Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing – Day 1 Update

It’s been a fantastic first day at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing here at Gatcombe Park. The weather has been very kind and after a misty morning it has been a glorious day. In addition to the dressage for three of the five British Championships we have been entertained by the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Class and the BETA Pony Club Team Showjumping competition with the South Hereford team winning by one point in a hotly contested jump off.

The Burghley Young Event Horse Class is a hugely popular competition and is acknowledged as the shop window to view potential event horses. The winner in the five-year-old class today was Jason Hobbs on Tillington Perry, second Nicola Wilson on Chiraz III and Kitty King in third on Fernhill Mojito. In the four year old class Padraig McCarthy’s bay mare MJH Jessica ridden by Flora Harris pipped Padraig into second place riding Mrs Sarah Gough’s Pomp n Circumstance. Third was Mrs Nikki Axon’s Chilli S Midnight Star ridden by Caroline Harris.

The RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Championship which is taking place at The Festival for the first time this year completed its dressage phase today. Standing in first position before the showjumping and cross country tomorrow is Carlos Parro (BRA) on Summon up the Blood a 13-year-old bay gelding with a total of 27.8. Georgina Nicholls is lying in second with 30.2 on Gods Ground very closely followed by Andrew Downes on 30.3 with Gold Nuggett. The competition is set to be a real showcase for racehorses excelling in their second career as eventers.

The Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship concluded its dressage today. The competition is tight with less than two points separating the top three. Francis Whittington and DHI Purple Rain just squeezed into first place with 27.1 penalties followed by local rider Tom McEwen on Dreamaway II in second with 28.5. Oliver Townend with Miss Cooley is chasing on 28.8 – with all to play for tomorrow in the next two phases.

Current leader of the pack in the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship is Laura Schroter on Willem Van Wup, closely followed by Pippa Funnell on Maybach and Tom McEwen on CHF Cooliser with just over three penalty points separating the top five.

The Top Spec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup dressage results were Harriet Ford with According to Archie in first with a score of 25.5. In second Paula J Holden on Falco III with 27 penalty points and in third Lucy K Wheeler King Creole VD N Ranch on 27.1.

Peter Phillips, Event Director commented, “We have had a fantastic start to the competition with three of our five British Championships underway with some very exciting combinations in the frame. We have also had a great deal of positive feedback on the ground conditions from competitors and I can’t wait for the action to really hot up over the weekend.”