Britain’s leading lady riders brought the CIC Three Star competition at the Barbury International Horse Trials to a thrilling climax in front of a sun-baked crowd on Sunday (July 10).
Piggy French, Pippa Funnell and young Laura Collett were all on course at the same time in the final, reverse-order cross-country phase, but it was Pippa, the senior of the three, who triumphed to lift the £4,000 first prize.
Her 3.2 time penalties on the youngster Billy Landretti were good enough to keep her ahead of Piggy French, second on Jakata, and Laura, who led the dressage and show jumping phases on Rayef but accrued six time penalties on this her first ride around Barbury’s exacting course.
Earlier in the day Kylie Roddy said she was “over the moon” with her first and fifth places in the Retraining of Racehorses Eventing Championships, with less than one show jumping fence separating the top five riders in a close competition.
She finished on her dressage score of 25 with Acquisitor.
Second place New Zealander Tim Price was just 2.3 penalties behind but he was delighted with 17-year-old Vortex, who has been off for over a year following the recurrence of an old injury just before Badminton in May 2010.
Third place went to last year’s winner Matthew Heath and Alligator Alley, who finished on his dressage score of 27.7.
And in the novelty high-jump competition, Nici Wilson made up for being pipped in the final minutes of last year’s Am Trust Eventers Puissance with an outright win this time, jumping 1.85m immaculately on a borrowed horse, Captain Fantastic.
Nici borrowed Captain Fantastic, a horse that both show jumps and events, from her friend Kitty Christopherson, and as her five rivals all faulted and were reduced to paying for another try, the 11-year-old bay gelding left all the rails up.
Meanwhile, Wiltshire County Show’s Inter-hunt Team Relay events were won by the North Cotswold (Juniors) and the Heythorp (Seniors).
Sixteen teams took part in the very competitive Senior Inter Hunt Relay where the larger horses coped very well with the tight turns in the first part of the course.
And there was good news for the four horses injured during the cross country phase of the competing in the CIC Three Star event.
All received immediate veterinary attention from the seven-strong team of on-site vets, are reported to be back home and recovering well.