Saturday at Blair Castle | An Eventful Life

Saturday at Blair Castle

      Emilie Chandler and Gortfadda Diamond

 

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Emilie Chandler proved a class apart across country in the CCI4*-L at Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials, and has a sizeable lead going into the final showjumping phase.

Leicestershire-based Emilie was much the fastest of the class, adding just 3.2 time-faults to her dressage score of 31.8 on Maria Doel’s 10-year-old Gortfadda Diamond. She has 13.1 penalties in hand over second-placed Rosa Onslow and Diamond Sundance.

“I’m thrilled – he gave me a fantastic ride,” said Emilie. “He never really tired and kept galloping for me. I think he’s real class – an out-and-out event horse who’s good in all three phases.

“It was a good cross-country course; very fair, and I like the way this year the course made sure they had got their blood up before they went uphill.”

 

Emilie Chandler

 

Rosa, 20, recently represented Britain at the Young Rider European Eventing Championships in The Netherlands on 13-year-old Diamond Sundance. This is their first CCI4*-L competition, and they were clear across country with 11.2 time-faults. Simon Grieve and Mr Fahrenheit III are in third place after collecting 13.2 time-penalties.

 

       Rosa Onslow and Diamond Sundance

 

 

CCI3*-L

Tomorrow (Sunday, 25 August), could be a very big day for Eleanor Hope. It’s her 20th birthday – and she heads the CCI3*-L going into showjumping.

 

      Eleanor Hope and Limestone Romeo

 

Eleanor, who has travelled up to Land Rover Blair Castle from Aylesbury, was 13th after dressage on eight-year-old Limestone Romeo with 36.1, but a clear cross-country round within the time has propelled her up to first.

“He was point and shoot today,” said Eleanor, a student at Reading University. “His dressage is improving, but he just loves to jump. He’s a good showjumper – I’m not so good. Hopefully he will help me out tomorrow.”

 

Eleanor Hope

 

Cross-country speed was significant in this class. Victoria Wilson, now second on Don’t You Know, just 0.6 penalties behind Eleanor, and Ashley Harrison (Zebedee IX), third, shot up from 14th and 15th places after dressage. French duo Astier Nicolas and Lumberton, leaders going into cross-country, had a run-out at the brush corner coming out of the water 

 

      Polly Stockton and Sir Alfred II

 

CCI2*-L

Polly Stockton, who already has two international wins at Land Rover Blair Castle to her credit, is in pole position in the CCI2*-L with Sir Alfred II. She shared second position after dressage with Germany’s Josephine Schnaufer (Ronaldo IV) on 30.5; both riders went clear across country with no time-faults, but Polly was closer to the optimum time so officially took the lead. 

 

Polly Stockton

 

Josephine, who is also in fifth place on seven-year-old Viktor 107, said: “I bought Ronaldo IV from the Czech Republic as a seven-year-old. He wasn’t at all easy at the beginning but is getting better and better – he’s a real pleasure to ride now.

“I thought it was a technical, tough CCI2*-L track when I walked it, but it was really fun to ride. The questions were clear to the horses.”

This is Josephine’s third visit to Land Rover Blair Castle, and she said: “It is one of the nicest events, and really good preparation for horses for the future.”

 

      Josephine Schnaufer and Ronaldo IV

 

Hayden Hankey and the six-year-old mare Cartown Galaxy are just 0.1 penalties behind Polly and Josephine in third place.

“I bought her last summer when I went over to Ireland to judge hunters at Dublin Show,” said Hankey. “She’s one of the best I’ve ridden – straight, fast and brave.”

Hayden also survived a 'moment' on another ride in this class, Fools In Love, who is currently in seventh place. After launching into the first water at the Malcolm Lochen, Fools In Love appeared to crumple on landing but amazingly managed to right himself while Hayden sat quietly. The pair continued,  with Fools In Love looking just as happy to splash into the next water at the next fence (watch the video of this on our Instagram feed)

 

Hayden Hankey

 

       Hayden Hankey and Fools In Love

 

 

CCI4*-S

Daisy Berkeley has held on to her lead in the CCI4*-S after showjumping with a clear round on Ballinteskin Cooper S. The 10-year-old threw Daisy up into the air over fence three and it wasn’t the smoothest round they have jumped together, but they never looked in danger of touching a pole and remain on their dressage score of 30.4.

 

      Daisy Berkeley and Ballinteskin Cooper S

 

“I nearly fell off over fence three – both my knees came off the saddle and my hat tipped forward over my eyes,” admitted Daisy, who has won several team medals for Britain at major championships in the past. “But he has so much scope and wasn’t ever going to touch a fence. Now I am going to have to go fast across country tomorrow!”

Sam Ecroyd also showjumped clear on Davinci III and is in second place, just 0.1 of a penalty behind Daisy. Third is Perthshire’s Wills Oakden, whose clear round on Oughterard Cooley means he stays on his dressage mark of 34.2 and climbs up from ninth place after the first phase.

There were just seven showjumping clear rounds in Land Rover Blair Castle’s large, atmospheric arena. France’s Astier Nicolas, who was in joint second place with Sam after dressage, tipped the second part of the double and is now in fourth place with Babylon De Gamma, while Northumberland rider Jessica McKie’s clear on Ask The Boss means she is in fifth place.

The CCI4*-S competitors tackle course-designer Alec Lochore’s cross-country track at 10.30am on Sunday morning, and the showjumping phase of the three long-format international classes follows on from that.