Great Britain currently lead the FEI Eventing Nations Cup after the dressage at the Barefoot Retreats Houghton International Horse Trials today.
The British team of Tom McEwen, Phoebe Locke, Heidi Coy and Piggy March all delivered strong dressage performances to build a lead of over 10 penalties over the team from New Zealand in second, heading into the jumping phases over the weekend.
Whilst Tom and Piggy both have plenty of experience competing in British Teams – including a Team Gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics for Tom last summer – both Phoebe and Heidi are making their Senior Team debut for Great Britain this weekend. “It’s really exciting,” said Heidi, who currently sits in fourth place individually after her test with Russal Z. “I’m so grateful to be on a team with the likes of Piggy and Tom. Phoebe and I did Young Riders and Pony teams together, so it’s nice for us to be on this team together.
“I’m really pleased with my mare. She is only little, but she’s got an absolute heart of gold. This would be her weaker phase, she really struggles with the flatwork, but she’s tries really hard, and I couldn’t be more proud of how she’s been today.”
Whilst all four British team members currently sit in the Top 12 of the CCI-S 4*O competition, it is New Zealand’s Tim Price that holds the top spot of that class as we head into the weekend on a superb score of 21.2.
“I was really happy with Vitali,” said Tim. “He’s been in a nice way all week – just relaxed and when he’s relaxed, he’s at his best. He’s been advanced for a few years now but mentally he’s maturing all the time, so I was really pleased that he came out and delivered what he’s so capable of doing. It was a lovely test, and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Tom McEwen and Bob Chaplin sit in second place in this class after their test today and the first-day leaders, Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent, move to third.
It was another good day for Oliver Townend, who now fills the top two places in the CCI 3*-L. Two impressive tests with the lovely young horses, Crazy Du Loir and Caunton First Class overnight leader, moved overnight leader Georgie Campbell into third. Oliver also retains his lead in the CCI 2*-L with Finley Du Loir, where the top three of that competition remain unchanged after the second day of dressage.
The British Young Rider Championship also got underway today, with Ibble Watson and Aristoteles S Z taking an early lead on a score of 21.7. Phoebe Hughes is lying second with Top Biats and last year’s winners, Oliver Jackson and Viktor Krum are third.
Tomorrow the jumping begins, with cross country for the CCI 2*-L and CCI 3*-L (including the British Young Riders Championship) and show jumping for the CCI-S 4*O.
Visitors will be able to browse a wide range of trade stands, including country clothing, equestrian supplies and local produce, and a licensed bar and a selection of catering stands will be available to tickle the taste buds. There is something for everyone, with Circus Workshops and the thrills of the Fun Fair sure to keep younger members of the crowd entertained.
Gates open at 8am each morning. View the provisional timetable for the weekend here.
Tickets are available to purchase now by visiting the MEM website, www.musketeer.co.uk and on the gate.