Shortly after it was announced that Herefordshire rider Louise Harwood with Whitsun had been selected as a reserve for the British Eventing team for the World Equestrian Games, the pair contested the British Open Championships at Gatcombe. It’s always a very hot competition with many of the world’s best riders and horses competing and with the cross country being run in reverse order, it makes for a very exciting event. Louise proved how right the selectors were to have acknowledged her consistent form with Whitsun as they galloped to an excellent 3rd place behind the winner Andrew Nicholson and 2nd placed Francis Whittington.
Louise never hangs about XC and completed with just 0.4 of a time penalty to add to Whitsun’s good dressage score, just as Andrew Nicholson had done with Avebury, but his better dressage score won him the Open Championship title. Meanwhile, Francis Whittington had to settle for 2nd place and the National Champion title having added an expensive 4.4 time penalties to his good dressage mark.
Louise also competed on Mr Potts in the Open Championship, which had 53 starters. Mr Potts had a slightly lower mark than Whitsun, 2 rails down show jumping and a few more time penalties than Whitsun, resulting in 23rd place, which just goes to show how tight it is at the top!
At the NAF Hartpury International Horse Trials, in a hot CCI 1* with 88 starters, there were less than 20 penalties between 1st and 20th places. Those 2 spots were taken by 2 Olympic riders, Australia’s Christopher Burton who won with Santano II and N.Z’s Sir Mark Todd with Landslide. In between were other Olympic riders including NZ’s Lucy Jackson in 2nd, France’s Nicolas Touzaint 3rd, N.Z’s Blyth Tait 5th, and Ludwig Svennerstal 6th. There were only 2 British riders in the top 7 – Alice Sandberg from Lyneham (4th) and Herefordshire event rider Alice Pearson who came 7th on Roger Leggett’s homebred Word on the Street who is by Pro-set. The pair scored 48.7 in the dressage and there was nothing to add after faultless cross country and show jumping rounds. Another local rider in the top 10 was Vicky Tuffs from Usk who was 10th in the CCI 1* with Dargun and later 14th in the CCI 2* with Natasha VII. Click here to see all Hartpury results
All photos copyright Sally Newcomb – www.snimages.co.uk
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