Bettina Hoy led the Blenheim Palace CCI3* from start to finish on Seigneur Medicott and there could hardly be a more popular winner. Adding only cross country time penalties to her dressage score, she’s a worthy winner of this year’s title. There were only 12 clears out of 55 rounds this afternoon over Di Boddy’s course, and although it looked more straightforward than yesterday’s CIC3* course, obviously the horses were jumping after their cross country exertions, and the slightly holding ground was also a factor.
Our three remaining U.S. riders all ended up in the top 20 but it was obviously disappointing for both Hannah Sue Burnett to slip from 2nd to 5th with two rails down and Holly Payne Caravella to 13th from 7th with the same.
Hannah Sue told me Harbour Pilot wasn’t particularly tired but slightly affected by the atmosphere and jumping off grass. “He was a bit aggressive today. He gets nervous and he doesn’t always jump great off the grass. Obviously he worked really hard yesterday and you can tell today he wasn’t as careful as he has been. Silvio Mazzoni has been helping me a ton. I’m still really proud of him, he’s still the best horse in the world.”
Likewise, Holly said Santino tried his hardest and didn’t think yesterday’s exertions had too much bearing on today’s rails. “He felt pretty good. He can be a little tricky in the show-jumping. He’s not really a traditional show jumper and I’ve not jumped him on wet grass before. He felt full of energy, he just felt a little bit different off the ground than I’m used to having in the ring but I’m happy with him, he tried hard and he was good. It’s been a great two weeks over here, really awesome, but it will be good to be home.” Holly has not decided yet what her plan for Santino is next year.
Kurt Martin moved up to 17th place with a beautiful clear round on Delux Z. “I’m really happy with the horse, he really tried, it’s just been such a great experience. It really took a lot of people helping here and at home, and I’m happy that it turned out so well for all of us. It’s been so much fun, even going into the show jumping this afternoon was fun, watching everyone was fun. I mean the top 15 riders were all amazing, to be around all these people and watch has been such a wonderful experience.”
Andrew Nicholson capitalised on his fast cross country round yesterday and had just one rail down today to move up to take second place on his own and his father-in-law’s Teseo, and Lydia Hannon is the best British rider on her little mare My Royal Touch. Nicola Wilson added nothing but time to her dressage score on Bulana to finish fourth just ahead of Hannah Sue Burnett.
It’s been a crazy busy week here at The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials with the CIC3* for 8 and 9 year olds, the CCI3* and this year also the finale of the ERM. Enormous and heartfelt thank you to all the riders, grooms, supporters, volunteers and organisers who make it all possible and who literally kept the show on the road.
Safe travels home to all our U.S. horses and riders who are on their way back this week and good luck to those who are moving on to Boekelo.
Thank you all for being a part of the Eventing Nation and don’t go away, we’re already getting ready for Plantation next weekend, and much more!