s Quicklook V meant they held the ascendancy in the Land Rover CCI-S4* and took the top spot on the podium along with the £2000 first prize.
With the top 15 running in reverse order adding to an already close climax, the pressure was on the Olympic duo as several combinations put in foot-perfect rounds, leaving almost no margin for error.
Local rider Nicola Wilson gave the loyal crowd much to cheer as her faith in young Diarado-sired JL Dublin was more than answered with a classy clear to take the lead on 25.1. Emily King, next round with her loyal partner Brookleigh, showed their talent and experience with another crowd-pleasing round, adding nothing to their dressage and showjumping tally of 24.0.
Then it was the turn of Laura Collett and Dacapo to impress with a truly class round to finish on a dressage of 23.3, meaning Tattersall had just 1.7 time penalties in hand.
There was a slight sticky moment at fence 11, the Bramham Park fences where Pebbles just left a leg on the second element but Tattersall never moved and they never looked back and sailed home, Tattersall jubilantly punching the air through the finish as her stopwatch told her she’d made the time.
Afterwards she said; “Bramham is definitely one of my favourite events and Quicklook is definitely one of my favourite ever horses. She’s not run at this level since the 2017 European Championships as she had an injury so to come here and finish on my dressage score is brilliant.
“She probably jumped one of her best ever rounds this morning, she just felt on springs. I had two great rides around the long format so was feeling confident ahead of cross-country but I must admit I did get the jitters before I went!”