Day one of the 2019 Barbury International Horse Trials: the emphasis was on young event horse classes
On Thursday (July 4) the focus at the 2019 Barbury International Horse Trials was very much on potential future stars of the sport - in the form of the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse entrants.
These classes are regarded as the shop window to view potential 'five star' horses at an early age.
Judges look for an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude which, with correct training, should develop into a strong three-day event horse.
Outback 11, was victorious in the five-year-old class. Ridden by Laura Collett, he scored an impressive 28 out of 30 for the dressage phase and one of the highest showjumping marks.
While the Duke of Hearts sired gelding wasn't Annabel Scrimgeour's top choice – she awarded him eight marks in the Suitability category - it was good enough for the win by a two point margin.
Laura bought the horse as a three-year-old and has done a few BE100 classes to date - she is hoping to move him up to novice by the end of the season, and target the 2020 Le Lion d'Angers six year old championships: "He has always been one of my favourites. He was very easy and balanced from the moment we backed him.
"He has confirmed my good opinion about his potential in competition so we are delighted."
“I am lucky to have three very supportive owners in Yogi Breisner, Chris Clementi and Diana Chappell. They have deserved a good horse, especially after Diana lost Grand Manoeuvre last year. It's particularly nice to have Yogi involved as he has helped me from the start when I was on ponies."
Runner up was Gilly Kinloch's Speedwell, ridden by Georgie Strang. The son of Cobra scored 11 out of 12 for conformation.
Scores remained close further down the line, with third and fourth placed horses on the same score, two points behind Speedwell. These two were also Annabel Scrimgeour's favourites. Direct Golden Girl, ridden by Sammi Birch and owned by Jocelyn Riley had the advantage with a better jumping score, which pushed Nicholas Lucey's Promiscuous Girl down to fourth.
Annabel Scrimgeour explained her choices: “Laura's horse played around the gallop so I gave her eight marks. Nick Lucey's mare scored 10 as she really covered ground and was balanced throughout."
“I look for a horse with presence, that looks bold through the bridle and carries itself well for its age. It must be able to go forward when asked and stay balanced when doing so, as well as looking like it could keep the pace going all day. Finally it must look adjustable and athletic. It was a very strong field today, with quality horses."
First up were the four-year-olds and it was Laura Schroter's ride Marengo Bonaparte, owned by J Henrik Schroter, who topped the lineup with a winning margin of six points.
The 16.3hh gelding by Durango VDL posted the leading dressage score, judged by Angela Tucker, and best jumping score, judged by Sue Benson, before being awarded the maximum 10 marks by Annabel Scrimgeour in the final 'wow' factor category – otherwise known as the Suitability and Potential phase.
Laura Schroter looked a little surprised by her win. She has only been riding the horse since May, having bought him from Emily Llewellyn: “We did our first competition last Sunday, a small unaffiliated dressage show, and now this. He's very chilled and easy, a really lovely horse to ride.”
Julia Norman's ride, Kontendro WSH, owned by Chas Bright, stood runner up thanks to good jumping and conformation marks that were marginally better in total than third placed Klaas-Jan B, owned by Julian Podger and ridden by Emily Young-Jameson.
Also in action on the opening day of competition were half of the CCI3*-S entrants. With 220 runners, this class had to be split into two sections, 50% of each performed their dressage today.
Izzy Taylor currently tops both leaderboards. She heads section A with PHS Lava Flow ahead of Andrew Nicholson on Andrea BT4 and Piggy French riding Brookfield Quality, although only 1.1 penalties separates the top three.
In section B it is Springpower with a 0.4 penalty advantage over Piggy, this time riding Brookfield Inocent. Laura Collett lies in third place with Sir Papillon.
Dressage re-starts early Friday morning for novice riders contesting national classes. Four star combinations also start their competition in the morning.
To buy tickets for Friday through to Sunday, and for more information, visit: www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk To find out more about Event Organiser, Musketeer Event Management, visit: www.musketeer.co.uk