It went right down to the wire in an exciting finale to the Equi-Trek CCI4*-L but it was Kitty King for Great Britain who came out on top with a near perfect show jumping performance. Riding Vendredi Biats for owners Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd-Baker, Sally Eyre and Samantha Wilson, the Wiltshire rider cantered into the arena knowing the rider before her, Gemma Tattersall riding Jalapeno III, had lowered a fence which gave her a further four penalty cushion to add to the 0.1 she had in hand.
The handsome grey by Winningmood VD moved effortlessly around Di Boddy’s technical track, giving every coloured pole clear air. As the last few fences approached, the tension rose but Kitty, ever the professional, kept her cool and ‘Froggy’ was home for a clear round but just 0.4 of a time penalty, leaving the duo on 27.2 which gave them victory by 3.7 penalties.
Kitty and Froggy headed north after a trip to Badminton CCI5* didn’t end as hoped and they retired on the cross country. Having finished fourth here last year, Kitty thought Bramham would be a good re-route. “I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “After Badminton didn’t go to plan, Bramham was my first thought and driving up, I was just like please let me be right and I can put it all behind me.”
Today she must be feeling it was the right decision as she’s taking home £5,750 in prize money and, almost more importantly, the use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for a year.
Yesterday’s cross country was a true four star test and in testing wet conditions but it took nothing out of Kitty’s ride; “He pulled up really well, we then iced him as normal and gave him a little trot in the afternoon and he was great. This morning we took him straight out and he looked good – all very different to last year when he cut into himself and we had a very stressful Saturday evening!” she explained.
She was pleased with today’s effort; “In the ring he felt good and was really listening but I’m a bit annoyed with myself with my 0.4 time penalty but I got a bit hooky! He didn’t really ever feel like touching a fence and generally as long as I get the canter right, he jumps beautifully,” she said.
It was an emotional call to mum at home and the rider who isn’t one for showing much emotion, it even included a few tears of joy before the prize giving to collect her prizes including the Sugden Perpetual Trophy and setting off on the lap of honour.
Gemma Tattersall topped off an outstanding week after her short format win on Saturday to finish second on 11 year old mare Jalapeno III and sixth on nine year old Chilli Knight, both owned by Christopher Stone and sired by Chilli Morning. “I gave it a good go didn’t I! To finish second on new ride Jalapeno for Chris and Lisa Stone, I couldn’t be happier for them for such a good result!”
Having already ridden a clear on Chilli Knight, Gemma had a feel for the course and the time which helped, but Jalapeno just had the middle part of the treble to take the pressure off Kitty King, “Jalapeno has been renowned for not being the best show jumper in the world, it’s my strongest phase, so there’s still work to be done.”
Her strong results at Bramham have put an end to her poor start to the season where injuries had really affected Gemma; “Thank god Miss Tattersall has finally found some form! I was so close to booking a summer holiday and having a month off. But I thought ‘no, let’s got to Bramham it’s one of your favourite events, let’s go see if you can get a result’.” Gemma now heads to Bolesworth to jump in the eventer’s grand prix.
Selina Milnes has had a super time at Bramham with William Rucker’s 11 year old gelding Iron IV. They went clear in the show jumping with just 1.2 time penalties. Selina is based just south of Bristol with a string of event horses, the combination placed fourth at Blenheim last year but went one better today.
“I’m absolutely delighted, he jumped really well. He was so full of it at the trot up, I thought I might have to take him for a hack! So I had to really ride him today. I didn’t notice the atmosphere, I told myself I’m not at Bramham, just jumping round a local show. He’s a big open horse, and with this course you were always turning, so I had to get him focused. It’s been a really good week!”
Selina is now rethinking her plans for the rest of the season, “The aim originally wasn’t Burghley, but I think if you jump well round here, you’ve got a Burghley horse, so who knows!”
It’s been a fantastic 2019 at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials – make sure the dates for 2020 are in your diary – 11 – 14 June.
For final results – head to www.bdwp.co.uk/bra