British Open Championship
Gemma Tattersall riding Artic Soul
Gemma was 11th after the show jumping but she set a blistering pace on the scopey Artic Soul to finish just 3 seconds over the optimum time and take the win.
"Gatcombe is such a special event, it’s the home of British eventing and I’ve been wanting to win the national title ever since I finished third in 2010 and it really fired me up."
Oliver Townend riding Cillnabradden Evo
Oliver Townend became the first British rider for five years to win The British Open Championship with a brilliant piece of riding on the talented but quirky Cillnabradden Evo.
“Gatcombe is a very special place to me, so this win means a lot,” said a breathless Townend. “We know that the horse hasn’t got great speed over distance and, although he’s very genuine, he can do the odd thick thing, so I was just trying to conserve his energy and get him home safely. I honestly thought the win had gone.”
Oliver Townend is one of Gatcombe’s most successful riders
Chris Burton riding TS Jamaimo
Chris Burton entered the history book as only the 3rd Australian rider to take the British Open Championship. He started in 9th place after the show jumping and rose through the ranks in the dramatic conclusion of the British Open.
“It’s a bit of a shock win – I was quite cross at having a show jumping rail down,” confessed Chris. “But this is a very exciting win for me. The Festival is an event that gets us riders fired up.”
Nicola Wilson riding Beltane Queen
Nicola Wilson took home the National Champion title as best placed Brit in 3rd place on the beautiful Beltane Queen, bubbling after her super ride Nicola said “She was phenomenal; she’s just getting better and better. I can’t believe it!”
Nicola also finished ninth on her other ride Bulana.
Shane Rose riding Happy Times
Australian rider Shane Rose, who has based himself with his great friend and compatriot Sam Griffiths this season had an unexpected boost with a win in the Neptune Advanced class.
With Sam out of action, Shane, deputised on Sam's best-known horse, the 18-year-old Happy Times, one of the most consistent four-star horses of all time took the advanced in convincing style.
‘It’s a bit like being thrown the keys of a fancy sports car,’ joked Shane. ‘It was rather a treat. He’s very cool, very level-headed and all I had to do was steer.’
Oliver Townend riding Dunbeau
Oliver Townend made the Advanced section his own claiming three of the top four places with his trio of rides. Top of the pile was Peter Windus’ Dunbeau, who added one pole down in the Show Jumping and eight time penalties across the country to his good Dressage score of 25.7.
“It was a really nice surprise to finish first and second,” said Oliver, who recorded characteristically speedy rounds on all three rides. “I liked the changes to the course, which meant spectators were more spread out around the park. The new water rode well, although having to turn back and jump it a second time was a bit disconcerting.”
Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship
Oliver Townend riding Khoi Traveller
Oliver Townend took his tally of national titles to an impressive 10 with victory on Angela Hyslop’s Khoi Traveler in the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship.
"He was a racehorse so if any horse was going to cope it was him, although actually the ground has held up superbly," explained Oliver "Three days ago I wasn’t going to bring him here because he came late to eventing and I thought his dressage was a little bit behind, so this is quite a surprise!"
Alexander Whewall riding Chakiris Star
Alexander Whewall celebrated the biggest win of his career when he triumphed in the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship.
“I came here hoping for a placing, so to win in this company is just amazing. He’s only little and he’s not flash, but he tries so hard. He was spot on in all three phases today; I couldn’t fault him,” said Alexander.
Oliver Townend riding Note Worthy
Oliver, who had already won the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship earlier in the day, once again led from the start, this time with Andrew Cawthray’s Note Worthy, an 11-year-old by Limmerick. His dressage score of 23.3, to which he added just 1.2 time penalties across the country, left him 12 marks clear of the rest of the field.
“He has an endless gallop and although he needs a squeeze at times, he’s class. I had quite an early draw and I knew I had good ones around me, so I couldn’t afford to hang around.” said Oliver.
Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship
Ben Hobday riding Shadow Man II
Ben Hobday secured his first national title when he led the prestigious Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship from start to finish with Jane Chambers' and his own rising star Shadow Man II.
“He’s everything you want in an event horse — athletic, intelligent and exceptionally kind,” said Ben. "At nearly 17hh he’s a big horse, but he’s incredibly light on his feet. This was his 10th win in 23 starts.”
Francis Whittington riding Evento
Francis Whittington out-galloped his rivals to clinch the coveted Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship, steering Sarah Arrowsmith's gelding Evento to the fastest cross country round for just two time penalties.
“He’s a great galloper. I set him up a bit for some of the earlier fences, but once we were in our stride I let him roll along on a long rein and took a few tighter lines,” explained Francis, who is no stranger to speeding around Gatcombe Park – in 2004 he made history by joining the select band of riders who have finished inside the time in the British Open Championship.
Oliver Townend riding Sonic de Sermentol
Gatcombe Park is a regular happy hunting ground for Oliver Townend and so it proved in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship, in which he finished first and second. He led throughout to finish on his dressage score of 27.7 on Stephanie D’Andrimont’s Sonic de Sermentol.
This was the Shropshire rider’s fourth victory in this prestigious class for young horses, following wins in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup
Lorna Collins and Blackrock Ricardo
Lorna Collins and Blackrock Ricardo scored a pillar to post victory in the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup, the National Restricted Novice Championship.
“My only aim was to give him a nice experience; I was just hoping for a double clear. He went a little bit green on me at the two water fences and was mentally and physically very tired by the end, but I couldn’t be more thrilled." enthused Lorna
Andrea Clark riding Murphy Bonanza
Andrea Clark and Murphy Bonanza triumphed in a thrilling finale in The TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup, the National Restricted Novice Championship. Thirteenth after dressage, a rare clear in the influential show jumping phase elevated the pair to joint first going into the cross country.
“We took an absolute flyer over the wall at fence 5 and my hat fell down over my eyes, so the next few jumps were a bit of a blur,” admitted the 44-year-old from Doncaster, who works full time as a manager for a mobile crane operator. “I had hoped for a double clear, so to win is incredible.”
Noah Brook riding Deo Volente III
Noah Brook became the inaugural – and runaway – winner of The TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup riding Deo Volente III, a seven year old owned by Paul Crompton.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself this morning before the showjumping as I was in the lead after the dressage at Chatsworth CIC1* earlier in the year and had two fences down,” said the Huddersfield-based rider, who ironically could have afforded two rolled poles on this occasion, such was his winning margin.