It’s Kiwis two, three and six in the cash rich Event Rider Masters CIC3* at the Barbury International Horse Trials in the UK.
Andrew Nicholson and his very well-performed Nereo had to settle for second on 41.5 penalty points in the toughly-fought class, with Sir Mark Todd aboard Leonidas II third on 42.3 and Tim Price on Cekatinka sixth with 48.9.
The day belonged to Thomas Carlile (FRA) and his stunning grey stallion Upsilon, who finished on 32.4 penalty points. Carlile was the first ERM rider to lead from the dressage and take the win, their 30.8 dressage score was the lowest ever seen in the ERM series and a personal best.
Carlile’s victory halted Nicholson’s march on Barbury, where he has won for the past five years. Nicholson, who now sits in third spot on the ERM leaderboard, paid tribute to both Nereo and Carlile.
“He did a wonderful job. My fellow is a wonderful horse and we know each other very well. I am delighted for him and all his connections,” said Nicholson. “We stayed in a nice rhythm on cross country as I felt Thomas and Upsilon had a strong lead so didn’t want to scorch around trying to catch them. I expected them to deliver and they did.”
Todd’s podium finish is his first ever in the ERM. “I had a really good ride,” said Todd. “Last year the demons were with me but everything has gone well today. The horse was really good. I am slightly kicking myself that I didn’t quite make the time (on the cross country) but I don’t really think it would make much difference.”
The cross country this morning was a fast and furious affair, with just one of the 26 combinations going clear and inside time.
Jesse Campbell and Kaapachino had a costly showjumping round and withdrew from the cross country. Twelve combinations withdrew from the cross country, and one eliminated.
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) steered Jock Paget’s former ride Clifton Signature to victory in the CIC3* class, with Nicholson and Swallow Springs coming up for second and Price aboard Ringwood Sky Boy in fourth. Fox-Pitt finished on 42.3 penalty points, with Nicholson on his dressage score of 43.9 and Price on 48.5.
Forty-five of the original 61 starters completed the event, with seven eliminated on the cross country.
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The horse details
Nereo owned by Libby Sellar
Kaapachino owned by Jesse and Dr Craig Campbell
Leonidas II owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark Todd
Cekatinka owned by Joanne Pullan
Ringwood Sky Boy owned by Robert Taylor, Varenna Allen, Tim Price and selwood.com
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ