After being a visitor for as long as she can remember tagging along with her mum Mary, Emily King realised a dream earlier today as she became the 2018 Bramham CCI3* U25 champion. Riding Jane Del Missier’s Dargun, King rode an expertly crafted clear round over Di Boddy’s technical and up to height track to add no further penalties to the 25.5 she posted for her dressage on Friday.
Dargun, a 10-year-old by Valliant, showed no signs of fatigue from yesterday’s superb effort across the country – in fact King reported he was positively frisky on his leg stretch this morning before the final horse inspection. As she entered the ring, she knew she couldn’t afford a single pole down as French rider Thibault Fournier had gone clear with Siniani de Lathus to climb to second from third place and pile on the pressure.
It was a heart stopping moment when the duo rattled the first fence but it stayed in place and afterwards they gave every rail space to leave them all standing to finish on the dressage score she posted on Friday, the only rider to do so in the section.
King's boyfriend Sam Ecroyd ended up third, but not on the horse he lay second on after cross-country, Cooley Currency who unfortunately had the first two parts down in the treble to slip down the order to sixth. But it was Vicki Irlam’s Master Douglas who rose from fifth to third with a clear on a final score of 32.1. Tom Jackson and Carpa du Buisson Z maintained their fourth place with one down while France took the final top five place when Marie Caroline Barbier and her stunning grey Picasso D’oreal rose from seventh with just a single time penalty in the show jumping.
A beaming King said; “He felt amazing today! When I got on him in the warm-up he was bucking and squealing — it helps him with his spring and attention if he’s a bit jolly. He jumped well in the warm-up and carried that through into the ring. The crowd helps him rather than distracting him and the fences were quite spooky here, which helps too. He jumped consistently and was very focused so I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Fournier followed in saying; ““He’s a really good jumper, but I don’t know him well after a longer cross-country and I was afraid he might be tired and not jump as well as usual, but he was fresh today.”
“I’m really happy with both horses,” declared Ecroyd. “Master Douglas has struggled with dressage but always been a fabulous jumper and he’s had a real ‘rocky road’ of soundness issues. We’ve only had one and a half runs in two years so to come here and do this shows he’s a real special horse.
“Cooley Currency is still green at this level and coming here I didn’t think he’d even go inside the time across country. It’s a lot for a big horse to go 10 and a half minutes yesterday and then go into a tight treble at the end of a round of 12 fences, that can happen. But I hope the more he does, he’ll get stronger and he won’t have that sort of problem.”
The U.S. representatives did not have a great finish to the weekend with Hallie Coon's Celien being eliminated in the final horse inspection and Caroline Martin having 12 and 29 show jump penalties with Danger Mouse and The Apprentice respectively.
KRAJEWSKI SUBLIME FOR EQUI-TREK CCI3* VICTORY
For the first time in seven years, the ‘Deutschlandlied’ echoed around the Equi-Trek Bramham arena for rider Julia Krajewski and her horse Chipmunk FRH as they were the run-away winners in the event’s showcase Equi-Trek CCI3* by a near 10 point margin. The duo were a class act throughout the week and were deserved winners. It was a case of third time lucky for the rider who’s based near Warendorf in Germany as her previous trips to the Yorkshire venue have be less than successful but now it’s one of her favourite venues!
Below them, the show jumping was certainly influential with both the second and third placed riders after cross country, Karim-Florent Laghouag and William Fox-Pitt lowering poles to demote them down the order to fifth and 11th respectively. An earlier clear round from Austrailian Bill Levett riding Elisabeth Murdoch’s Lassban Diamond Lift put them in with a chance of a podium place which was realised when both Fox-Pitt and Laghouag faltered. A clear by Andrew Nicholson and the beautiful grey Swallow Springs owned by Diana Ridgeon gave them second place.
Krajewski had a comfortable cushion as she entered the arena but she needed none of her advantage as her 10-year-old Contendro gelding gave every pole plenty of room for an immaculate clear and the £5,750 first prize and use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for a year.
Fourth spot went to Kitty King who also took the ‘best Brit’ accolade with Vendredi Biats, owned by Samantha Wilson, Sally Eyre and Sally Lloyd-Baker after they added nothing to their dressage of 29.4.
“When I was walking down I thought it would be really nice if he jumped clear,” Krajewski reflected. “Today we really hit it on the button and I’m really proud of him today. To finish on such a dressage score with a fit and happy horse is just really, really cool.
“Obviously I’m delighted; the week couldn’t have been any better for me. I love competing in England – the events are so friendly!”
Nicholson said; “He can jump well, but he’s been a bit green with the people in the show jumping in the past, but today he felt more secure and grown up. He’s always been a good horse at every level but like every horse, you have set backs and last year here I fell off him in the last water. This year, he’s come here and made it feel very easy.”
Levett summed his performance up; “He’s a young horse doing his first CCI3* and all three phases have been hugely satisfying; he was so good today. At a one-day event he can be a bit fresh and keen and have a rail, but today he was settled and showed what he can do when he’s relaxed.”
Full results – click here