A new trophy created by sculptor Caroline Wallace has been unveiled for the feature class at this weekend’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
Commissioned by event organiser The Jockey Club, the bronze of a horse jumping the “JC” initials will be presented to the winner of the long-format CCI4*-L.
Wallace says the work embodies the power and grace of the top event horses competing at Blenheim Palace. Her previous commissions include lifesize statues of three Grand National winners and the 2012 Olympic team gold medal-winning showjumper Hello Sanctos.
“It was lovely to be asked to make this trophy — eventing and racing have both featured prominently in my life,” Wallace said.
In her youth, Wallace groomed for Princess Anne at international competitions such as the European Championships in Kiev and was responsible for her famous horses Doublet, Goodwill and Columbus. She later worked for the British eventing team vet Peter Scott Dunn, and was a successful event rider herself, winning at the first three-day event held at Bramham, Yorkshire, in 1976.
Wallace’s son, Major Harry Wallace, race-rode as an amateur, winning both the Grand Military Gold Cup and the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown Park. His partner, Lucy Jackson, is an eventing rider who represented New Zealand at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
Wallace began sculpting when she broke her leg while pregnant with her daughter, and was unable to ride or drive. She is married to William Nunneley, formerly Head of Stewarding for the British Horseracing Authority.
Her commissions can be found all over the world, including Ascot, Sandown Park and Doncaster racecourses. In 2022, her lifesize bronze of Queen Elizabeth II riding her favourite charger, Burmese, modeled on Trooping The Colour in 1984, will be unveiled.
Yasmin Ingham, 24, leads the feature CCI4*-L class after the dressage phase at Blenheim, scoring 25.2 on 10-year-old Banzai Du Loir, ahead of 87 starters.
Banzai Du Loir won Blenheim Palace’s prestigious eight and nine-year-old CCI4*-S class in 2020 when the event was transferred to Burnham Market in Norfolk for one year because of Covid-19.
Going into the cross-country phase, Piggy March is second with 25.8 on Brookfield Quality, with reigning World Champion Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo third.
March won Blenheim’s CCI4*-L in 2019 on Brookfield Innocent, her ride next week at the European Championships in Avenches, Switzerland.
Pippa Funnell, one of Britain’s most enduring and successful event riders, has given herself an excellent chance of a fifth victory at Blenheim, riding 11-year-old Maybach to a dressage score of 27.2 to slip into fourth place. Funnell first won this class in 1993 aboard Metronome, and followed up in 1995 aboard Bits And Pieces, in 2003 (Jurassic Rising) and 2004 (Viceroy II). A veteran of British teams, with 12 senior medals to her name at Olympic, World and European Championships, she also won the Rolex Grand Slam in 2003.
Emily King lies in fifth place on a score of 27.2 with Valmy Biats.
Ros Canter tops the leaderboard of the CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-old horses after the dressage phase at Blenheim with a ride she described as “the most talented horse I’ve had”.
She scored 26.6 on eight-year-old Izilot DHI. Just one mark behind in second place is Tom Jackson, who scored 27.6 aboard HH Moonwalk. Third is Gemma Tattersall, winner of the Chedington Bicton CCI5* just two weeks ago, with a mark of 28.3 on Pru Dawes’ Flash Cooley.
In fourth is Dani Evans and Hollywood Dancer (28.4), just ahead of Australia’s Sam Griffiths and Annaghmore Valoner, with 28.7.
Oxfordshire’s leading rider, Izzy Taylor, piloted the exciting future prospect Hartacker into sixth place, scoring 28.9 on the nine-year-old.