Student leads British intermediate championship after showjumping shakes up the order

  • A 20-year-old student holds the lead in the Gatcombe Horse Trials British intermediate championship after the showjumping phase this morning (6 August), at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing.

    It was all change at the top of the Evelyn Partners-sponsored class in the second phase of the competition, over a challenging track designed by Mark McGowan.

    Oliver Townend led the dressage on Charlotte Cole and Sir John Peace’s 10-year-old mare Crazy Du Loir, who is already a double three-star winner this season. She punched in a score of 26.3 in the first phase, but four faults at the bogey fence, the rustic and turquoise vertical into the treble, dropped her to third.

    Oliver was also second after dressage on John Peace’s Caunton First Class, who knocked the parallel at fence two, another rustic and turqoise fence. Caunton First Class now holds sixth place.

    Meanwhile Exeter University accountancy and business student Henrietta Ewell, 20, jumped a super clear on her own eight-year-old Zaino to move up from fourth after dressage to take the top spot.

    “I’ve had him since he was a three-year-old and he’s half Andalusian,” said Henrietta. “We’ve worked really hard his dressage with Alex Harrison, so I was very pleased to get that mark.

    “We’ve been out jumping Foxhunters and some bigger tracks, a few 1.25m opens, but I’d never actually jumped a clear at advanced before.”

    Work on preventing Zaino running down distances was key to Henrietta’s clear today and the pair will now be looking to restore confidence across country after a fall in the CCI4*-S at Houghton.

    There were only six showjumping clears inside the time in the class. A clear from Tom McEwen and Martin Belsham’s Luna Mist elevated them from fifth after dressage to second going into the cross-country, while fault-free rounds from Australia’s Bill Levett (RNH Tom Tom R) and Ireland’s Aoife Clark (Sportsfield Freelance) mean they hold fourth and fifth places at this stage.

    Ibble Watson was third after dressage on her own Aristoteles S Z on 28.3, but unsurprisingly withdrew before the jumping phases of the Gatcombe Horse Trials British intermediate championship as the pair were members of the gold medal-winning team at the young rider European Championships last week.

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