Barbury Castle Horse Trials
Wow! What a weekend of equestrian sport it has been. Deciding where to begin this blog post has been tricky, but we’ll start with the eventers.
Of course, the weather might have contributed in some small way to the arguably unbeatable atmosphere at Barbury Horse Trials, but some of Keyflow’s Key Riders are largely responsible for making it a weekend we will struggle to forget.
For those of you who haven’t visited Barbury Horse Trials before, you must! It is an event like no other. You can watch dressage, show jumping and cross country (at the same time) from one spot almost anywhere on site, thanks to its’ bowl-like topography. Add to this top class riders and horses, a well-stocked bar and fabulous trade stands and you have a recipe for great success.
The Keyflow stand took pride of place overlooking the main arena with views reaching out over the majority of the cross country course. To say we were spoilt with our position would be an understatement. We were also loaned some rather lovely outdoor furniture by Verdon Grey, which meant entertaining customers and riders alike was a pleasure.
Key Rider Jonelle Richards (NZL) scored a great result with 8 year old mare Faerie Dyanimo in what was her first CIC3*. She jumped an effortless and immaculate XC round to finish 11th in what was a world class and highly competitive field- she is most definitely an exciting prospect for the future and one to look out for.
Rebecca Howard (CAN) and Riddle Master stormed round the CIC3*, jumping double clear to capture 3rd place- again they beat many top combinations over a testing show jumping and cross country course.
Sir Mark Todd also had a good weekend jumping strong rounds on both Oloa and Ravenstar in the CIC3*.
The ‘’tear jerking moment’’ award, however, goes to Tim Price riding Vortex in the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) class. Tim’s 19 year old ex-4* campaigner never looked like he was going to be beaten throughout the competition. He started by scoring 81.8% in the dressage, and then jumped a great double clear over the showjumping and cross country track. The top 10 after this have to jump a final round of showjumping over a 1.25m track two days later. Clear rounds were very few and far between, but Vortex really pulled it out of the bag to win this class for a second year in a row. So why, do I hear you ask, was this such a tear-jerker? Well, this was Vortex’ swansong. He galloped around his lap of honour looking a million dollars, knowing that he is the bees-knees. He is a real testament to Tim and his teams’ care of their horses, and is a great advert for the fact that racehorses really can have a second chance at life and a great career spanning many years.
Global Champions Tour & GLOCK’s 4* Grand Prix
Away from the eventing world, John and Michael Whitaker also had a successful weekend. Michael was in Estoril, Italy as part of the next round of the Global Champions Tour. Partnered by Viking, he scored a great 3rd in the CSI5* 1.50m competition last Friday against some seriously strong competition.
Meanwhile, John Whitaker took the spoils in the GLOCK’s 4* Grand Prix in Treffern with Argento. The 1.60m track was demanding enough, and also served as an important qualification for the World Equestrian Games 2014. Fourteen of the 42 riders went on to the jump-off, but nobody could get close to John.
A huge congratulations to all Key riders for their efforts over the weekend and a massive thank you to all of those who made it so memorable.