The Equi-Trek Bramham CCI3* First Horse Inspection took place as it normally does in front of the house, with the competitors walking onto the main front lawn from the picturesque stable yard, but unusually this year, it also took place this afternoon bathed in glorious sunshine.
We can’t help but remark on it as it happens so rarely here in England, and it really makes all the difference! Perhaps inspired by the warmth and the wonderful surrounding we were treated to not only some stunning horseflesh which of course we expect from a division packed with such depth and quality such as this, but also some seriously classy outfits, both from the men and the ladies.
Everyone who presented was accepted. Richard Jones withdrew Highland Ford before the Inspection which meant 72 horses came before the Ground Jury of Angela Tucker (president), Christina Klingspor and Harry Payne.
Two horses, Sarah Ennis’ Horseware Stellor Rebound and Nick Gauntlett’s Crown Talisman were asked to trot up twice before being sent to the holding box; both were accepted upon re-inspection. Flora Harris’ Bayano and Cedric Lyard’s Cadeau du Roi were also asked to trot up twice but were also accepted.
Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica both looked stunning and very appropriate. Veronica travelled well here with super groom Shannon Kinsley while Lauren was competing at Bromont, and they stayed a few nights with Chris Bartle in Yorkshire before settling in here at Bramham.
Although reluctant to share too much for fear of jinxing herself, which I completely understand, Lauren is excited that Veronica will stay here after Bramham and she will return to England after the Pan Am Games with four more of her horses to spend the rest of the fall season here in the UK.
Veronica will go home with Jess and Clark Montgomery and stay with them until the end of July when Lauren and Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Landmark’s Jungle ROC, Vermiculus and the show jumper Smilla will join her, and they will re-locate to Henrietta Knight’s in Wantage and be based there.
Tentatively the plan at the moment is that Lauren, Shannon, Aubyn Geser and the horses would stay there until October; with the exception of Veronica they are all owned by Jacqueline Mars, and Lauren was quick to remind me that it was all due to her generosity that this is possible. Ms Mars is planning to come and watch her horses compete in England, and Lauren said she had fond memories of doing the same when David and Karen O’Conner were based over here too.
Katherine Coleman is also representing the USA in the CCI3* here at Bramham, but being based here she had less far to travel. Courage Under Fire looked stunning, as did she; we’ll keep our fingers crossed for both our American pairs this weekend.
We do have a precedent as Bruce Davidson won the very first running of the three-day event here back in 1974 on Paddy. More recently in 2003 Will Coleman won the U25 CCI3* on Fox in Flight so equally that should give our young rider contender Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace some hope. The Under 25 CCI3* division trot up Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
Dressage gets underway early tomorrow morning, but stay tuned for a cross country preview before then. The Under 25 CCI3* riders, including Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace, do their dressage on Friday. Go the USA at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials, and Go Eventing!