Bicton Arena International Horse Trials are a huge hit despite the rain
PUBLISHED: 12:43 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:43 31 October 2019
Torrential rain failed to dampen spirits at Bicton Arena International Horse Trials where four days of competition concluded the 2019 British Eventing season on Sunday, writes Lucy Johnson.
Evasive action was taken on Saturday during the worst of the down pours with fences moved to enable the competition to go ahead.
Course designer Helen West explained: "With each class running on fresh ground, we knew we'd be able to cope with the rain by tweaking the courses where necessary to ensure it was as safe as possible. We also had the advantage that Sunday would be a bright, sunny day so we pressed ahead. We've had some fantastic feedback from riders, and all in all it was a great competition."
Will Rawlin and V.I.P Vinnie's stunning dressage in the CCI-S 3* left them on a score of 24 and in pole position in the CCI-S 3* and with just 0.8 cross country time penalties added to their score they were the clear winners with Louisa Lockwood on Fernhill Aldo some 6.4 points adrift in second.
Northern Ireland's Lucca Stubington took the CCI-L2* on the nine-year-old Quingenti finishing on their dressage score of 30.20.
She said: "I can't really believe it and I didn't expect it. It's amazing. He's home produced so it's really nice. He's not always been easy and can be hard work as he seems to have his bad days and good days but its definitely been worth it."
The Dutch took the top three places in the CCI-S2* with Merel Blom on Giant Prospect BB finishing ahead of Willemina Van der Goes-Pe on Fulco and Bjinse Venderbosch on Vesuve D'Aveyron.
The showjumping had taken place in the worst of the weather, with Merel describing it as "exciting."
"My horse was fine, but the wind caused a fence to collapse, so we had to wait while they rebuilt it," she said, adding: "I was worried about the ground cross country, but I was really happy that they moved several fences. They did such an amazing job on the course. I had an easy ride, and I took my time at the difficult fences. It was a good round."
Alex Holman headed the CCI-S 2* riding his own and Janet Coe's Carrick Diamond Bard. "He did a lovely dressage test, then despite horrendous conditions in the jumping phases added nothing to this to finish on his first phase score. II'm slightly in shock but what a way to get my first ever win and I'm so pleased for everyone in my team who has helped me get this far."
Millie Toulson-Clarke riding Wizard IX won the three day BE won hundred class, finishing on her dressage score of 30.6.
"I'm really happy as we've had so many chances this year.," said Millie who is heading for the Grass Roots championships at Badminton next year.
The open section was won by Francesca Brough riding the ten-year old Emorka P. She said: "I bought him as two year old from Holland and we've come up through the grades together. We had a did a three star last year and had a crashing fall so we've been building up our confidence together," she said.
Nick Gauntlett on Morning Finale, Jo Rimmer riding Total Freedom, Rhiannon Tewson on Idefix IIIand Dani Evans on Sweet Wispa each won a BE100 class.
Ellie Fredericks and Mandorior won the ONu18 section posting a score of 27.8.
Ryuzo Kitajima too the open intermediate on Feroza Nieuwmoed and was also third on Cekatinka JRA, William Fox-Pitt headed a novice on Under Oath, Gauntlett's second win came on Party Trick in the intermediate.