Today Barbury was again not short of action with two full CIC*** sections battling it out in reverse order for top spot.
King of Barbury for the second year running without doubt was Andrew Nicholson riding the fabulous grey Avebury who is named after a local stone circle. Not only did they lead from the front adding only 0.8 penalties to their dressage score but they also finished over 10 points clear of Izzy Taylor who finished 2nd on KBIS Starchaser. Izzy also finished 4th in section A on Dax Van Ternieuwbeke behind Lucy Wiegersma on Simon Porloe.
Section B of the CIC*** saw British rider Piggy French on Tinka’s Time head off a strong North American challenge in the form of USA rider Clark Montgomery riding Loughan Glen and Canadian Rebecca Howard on Riddle Master who finished in second and third respectively with Kitty King on Persimmon only 0.6 of a penalty behind Rebecca in 4th.
The challenging but beautifully designed course by Captain Mark Phillips and built by the Willis Brothers claimed some notable scalps. Andrew Nicholson suffered a fall from Viscount George but he remained philosophical and has great hopes for this exciting 9yo. Mary King suffered a nasty horse fall at the hippo out of the main water complex and although the screens were initially raised for Imperial Cavalier he although looking sore was walked back to the stables. Another horse fall was Borough PennyZ and Vittoria Panizzon who pecked on landing after the Pub fence, PennyZ then decided to take a tour of the grounds jumping several pieces of rope on her way back to the lorry park.
Laura Collett had a day to write off after retiring both Noble Bestman who took a dislike to the water in the main arena and Rayef who had been sitting in second place overnight after a run out at the second house after the main arena water. Pippa Funnell had a close call coming in to the main arena only just missing Japanese rider Toshiyuki Tanaka who she was quickly catching after he had had an earlier stop. The time proved to be very tight not helped by temperatures hitting 30 degrees and large amount of horse flies irritating the horses. Only two combinations successfully finished inside the time they being Beanie Sturgis riding Lebowski and Craig Nicolai riding Just Ironic.
The RoR championship title was retained by Tim Price on Vortex with Oliver Townend in 2nd on Black Tie II a repeat of last year’s top results. The 10 riders who had been invited back after Friday’s class were presented with an imposing showjumping track in the main arena in addition to a large crowd and electric atmosphere. The finalists were a true credit to the fact racehorses really can have a happy and successful second career.