Female riders filled the top spots in two CCI4*S sections at the FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials on Sunday (18 April). It marks the first international eventing classes to be held on UK soil in 2021.

Kitty King said it was the toughest cross-country course her CCI4*S section B winner Cristal Fontaine, who is owned by Camilla and Alex Wakeley, had ever seen.

“He was green, but he was so genuine,” said Kitty. “It wasn’t always the tidiest, but he got it done and every time I said, ‘come on, let’s do this’, he answered every question.”

The top three in this section all completed on their dressage scores. Piggy March and her 2019 Badminton winner Vanir Kamira finished second, just ahead of Gemma Tattersall and one of Chris and Lisa Stone’s homebred Chilli Morning progeny, Chilli Knight.

Piggy French and Dargun. Photo: Hannah Cole Photography

Piggy went one better in CCI4*S section C, netting the spoils aboard Dargun and preventing a double for Kitty King, who slotted into second riding Vendredi Biats.

Izzy Taylor completed an all-female top three in this section, finishing third with Monkeying Round after an unlucky pole in the showjumping phase.

“I was delighted with him in all three phases,” said Piggy of Dargun. “He tried as hard as he could.

“It’s just great to be getting out and doing something,” added Piggy, “getting competitive and starting to ride round some good tracks”.

Townend triumphs

This was the first time in over a decade that FEI eventing world number one Oliver Townend’s name did not feature on the winners’ list for the four-star competition.

Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent. Photo: Hannah Cole Photography

However, he did secure the top spot in the CCI3* with Paul Ridgeon’s Cooley Rosalent. The pair put in a brilliant double clear to finish on their dressage score.

“Really positive for the future,” Oliver said of the horse’s performance. “I thought the CCI3S* course was fantastic; it was educational but very fair. Hopefully Cooley Rosalent will be back here to win the four-star.”

Daisy Proctor achieved her best CCI3* result to date when finishing second with Quarry Man and Oliver Jackson filled third with Viktor Krum.

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