There wasn’t really much room for error in the final Show Jumping phase of the CCI*** class at Blenheim Horse Trials, but Francis Whittington produced one of only a handful of clear rounds in the top 20, and most importantly William Fox-Pitt didn’t therefore giving Francis the win. Francis also picks up prizemoney for 5th placed Fernhill Highlight.
Although the top 10 dropped 7 rails between them, the horses were jumping very well and giving a number of the fences plenty of clearance, which I think says a lot of good things about this competition – horses were fit, going was good, etc.
Vittoria Panizzon’s Merlots Magic was the strongest horse I watched and sadly this put paid to any chance of prize-money them after racking up an additional 32 pts. to drop them from 6th to 28th.
CIC*** – Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!
The Sunday at Blenheim I always find much more exciting than any of the other 3-Day-Events. Usually you’re left with that “3-day Sunday Morning Feeling” a sort of cross between Monday morning & last day of holiday type of thing. However at Blenheim we now have an adrenline shot in shape of the 8/9yr-old CIC*** class cross country to look forward to on Sunday mornings. I skipped the last horse inspection (usually a somber affair compared to the first inspection) in favour of breakfast with the children, before heading off again to Blenheim.
Jonelle Richards won the class on Faerie Dianimo by a whisker! Had Paul Tapner not picked up a 0.4 time penalty for finishing just one second over the time, on the exceptional Indian Mill, he would have won, instead he had to settle for third behind Jonelle and Andrew Nicholson. All three of them rode it like they stole it!
Over all the course rode very well and considering these are reasonably green advanced horses, even if you picked up 20 pens. for a cheeky runout, you’d be ‘stoked’ to have made it round this track.
I’ve been going to Blenheim in one capacity or another for some years now, and it just gets better and better, and remains a firm favourite for a me. Perhaps more than any other event, it’s the best chance I have of meeting up with friends I might otherwise not see, and today was no exception.
Huge congratulations to Mandy Hervieu & her extremely efficient and friendly team. I must just say how impressed I was with the speed and dedication of the event staff who came to assist Chris King after his fall from House of Tudor. Within seconds various teams showed up to help Chris and his horse, fix the fence, and even the doctor chased after him to make sure he was OK before heading back to the stables, even though he had managed to remount and head back under his own recognisance.
If you’ve never been to Blenheim, shame on you! Make sure you save the dates for next year (September 17th-20th 2015)
I’ll leave you with the usual links, and few more photos