Overnight leaders Piggy French and Brookfield Inocent. Photo by Tilly Berendt.
59 combinations came forward for the final horse inspection of the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials after the overnight withdrawal of five horses: Emily King‘s Dargun, Matt Heath‘s Thornton Jones, Samantha Hobbs‘ Cloonbarry Robin, Georgie Spence‘s Wii Limbo, and Georgia Bale‘s Wonham What Next. After a tense morning in the sumptuous grounds of Winston Churchill’s childhood home – and in front of ground jury members PollyAnn Huntington (AUS), Andrew Bennie (NZL), and Jane Holderness-Roddam (GBR) – the field has been thinned to 57.
Jessica McKie and Ask The Boss. Photo by Tilly Berendt.
Five horses were sent to the holding box throughout the course of the morning. While three of them – Hannah Bate‘s Riverside Vision, Pippa Funnell‘s Billy The Biz, and Josephine Schnaufer‘s Pasadena 217 – were subsequently accepted upon re-presentation, two didn’t fare so well. Sofia Sjoborg opted to withdraw DHI Mighty Dwight from the holding box, while Jessica McKie‘s Ask The Boss was unfortunately spun.
The conclusion of the horse inspection led directly into the start of the showjumping, which is running in reverse order of merit. The final session, featuring the top twenty competitors, will commence at 3.15 p.m. BST/10.15 a.m. EST. Meanwhile, the CCI4*-S competitors will head to the cross-country track – stay tuned for a full report on the finale of both classes.