|Lucy Jackson | Leading The CIC** After The ShowJumping Only To Lose The Lead By 1 sec. On Cross Country|
Princess Anne (who I nearly bumped into literally today!) , hosts one of my favourite horse trials, The Whatley Manor Horse Trials, at her home in Gloucestershire, which is affectionately known as ‘Little Gatcombe’. Held in both April & September the events run Novice & Intermediate classes and in September these include a CIC* & CIC**. These courses use less demanding terrain than the main Gatcombe festival event held in early August, but still make use of some steep hills, woodland, and established pasture. They also have some great hedges to jump!
|Lucy Jackson & Wellshead Munnings | Chasing Time On The XC|
With a beautifully ridden & scopey clear show jumping round, Lucy Jackson was poised to maintain her lead going into the cross country in the CIC**, but one second over the optimum time left the door open for Kitty King to steal the lead by the narrowest of margins (0.1pt) if she went inside the time, which she did – one second inside the time to win the class on her lovely little horse, Persimmon.
|Mark Todd Reacts Instantly To Avoid A Stop Encouraging NZB Port Royal Into The Water In The CIC*|
|Hannah Bate | CIC* Winner|
The CIC* class was won by Hannah Bate on Aspen Aspire who led from the very beginning adding just 1.2pts to her dressage score of 37.8. The water complex for these two classes were poles apart in terms of effort. The 1 star had just a small drop in and step out of the water, whilst the 2 star class had a lot more to do with two efforts in the water separated by steep little bank to go up and over, all preceded by a steep climb out of the woods and the big brush duck.
For a long time now I’ve wanted to ride at ‘Little Gatcombe’, I did enter once, about 7 years ago only for my horse to have his only episode of lameness the week of the event. Since then, this event has continued to grow and at least 4 people I talked to today commented on the swelling crowd today, two of them tradestand holders boasting their best Gatcombe ever!
Entries for both the international classes were well in excess of a hundred, and as usual was highly competitive – success & luck could, and did, change in as little as a second. Spare a thought for Jennifer Hart, who I had been prompted to keep an eye out for. Her mare Flora Lady was show jumping so well, but dislodged her rider over the last fence, effectively eliminating them. Jen was up on her feet and able share the commentators joke with good humour that had she fallen a few yards on, just after the finish line she’d have been able to continue. All the very best to them in their planned CCI** outing at Osberton.
It’s been another great “Little Gatcombe (2)” that seems to have come round all too soon, after so many cancellations this year. I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite photos from today: