Monday, 7 July 2014

Barbury CIC*** 2014: Nicholson & Avebury Win Again

Andrew Nicholson & Avebury - CIC*** Winners Once Again
The outcome of Barbury's flagship class, the CIC*** was perhaps as expected, with local Marlborough based rider, Andrew Nicholson taking the honours once again on Avebury. After Clark Montgomery's withdrawal (sat in second place, and on route to Aachen in a few weeks), Nicholson was left with a little extra breathing space and consequently didn't need to overly exert Avebury to get inside the time.

This charming little grey has continued to improve year on year and stay sound, and as Andrew has often mentioned publicly, Avebury needs to be ridden strongly to perform at his best. Having led from the start with an impressive dressage score of 34.8 they were deserving winners having only added a few cross country time penalties after a 'cruisey' round.

Francis Whittington & Easy Target - 2nd Place
Billy Bounce - Retired On Course
Another of my favourite greys on the circuit, Francis Whittington's ride Easy Target produced a formidable performance this weekend with a solid dressage test, a classy show jumping round and an amazing cross country trip to finish in the runner up spot. Sadly my other favourite grey, Chris King's Billy Bounce, lying in 5th after showjumping, had a 'drive-by' at the quarry fence, and Chris retired at that point. Billy Bounce is only 9 so I'm sure we'll see a lot more from him as he matures over the next year or two.  Chris is one Britain's best riders, and a previous winner of Barbury, so Billy is in great hands.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Barbury 2014: Nicholson Maintains Lead Going Into Cross Country.

Billy Bounce & Chris King 5th After Show Jumping
A decent crowd gathered for today's CIC** & CIC*** action in spite of a few early rain showers this morning. CIC*** show jumping concluded without significant upset in the leaderboard and Andrew Nicholson & Clark Montgomery jumped clear to maintain their top 2 spots without further penalty.

Three gorgeous greys feature in the top ten - the leader Avebury, Francis Whittington's ride Easy Target, and the beautiful rising star Billy Bounce ridden by local rider, Chris King who rose 8 places after jumping clear.

Less than 13 points separate the top ten and a few riders in the top 20 paid dearly for 2 or more rails down today seeing them drop 20 or more places.
Alex Liddle Riding Romeo Z - 3rd In CIC** Sec. D
Three sections of CIC** class provide the main action on the cross country course today with David Doel, William Fox-Pitt & Christopher Burton winning a section each. This morning's rain eased the fast ground a little and few made it inside the time today with roughly 12pts. separating the top 10 in each of the sections.

Barbury 2014: Nicholson Primed For 3rd Win

Clark Montgomery & Loughan Glen - 2nd After The Dressage
Once again Andrew Nicholson took command of the flagship CIC*** class at Barbury, one of the largest and most competitive fields for this level you'll find anywhere, leading the dressage on a score of 34.8. Little more than a rail away American Clark Montgomery lies in second on Loughan Glen.

Rain overnight and this morning shouldn't dramatically change the going here at Barbury which was fast yesterday with plenty of good grass cover. A warm drying breeze across these chalk hills will keep conditions under foot good.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Barbury: Your Weekend Starts Here

Novice Cross Country Underway At Barbury
Things have really gotten underway at Barbury today with Cross Country for the novice classes having started and every corner of the show ground is now buzzing with activity. The campsite is a sea of tents, the lorry park is like a London street during rush hour, and the trade stands are a hive of shoppers. 
Clark Montgomery Checking The Video Evidence Of His Test Straight After Leaving The Arena
Dressage continues for the mammoth CIC*** sections and the top ten is now changing constantly as we progress. As of lunchtime, 2 of Britain’s rising stars, Dani Evans & Emily King have jumped straight into the top 5. There’s still a whole afternoon of dressage which includes amongst others, last year’s winner Avebury, plus of course here more than anywhere the jumping phases are influential on the final outcome. 


Barbury Castle Horse Trials 2014

Barbury Castle Horse Trials
July is a great month to be in and around Marlborough, Wiltshire with The Marlborough Jazz Festival & Barbury Castle Horse Trials both happening this month. So if you're looking for something to do this weekend head out of Marlborough on the Rockley Road past the rugby pitches and enjoy a day or two of top class horse sport.

Now in it's 10th year Barbury has continued to grow from it's 'experimental' beginnings. The event now runs over 4 days with Dressage today and the novice cross country tomorrow. The main international classes provide the cross country action over the weekend and this is generously supplemented with all manner of entertainment and action throughout the event, not forgetting the ever expanding shopping opportunities (not just bits and bridles!).

Zara Phillips & Tony McCoy Go Head-To-Head On Saturday (photo courtesy of Barbury Castle Horse Trials)
Former world eventing champion Zara Phillips and 19 times champion jump jockey AP McCoy OBE, team captains in the JCB Champions Challenge, a unique 'horserace' between the country’s top riders. It’ll be held at the St James's Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials on Saturday 5 July in support of the Injured Jockey's Fund.