No monkeying around for Julia at Blenheim

       Gemma Tattersall and Pamero


Gemma Tattersall , the fifth rider out on course in the CCI3* class at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials today, showed that the new cross country course designed by David Evans was not only very jumpable but also able to be completed within the optimum time

Gemma and Pamero finished four seconds under time and Gemma was full of praise for the horse, previously ridden by Laura Collett, that she only recently started to compete

“I cut corners everywhere! I didn’t add anywhere and this morning Laura reminded me what a massive stride he’s got”

This massive stride certainly helped as Gemma finished in eighth place on her dressage score of 43.7, just behind Andrew Nicholson on his second ride Swallow Springs, another combination to easily make the time, finishing in seventh place on 43.2. Andrew was the trailblazer of the day riding Urma BK but unfortunately his third horse in the class, Byrnesgrove First Diamond who was in seventh place after dressage, fell near the end of the course at Fence 23

Although Gemma and Andrew made the task of making the time look easy, only six other horses managed this feat and they are now all in the top ten.  Will Furlong on Collien P2 and the USA’s Hannah Sue Burnett on RF Demeter both hung onto their dressage placings of fifth and sixth although they both picked up a small number of time penalties but Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy on Mr Chunky and Lydia Hannon on My Royal Touch both made huge leaps up the leader board thanks to their double clear rounds. Padraig moved from 29th into ninth place (48.3) and Lydia zoomed up from 40th to 10th (50.2)


      Laura Collet and Mr Bass


Laura Collett also made a small move up on Mr Bass, the nine year old that won the CIC3* at Burgham in July and a real horse for the future for Laura. They are now in fourth place, moving up from ninth after the dressage, with a score of 40.4


Laura Collett


      Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border


The American contingent will be celebrating with two riders currently in the top ten as, not only is Hannah Sue in sixth place, but Kim Severson on Cooley Cross Border also retained their third place (37.8).

Cooley Cross Border was bought from Ireland in 2011 and has been spending a bit of time back on the Emerald Isle in the past few months, recently finishing second at Millstreet in the CIC3*. This is happy hunting ground for Kim who won here back in 2001 on Winsome Adante


      Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH


But no-one could overtake the dressage leader Julia Krajewski who had a great round on Chipmunk FRH, another young horse that looks to have a huge future ahead. They head into the show jumping tomorrow on a score of 33.4


Julia Krajewski


However Julia doesn’t have any room for error as the second placed Pippa Funnell is breathing down her neck on a score of 35.7 on MGH Grafton Street. Pippa pumped the air as she came home, delighted to have such a good round and also be feeling well after recovering from a fall in the show jumping at Aachen.

MGH Grafton Street is a horse that Pippa had her eye on for a while “I saw him and thought what a nice type he was when he was being ridden by Andrew Nicholson and asked about him. Then, when Andrew had his fall and the owner Jane Clarke had to find a new rider I was lucky enough to get the ride”

Jane Clarke is the mother of Chuffy Clarke who also had a good ride today on Second Supreme, a horse owned and previously ridden by Pippa, finishing with just 8.4 time faults so it was celebrations all round

Of all the fences on course, the Shires Equestrian Wooded Hollow at 19, proved the most influential with 23 riders incurring penalties here including crowd favourites Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift, the overnight leader Kitty King and Vendredi Biats and an Australian favourite, Tiana Coudray on Under The Clocks. These are all super talented combinations and, although no doubt kicking themselves tonight, they will be back bigger and better at their next event



For the course designer David Evans his first CCI3* was a success and, although he had been feeling ‘a little sick’ with anticipation this morning, he was feeling much better after the day was overand he could see, on the whole, happy horses and riders

"There were probably too many faults for me at 19. I set the distance a little bit longer than you normally would into a ditch because I didn't want them to actually get tothe ditch, I wanted them to take off and make a better shape over the dicth so they made the two strides. There were three little trees I used to stop them jumping it sideways and those that didn't lean on those had a better jump over the triple brush. Most of those whe leaned on them ran out left afterwards. Would I change it for next year? I'll probably change it a bit because I think there were just a few too many faults but overall I think we had a fantastic competition"