Pippa Funnell retains her grip on the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S competition after the second day of dressage, albeit with her third 4* ride – Billy The Biz.
The striking grey looked effortless on Friday afternoon earning a score of 23.3 and setting the standard going into Saturday’s showjumping and cross country phases.
Sarah Bullimore had a busy but successful Friday finishing with her least experienced horse in third place. The first on the board was Sarah’s top horse and reserve on the British squad for the European Championships, Reve Du Rouet who scored 28.5 but it was the homebred eight-year-old Corouet who moved into the lead just before lunch with a score of 23.6.
Tom McEwen soon matched Sarah’s score of 23.6 with Toledo De Kerser moving ahead due to collective marks. Speaking to An Eventful Life after his test, Tom said “There was nothing I wanted to particularly aim for this year so we’ve just kept him ticking along at national level.
“He’s got a really expressive medium canter so I really tried to show it off today.”
The final hours of the CCI4*-S dressage phase with a host of top-class names including Piggy French, Tina Cook, Tim Price and Sarah Bullimore who returned with her final ride, Conpierre.
Last year’s winners of this class Tina Cook and Billy The Red put in a solid test to earn a mark of 23.7 ahead of Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street.
This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials winners, Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, lie in ninth after dressage on a score of 25.8. Piggy’s other ride Quarrycrest Echo goes into the showjumping in 11th with a score of 26.6.
Tom, Piggy and Tina are all headed to the European Championships at Luhmuhlen and all three have brought their Championship horses for a run. A number of other combinations are Burghley-bound.
Twenty-seven riders in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S earned sub-30 dressage scores setting up showjumping and cross country phases tomorrow.
With the Met Office forecasting high winds on Saturday, organisers have taken the decision to move the CCI4*-S showjumping phase indoors. The cross country course remains in good condition with near perfect going.
In the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L and NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L competitions the leaders remain unchanged from Thursday with Sarah Holmes and Harley Brown, and Piggy French and Brookfield Quality, leading respectively.