Cross Country day at Blenheim Horse Trials kept everyone on their toes. Few of the early combinations out on course made it round without error, and William Fox-Pitt who had 3 horses primed in the top 10 retired two of them after problems. I also saw him spend a good deal of time watching horses go through the ditch combination up in the woods, where Mille Dumas suffered at the hands of a loose dog.
Millie Dumas takes evasive action whilst cursing the dog chasing her
Millie Dumas takes evasive action whilst cursing the dog chasing her https://t.co/D4JEbqZaej
— monty (@monty_white) September 13, 2014
Throughout the day there were run-outs, refusals, and the odd fall dotted around the course. I felt for the young American who was held on course before the main water only to tip up in the drink himself. (not an easy fence to have had a forced hold at)
South African Hayley Parker (main picture above) did well to stay on as her horse scrambled over the big corner, prompting the commentator to compare her riding to William Fox-Pitt, who survived a similar incident earlier.
Jock Paget Had a similar problem coming out of the water, over the Kärcher sponsored fence:
Both of the top two, Andrew Hoy & Emily King, dropped out of contention during today. Emily had another unfortunate fall from Brookleigh, and Andrew Hoy had a run-out on Cheeky Calimbo, which must have been double frustrating having had a tricky ride on the highly strung Lanfranco, who almost refused to start.
Phillip Dutton had mixed day. He was second out on course after a short delay and rode a superb round on Fernhill Cubalawn, climbing into the top ten from 20th, but made a mistake at the coffin in the woods and had a run out.
Francis Whittington clearly ate his Weetabix this morning and now sits with two horses in the top 5, and a real pleasure to watch in any phase.
Others adding nothing to their Dressage scores include:
It’s been a day of huge gains and losses for just about every rider, and a very entertaining day of top class sport. Cross country action continues tomorrow with the 8/9yr old CIC*** class which I personally find more interesting. Until then it’s good bye from the comfort of the Aston Martin hospitality sofas and I’ll leave you with the imprtant links and a few more photos.
Fiona Breach deserves a special mention after facing her first CCI*** as trail blazer, and coming home clear.