Hoy and Funnell lead the way at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Bettina Hoy and Seigneur Medicott. Image credit Adam Fanthorpe/Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials
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Hoy and Funnell lead the way at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials Dressage

Former European champion Bettina Hoy has a sizeable lead in the CCI3* after the first day of dressage at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

Bettina Hoy and Seigneur Medicott. Image credit Adam Fanthorpe/Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials
Bettina Hoy and Seigneur Medicott. Image credit Adam Fanthorpe/Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Riding Seigneur Medicott, an elegant bay 10-year-old owned by Gerd-Hermann Horst, the German rider scored an impressive mark of 32.9.

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Bettina said: “I’m very pleased – he’s still a very young horse, but he’s a beautiful mover and a beautiful horse. He really tries to concentrate and is lovely to ride. I think he’s very exciting; I don’t know whether I can keep the ride on him, as he belongs to an owner, but I’d like to secure it if I can.

“The cross-country course here [Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials] is beautifully built as always and the ground looks fantastic. I always thought of Blenheim Palace as the perfect stepping stone for this horse for whatever comes next year.”

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Britain’s Harry Meade is in second place after scoring 39.6 on Orlando, owned by Di Davies, Irene Graham and Anita Dalton. Third is Hannah Sue Burnett from the USA, with a mark of 41.7 on Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot.

In the CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses, British Olympic rider Pippa Funnell is in pole position with Jonathan and Jane Clarke’s eight-year-old MGH Grafton Street. The pair scored 35.2.

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Pippa said: “I saw this horse last year when Andrew Nicholson was riding him and really liked him. I asked Andrew if he was for sale, and he said he wasn’t, but I kept a close eye on him all season, and after Andrew had his accident [he broke his neck badly in a fall at Gatcombe in August 2015] he rang me and said the horse was coming on to the market. Jonathan and Jane Clarke bought him for me to ride.

“This is his first CIC3*; he is one I am excited about for the future and I brought him here with the future in mind. It’s such great education for him here – I won’t run him flat to the boards across country but will ride how he feels. He’s a good jumper, and I was delighted with his dressage; he’s got a lovely brain and three good paces.”

French rider Sidney Dufresne is second with Agnes Trouble’s Tresor Mail on 36.5, while Britain’s Tom McEwen lies third on Frank and Jane Inns’ and his own Toledo De Kerser with 36.6.

Dressage continues this morning. Swiss rider Jasmin Gambirasio was the first into the CCI3* arena with That’s It II at 9am, while Britain’s Oliver Townend started the day off in the CIC3* with Cooley SRS at 9.30am.

If you can’t make it to the event this year, the sporting action will be live-streamed via the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials website (www.blenheimhorse.co.uk), so sign up now – and if you miss anything, you can watch again on catch-up. The Event Rider Masters series will be streamed live on www.eventridermasters.tv.

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email: sashton@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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