There were an abundance of wins for British riders this weekend as we look back at the international competition action from the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Longines Global Champions Tour and Spruce Meadows Masters show.
Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Oxfordshire
Eight of the top ten places in the CCI3* class were filled by British riders at this weekend’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. Francis Whittington with Catherine Witt’s grey gelding, Easy Target, recorded their first international win together, having been second at two CIC3* events this year - Barbury Castle in July and Gatcombe Open Championships in August.
The combination added just 1.6 time penalties from the cross country phase to their impressive dressage score of 37.2 penalties to leave them in second place ahead of the final day of competition. Lying just 0.8 penalties behind overnight leader William Fox-Pitt, Francis produced a foot perfect clear round to take the lead after William picked up four jumping penalties on Lady Best and Jane Keir’s Freddie Mac to see them finish in second place.
UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Development Programme rider Jodie Amos completed the top three on her own and Nicola Stocker’s 10 year old gelding Wise Crack. Adding nothing from the cross country phase and just four faults from the showjumping saw the combination finish behind William to take third place.
Longines Global Champions Tour CSI5*, Lausanne, Swirzerland
It came right down to the wire in this weekend’s Grand Prix class of the Longines Global Champions tour, with Britain’s John Whitaker narrowly missing out on the top spot coming second to Ludger Beerbaum. Riding his own and his wife’s (Clare) Argento, John produced two clear jumping rounds to move forward to the final jump off round where the combination again kept their penalty score to zero in a time of 38.31 seconds. Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, winner of the Grand Prix at the twelfth Global Champions Tour 2014, completed the jump off in a time of 37.50 seconds on Chaman to beat John into second place by less than one second.
Masters CSIO5*, Spruce Meadows, Canada
It was a Whitaker weekend as nephew to John, William Whitaker, posted a host of top results at the Spruce Meadows Masters CSI5* show in Canada. A double clear in a time of 46.01 seconds on the Elisan AB owned Upperclass was enough to secure the win in the Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m ahead of The Netherland’s Marc Houtzager. Continuing his good form the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Development Programme rider went on to take third place, again on the bay gelding Upperclass, in the Suncor Energy Cup 1.50m with the win going to Conor Swail for Ireland.
Keeping up the Whitaker theme, cousin Robert piloted Miss Mandy Hall and Mrs Clare Whitaker’s USA Today to a fourth place finish in the AKITA Drilling Parcours de Chasse 1.50m class in a time of 85.392 seconds. Slotting in to fifth place with a time of 86.410 seconds meant more success for William Whitaker this time on his father (Ian) and Mr Calvin McDonald’s Glenavadra Brilliant.