An international affair at Floors Castle 2019

       Emma Bruessau and Dark Desire GS


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I make no excuse for saying this is one of the finest, and most peaceful, ways to spend a Thursday (or a Thursday afternoon at least, with apologies to Hector Payne)

The riders and few spectators of the international level classes at Floors Castle enjoy one of the most beautiful backdrops for eventing dressage, taking place on the lawns at the back (or is it front?) of the Castle, home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, in Kelso, Scotland.

The Cazenove Capital CCI-S3* Section A was dominated in the morning by Hector Payne riding Top Biats with an excellent score of 19.9 but, as previously suggested, I wasn’t there to witness it. However, having seen the test that overtook it and the one that came third, it must have been a cracker, Hector


      Sophie Adams and Ridire Dorcha


Australia’s Sophie Adams, now based with Oliver Townend at Gadlas Farm in Shropshire, was the first on after lunch riding Ridire Dorcha, a fairly new ride for her, to score 31.9 but it was the ride after Sophie that scorched into the lead. Emma Bruessau and Dark Desire GS are one of five German combinations that have come to Floors Castle from Chris Bartle’s base at the Yorkshire Riding Centre and, as usual, Chris has been working his magic

Emma and Dark Desire GS moved into the lead on a score of 18.6 while Hector kept second place, but it was another young German rider, Felix Etzel with another beautiful test on the eight-year-old stallion Polartanz, that moved into third place on a score of 20.6


      Gotta love a man in uniform - Felix Etzel and Polartanz


Another German rider, last year’s CIC1* winner here, Antonia Baumgart, nearly made it a German whitewash but Hannah Bate helped fly the British flag with Hector by taking fourth place on a score of 25.1 on Fanta Boy while Antonia and Little Rose 9 were on 25.7

Norway’s Yasmin Olsson-Sanderson and Inchello DHI made it a very international affair with Yasmin holding the lead in the Anderson Strathern CCI-S2* Section B on a score of 25.5 with Nicola Wilson on Mattie Clover in second (26.6) and Antonia Baumgart riding Iguazu B in third (27.6)

This is how they did it ...........