Cornbury House Horse Trials Day 1
British gold medallists Tom McEwen and Toledo De Kerser (pictured) headed an all-star cast on the first day of the inaugural Cornbury House Horse Trials. The pair, members of Britain’s winning team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and winners of the CCI5* at Pau, France in 2019, took open intermediate section I on their impressive dressage score of 20.2.
Tom said: “We are unbelievably lucky to have Cornbury as a new event. The ground was amazing, the cross-country course was strong enough to be able to let these good older horses run at it and everyone should be very appreciative that, in such a difficult year, there is someone like [event president] David Howden who is prepared to invest in the sport and produce an event like this.
“Toledo loved his run round here. He felt quite fresh and wild before the dressage, but jumped really well. I was lucky enough to have had four good rides round the cross-country before him so I knew how good the ground was and could let him enjoy himself. The course let you flow into it and really get going.”
Toledo De Kerser is owned by Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Alison McEwen.
Another top British rider, Olympian Kitty King, won open intermediate section F on the exciting eight-year-old Cristal Fontaine, owned by Camilla and Alex Wakeley.
New Zealand’s brilliant husband-and-wife team Tim and Jonelle Price scored a double. Tim captured open intermediate section G on his own and Varenna Allen’s 2018 Burghley CCI5* winner Ringwood Sky Boy, underlining the quality of horse on display at Cornbury today, while Jonelle headed intermediate section H on Killbunny Andy, owned by Therese Miller and Constance Edmundson.
Dutch rider Andrew Heffernan won intermediate section E with Ben Leggatt’s Rafiki, while Britain’s Louisa Lockwood took intermediate section D on her own Crumlinpark Genie.
France’s Arthur Duffort is the leader after the first day of dressage in the feature international class, the CCI3*-S, having scored 30.2 on Brando De Cherel, while British rider Andrew James sits atop of the CCI2*-S section with a mark of 22.6 with Holywell Cavaliere Classic.
The action at Cornbury House Horse Trials returns tomorrow with more international dressage, including the NAF Youth Performance classes, and the national novice sections. All of the showjumping and cross-country on all three days of Cornbury House can be watched live, for free, on the event website (www.cornburyhousehorsetrials.co.uk) and on the event’s Facebook page (www.facebook/cornburyhouseht).
Image credit: Sarah Farnsworth Photography