Friday at Chatsworth International

      A tad damp but third place for Nicola Wilson on One Two Many


Competition hotted up at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials in the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s parkland near Bakewell, Derbyshire, and all is set for two days of thrilling cross-country action.

Today (Saturday), there will be a continuation of the dressage phase for the three-star (Advanced) horses, including for the first leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters, a valuable series for the world’s top riders, plus cross-country and showjumping for novice horses.

One section of the prestigious Dodson & Horrell Challenge (three-star) is well underway and Frenchman Philippe Brun, whose compatriots dominated the big classes last year, has stolen an early lead with a personal best dressage score of 43.0 on SA Gon Sabretiere.

However, British Olympian Gemma Tattersall, who has travelled up from Horsham, West Sussex, is only 0.6 behind on her good young mare Santiago Bay, which appears to have matured over the winter. ‘I’m just over the moon with this super little mare,’ she said. ‘She’s tried so hard and has so much more to come.’


      Sam Griffiths and Beaurepaire Nemo


Nicola Wilson from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, a team silver medallist at the London Olympics, is third on One Too Many (44.7) and Tom McEwen from Gloucestershire is in fourth place on the impressive grey Strike Smartly (44.8). Australia’s Sam Griffiths has three horses competing across the CIC3* classes at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials this week and the first to compete today was the 13 year old Beaurepaire Nemo

This horse can certainly point a toe and started impressively but a couple of small breaks in the extensions cost Sam dearly, finishing with a score of 47.8. They are not far off the leader but Sam would have preferred to be getting nines for that expressive trot from the horse sired by Sandro Hit


Sam Griffiths


Zara Tindall, whose day got off to a trying start when her lorry broke down, is in 13th place on Fernhill Facetime.

Harriette Howard on Starholm Amberleigh has a convincing seven-penalty lead over Dodson & Horrell ambassador Piggy French riding the actress Jennifer Saunders’s Cooley Monsoon in an international novice section going into tomorrow’s cross-country phase


       Piggy French and Cooley Monsoon


Owner-breeder Joanne Pullan from near Bramham, Yorkshire, had what she described as a ‘bittersweet’ afternoon when her home-bred youngster Grafiba won the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier for four-year-olds.

She explained that a second horse due to be competing at Chatsworth was recovering from sycamore poisoning, but that the victory of Grafiba had made up for it the disappointment. Rider Samantha Jimmison from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: ‘The plan was to come here to get experience for Grafiba and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.’

Emilie Chandler also booked a ticket for the finals at Burghley in September with first place in the five-year-old class on her own Hazzle Dazzle by leading British showjumper William Funnell’s stallion Billy Congo.

In addition to all the equestrian action, there’s plenty of interest for the less horse-minded members of the family, with the Sheep Show, dog agility, pottery painting, interactive circus skills workshop, Newfoundland rescue dogs and gundog display and a varied array of tradestands and food stalls.

‘We have had an excellent first day of competition at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials which has set the scene for an action packed weekend,’ commented Dodson & Horrell’s CEO Sam Horrell. ‘ The setting at Chatsworth is amazing and we hope that the weather holds fine for a weekend of exciting competition and family entertainment - it’s great to be a part of it.”