Ireland’s Fred Scala was victorious in yesterday’s Ashby Underwriting Eventers’ Challenge (27 July) with Corriebeg Supernova, while last year’s victor Gemma Stevens took second and third place.

It was the first time Fred had taken part in the class at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, but it had been a long-held dream for the event rider.

“I wanted to do this class forever growing up,” he said. “This class was always a highlight each year, so it’s just been a dream to win.”

The 34-year-old rider top the premier position with Corriebeg Supernova, an 11-year-old chestnut mare by Silvano. Fred, who is from Co Carlow but is now based in Derbyshire, gave thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the eventing showcase.

“It was just great fun, and such a fun class – fast, a great course, the ground was amazing, the atmosphere was amazing, and the crowd was amazing,” he added.

Like Fred, Gemma picked up a 4 second time penalty at the final fence, but her time of 129.59sec relegated her to second place. She also produced the fastest round of the day on her other ride Santiago Bay, but with two fences down, they finished on a total time of 130.52sec.

“It’s not a bad day in the office, taking second and third – and it never gets old going in that arena,” said Gemma. “I’ve been incredibly lucky over the last couple of years and I’ve had plenty of spins round there in different classes, and honest to God, it never gets old cantering up the chute into the main arena. It’s just awesome.”

Lead image of Fred Scala and Corriebeg Supernova. Credit: Elli Birch

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