King reigns supreme at Nunney International
Kitty King galloped to victory riding Camilla and Alex Wakeley's Cristal Fontaine in the international class at Nunney International Horse Trials where hundreds of competitors provided an action packed three days of competition for spectators.
Cristal Fontaine posted a dressage score of 24.7, bettered only by Marcelo Tosi on Starbucks with 24.1, with a double clear securing them the win.
It was the second time Kitty, who is based in Wiltshire, has won the class at Nunney having scored on Ceylor LAN in 2014. “I love coming to Nunney and have always had good results here. Cristal Fontaine is a very consistent horse, but he’s only seven, so we are concentrating on the three star classes to get the mileage into him. He’s a really good jumper and he moves well. He gave me a very good ride, and although the time was quite difficult, he was so rideable and he doesn’t taking much setting up before a jump,” said Kitty.
Nearly one hundred horse and riders started the class with Italian amateur Paolo Belvederesi, who is based in the Cotswolds, finishing second on Cream Of The Crop, a mare he describes as a horse of a lifetime. The pair added just two cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 30 to take second spot, with Paolo attributing an interruption in their preparation for not making the time.
“She was a little bit tired at the end of the course so she knocked the third last fence, but other than that she was very careful. She’s a lovely mare, very easy to ride and really happy to please. She has a lovely temperament and is the horse of my dreams,” said Paolo who works in finance in London.
Tom Rowland, third on Naomi Watkins' Very Good Tempo, said: “It was a tough bold course, and it was annoying to pick up a couple of time penalties but we played it safe through the combinations. He’s an awesome horse with no weak link.”
Local rider Phoebe Locke, the current Saracen Horse Feeds Under 21 British Champion having won the CCI3*-L at Houghton International in May riding Union Fortunus, took the fourth spot on P J A CAPITAL's Bellagio Declyange.
Phoebe, who is based near Glastonbury, said: “He’s a really exciting horse. He did a double clear at Tattersalls and I’m aiming him for Blenheim.”
And there were plenty of Somerset riders in the ribbons throughout the competition with Stephen Heal winning the five-year-old Novice class on CG Eventing's Quidam De Lux; Harriet Ffooks from Shepton Mallet heading a BE100 class with her own Smooth Talk; Lottie Adams from Wells winning the BE100 Open under 18 class on Lex V and Henrietta Ewell winning the Open Novice on Georgina Ewell's Cool Fantasy.
Laura Collett won the Novice Regional Final on Teresa Stopford Sackville and Charlotte Heber Percy's Moonlight Charmer, a superb dressage of 25.7 keeping them at the head of the field despite adding 3.2 cross country time penalties to their score and New Zealand’s Jonelle Price, who had ten rides over the course of the competition, was at the top of the leader board in the Open Intermediate with the consistent 12 year old Cloud Dancer II, owned by The Marley and Me Syndicate.
Dorset’s Jess Rimmer headed the Open Novice Under 18 class with Mr and Mrs John Bennett, Jane Koldewey and Jo Rimmer's Mounttemple Mistress, with the Open Intermediate under 21 class won by Saffron Cresswell riding her nine-year-old mare Quality Rose.
Organiser Bridget Parker was delighted with the competition saying: “It was a fantastic three days. We were very lucky with the weather and the rain we had gave us perfect going. The courses all rode very well. The were bold, and asked plenty of questions but we had no problems at all and the feedback has been wonderful.”
Keith Darch of title sponsor Duo Group Holdings, added: “We’ve had a wonderful three days, and its great to come along and support an event like this. In any sport, seeing the youngsters come through is always pleasing, and the hospitality has been fantastic.”
Pictured l-r: Jessica Colson, Kitty King and Keith Darch