Amy reaches the pinnacle
Amy Barlow, winner of the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup, a National Restricted Novice Championship, said that the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park was the “pinnacle” and that “we can’t stop crying”.
Amy, 29, Martock, Somerset, led going into the cross-country phase on Charlotte Schnicht and Sue Shenkham’s Iwan, a handsome bright bay gelding. Amy, who has a school and retraining of racehorses business, bought him as a just broken four-year-old from a dealer. “He was sharp and skinny and everyone thought I was mad, but he was a good jumper and I liked him because he was cheeky,” she said.
“He doesn’t normally like firm ground, but they have done such an amazing job at Gatcombe and he just loved it.”
Ellie Healy had two horses in the prizes, Balladeer Just For Kicks, second, and Class Move, sixth. Will Crawley was third on Nadiva D.
Andrew Downes struck gold in the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Championship for the second time with Jane Moss’s Gold Nugget. The pair, who also won in 2018, jumped clear in the final reverse-order show jumping phase and rose to the top spot when the overnight leaders after cross-country, Tom McEwen and Dream Big, hit a rail and dropped to second.
The 12-year-old Gold Nugget was originally trained for the flat by Richard Hannon Snr and was destined for the point-to-point field in Ireland when he was bought. “He’s naturally a lazy horse, but he rises to the occasion,” explained Andrew. “He finished the cross-country in great form and was looking for the rest of it when we finished.”
Pippa Funnell, the 1992 British Open Champion, produced two beautiful clear show jumping rounds on Billy Walk On and Majas Hope and was in first and third places going into the cross-country phase for the showpiece class, the Magic Millions British Open Championship. Tim Price, the dressage leader, incurred three time penalties on Vitali and slipped to second.