Last year’s double CIC3* winner was again the man to beat at the Bacon.co.uk Burnham Market International Horse Trials. There might have been just one large Three Star class this year, but Oliver posted a 1-2, winning on new ride Patsy Mason’s Mr Hiho, and finishing just 0.2 of a penalty behind in second place on last year’s winner, Paul Ridgeon’s Armada.
Mr Hiho had a narrow dressage advantage, both horses show jumped clear, but Armada was faster across the country. Had Oliver not had to take a pull coming into the rail-ditch-rail combination near the end of the course, the Badminton-bound Armada would almost certainly have avoided at least half of his 0.8 of a time fault and successfully defended his title.
The CIC3* took place after the CIC2* – in which Oliver had also posted a 1-2. This time around, Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS beat Andrew Cawthray’s Colonel Joe. Both horses finished on their dressage scores, the only two to beat the clock home across country, with 1.1 penalties separating the stable mates.
Finishing third in the 2* was Piggy French riding OBOS Cooley, while Tom Jackson completed the podium placings in the 3* – also winning the best U25 rider prize, riding Waltham Fiddlers Find.
The last class of the event provided the best photo caption: Bacon, Eggs & The Cook. With Easter eggs part of the prizes, which were awarded by title sponsors Stephen and Rebecca Bacon, and Tina Cook the winner, it was a perfect photo opportunity. She rode De Novo News into the top spot, ahead of Andrew Hoy on Lanfranco and Nana Dalton riding Abbeylara Prince.