Welcome to Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair where, just north-west of Dublin, Ireland’s foremost event has kicked off its 2019 iteration. It’s a bit grey, and a bit soggy, but the craic is plentiful — and so are the hopes of our assembled competitors. Today, the CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S entrants assembled for the first horse inspection, presided over by Dr Ernst Topp (GER), Annabel Scrimgeour (GBR), and Tim Downes (GBR).
Will Coleman and Off The Record were the first combination to take to the strip in this afternoon’s CCI4*-L line-up, and they kicked off an uneventful inspection that saw each of the 27 horses entered pass through to tomorrow’s dressage.
Likewise, all 24 of the CCI4*-S horses and riders made it through the first horse inspection, held in the sprawling stable blocks abutting the Tattersalls house. Though reasonably compact in size, both classes feature an array of world-class combinations from across the continent and beyond, all fighting for the chance to triumph over the tough Ian Stark track criss-crossing the Co. Meath estate.
Our tips? Look out for Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street to set a competitive bar in the first phase of the CCI4*-L, but don’t discount the inexperienced but flashy Fabian, piloted by Millie Dumas, who could put up a solid fight. Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto is riding high off a CCI4*-S win at Chatsworth two weeks ago, and could deliver three very, very impressive performances with Bernadette Utopia. Izzy Taylor is the reigning champion in this class, and this year, she brings forward PSH Gazelle – when Izzy’s in it, she’s in it to win it, so don’t take your eyes off her. Laura Collett‘s Dacapo might not have had his moment in the spotlight yet, but it’s certainly coming soon – and it could be this week.
In the CCI4*-S, our brand-new World Number One Tim Price looks formidable with the super-talented, super-sassy mare Ascona M, who will likely lead the dressage. But she has stiff competition from some experienced top-level talent: Alex Bragg‘s stalwart partner Zagreb heads up his stable of three entries in this class, while Sam Watson brings forward his Luhmühlen entries, Ballindenisk winner Imperial Sky and Tullabeg Flamenco. Tina Cook‘s experienced Calvino II appears here, too, having rerouted after not making it off the Badminton waitlist, and the former Chris Burton mount TS Jamaimo comes forward under new rider Daniel Alderson. Here, too, Kazuma Tomato could challenge for the win: he rides Astier Nicolas’ enviably talented WEG mount Vinci de la Vigne.
The competition begins in earnest tomorrow, with CCI4*-L dressage from 9.00am BST/4.00am EST, and CCI4*-S dressage following upon its conclusion. Can’t make the trip to Dublin this year? You’ll be able to live-stream all phases through Tattersalls’ Facebook page. Want to dive into an analysis of the fields? Check out the Eventing Podcast preview, available to download now. We’ll be back with everything you need to know from Ireland’s premier event – stay tuned!
CCI4*-L First Horse Inspection
CCI4*-S First Horse Inspection