Thrills and spills at 2013 Bramham International Horse Trials
PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 August 2013
Some of the finest riding was seen at one of the country’s leading eventing experiences. Report by Winnie Murphy and souvenir photographs by Fletcher Davies of k2Photographic
The nail-biting show jumping phase on the final day of the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials provided a fitting finale to two amazing competitions on Bramham’s big 40th birthday. Our two champions were Tom McEwen in the Bishop Burton College u25 CCI3* and a seventh title for William Fox-Pitt in the Equi-Trek CCI3*.
It was the curse of the clock for overnight leader Dani Evans in the Bishop Burton College u25 CCI3* when she incurred four time penalties plus a lowered pole to lose her grip on the title to Tom McEwen who just had the four penalties with his own Diesel. Last year’s winner Astier Nicholas (FRA) jumped one of only two clear rounds, the other was Britain’s Emily Llewellyn, to rise to gain a place on the podium when Laura Collett had one down with Allora 3. Georgie Spence retained her fifth position on Wii Limbo.
An expectant crowd gathered for the final eventing jumping of the day in the hope of witnessing a historic victory. They weren’t disappointed when William Fox-Pitt soaked up the pressure to jump an immaculate clear on Christopher and Lisa Stone’s Chilli Morning.
The chestnut stallion showed that the previous day’s exertions had taken nothing out of him as he pinged over every obstacle, giving them inches of space to claim the £5,000 first prize and the use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for the year which William said added extra pressure on him as he desperately wanted to keep it from last year!
Sir Mark Todd also produced a vital clear on Leonidas II to keep his second place. In third, it was a new French name to feature as Mathieu Lemoine and Quickness had an unceremonious parting of the ways when the horse refused at the middle part of the treble which brought Didier Dhennin and Opi de Saint Leo into third.
Paul Simms and Calador made a storm of the placings by rising from 27th after dressage to finish fourth by adding nothing to their dressage score.
One of the loudest cheers of the day was reserved for local star Nicola Wilson with two horses, both mares, in the top eight; Annie Clover (fifth), who won the Angela Cotton Memorial Trophy, and Beltane Queen (eighth).
The first ever George Lane Fox Memorial prize, for a combination who showed the best improvement on their dressage placing, was awarded to New Zealand rider Clarke Johnstone and Easy Tiger IV who rose from 56th with a 74.0 dressage to a final 16th place. The Horse Health Pro-Am victors were Dani Evans and Lucie McNichol.