Nicola Wilson took the impressive Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials CCI3* title and Oliver Townend with Cilnabradden Evo won the leg of the Event Rider Masters at the weekend.
The London 2012 team silver medallist Nicola Wilson riding Annie Clover held onto the lead from day one. Although when it came to the jumping phase it became nail biting as their lead by three-fences was narrowed when they dropped one pole racking up seven time penalties to reduce their winning margin to just 1.3 penalties. “I’m thrilled to bits. She’s been so consistent at Three Day Events and she’s finally got the win she deserves,” said Nicola.
In the Event Rider Master (ERM) Oliver Townend became the first rider to win the legs back-to-back, when he and Cilnabradden Evo were victorious in the most exciting of contests. The top placing kept changing as the competition started to come to a close, but in the end Oliver was in a league of his own, riding his 10-year-old to a final score of 45.2. “Everyone knows we’ve had a lot of ups and downs with this horse, but hopefully now we’ve turned a corner,” said Oliver.
ERM first-timer Tom McEwen took second place with Diesel, who’s been off for the best part of two years. “It’s brilliant to have him back; I’ve really missed riding him,” said Tom. Gemma Tattersall and Santiago Bay finished third which puts them in a very strong position going into the final leg of the ERM series at Blenheim.
Taking the top honours in the CIC3*, was Flora Harris and Bayano who were crowned Scottish Open Champions. After the show jumping they were lying in second place, but after the leaders Bill Levett and Improvise’s withdrawal, this pushed them to the top spot ahead of runners-up Oliver Townend (Dunbeau) and Paul Tapner (Bonza King of Rouges) finishing third.
CCI2* winner Caroline Clarke, landed her first international victory with her ride, Touch Too Much. “I was shaking when I went into the arena,” said Caroline. “I knew he could jump clear, though, so long as I didn’t mess it up.” Jonelle Price finished second with Kindred Spirit IV, while Paul Sims and Last Secret took third.
New Zealand’s Jonelle Price went one better in the CCI1*, leading from start to finish aboard OBOS Impressive. The mare won the prestigious five-year-old young event horse championship at Dublin show two years ago before crossing the Irish Sea to Jonelle’s Wiltshire yard. “She’s just my stamp of horse; a proper little athlete,” said Jonelle. Jock Paget (Optimus Prime II) finished second, while Kirsty Johnston completed the top three with Classic VI.