Hickstead CDIO Friday
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On day two of the Hickstead CDIO3* the big tour action got underway as the Grand Prix riders began their campaign.
The Nations Cup may only have four teams but it proved a close contest after round one, the Grand Prix. Team order put our most experienced rider, Vicki Thompson Winfield first to go and she posted an excellent 69.02% with Sam Francis’ Spanish-bred stallion Mango Jacaro. It was then on to our Nations Cup debutant Louise Bell with her ex-Working Hunter Champion Into the Blue and she showed no signs of nerves on her first big stage to post an international personal best 71.67%. Third for the home side was Fiona Bigwood and Kjaerholms Abutsiaq who just lacked confidence in his piaffe/passage work and had a ‘moment’ in the final centreline to end on 65% but this is still a partnership in its early stages so there will be more to come. The anchorman role went to Hayley Watson-Greaves and the ever reliant Rubins Nite. The reigning National Champions were in fine form and posted 70.56% to give us a final boost.
The class was won by Pierre Volla for France with Badinda Altena, who were also victors here last year. They’ve been to the Olympics and Europeans together so are vastly experienced and have come a long way since he found her when destined for the slaughter house aged three. Their score of 72.67% gave them the win and also helped France to share the overall equal lead with Britain in the Nations Cup standings with Portugal in third and Sweden fourth but it’s all very close with the GP Special and Freestyle to come.
In the CDI3* it was Spencer Wilton who lead an all-British podium with Jen Goodman’s Super Nova II with a solid 74.15%. After suffering with agonising back pain since Hartpury where he did only the Grand Prix with ‘Neville’, Spencer was hoping for a safe performance, ideally with no mistakes. “We’re both not at full fitness and four days ago, I wouldn’t have even been able to ride but thanks to the World Class physio, I’m here. Had to play safe and unfortunately had a costly mistake in my one time changes. But I can say it was the most relaxed he’s ever been!” said Spencer afterwards.
In second was Richard Davison with Gwendolyn Meyer’s Bubblingh on 73.39% and third went to Gareth Hughes with his latest GP star KK Woodstock owned by Martin and Claudine Kroll with 71.21%.
The small tour Inter I was headed by Nicola Buchanan and Half Moon Dark Magic, or Paddy to his friends, with 70.98%. “He tried his heart out and seemed to love the heat as he did at Hartpury – he came out ready to go again!” said Nicola. “He just loves competing and has a good attitude to work. At nine, he’s just so consistent; I never imagined he’d get me here!” she concluded. The duo are Stoneleigh bound having gained direct qualification in both the Fairfax PSG and Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I for the LeMieux National Championships.
In the Youth ranks, it was Individual test day and two classes, the Junior and Young Riders, it was a repeat of yesterday with wins for Henriette Schmidt for Germany with Rocky’s Sunshine on 72.89% in the Juniors and Lucy Jane Amy scored a stunning 73.33% with Extra Time to take the Young Rider section. Natasha Powell-Richards was our pony victor with Oosting Amigo on 69.68%.