Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz impress at Barbury International Horse Trials
On Sunday 2 July, Nicola Strong was lucky enough to see some Olympic bound riders in action for the CIC3* cross country at Barbury International Horse Trials. Here is her exclusive report...
Despite recent weather, the going seemed near perfect with a nice covering of grass underfoot, and although windy, the weather stayed glorious for the whole afternoon. Barbury for me, happens to be a favourite venue due to the superb setting, and there are points you can watch almost the entire course from a standstill.
The course looked full up but inviting and flowing, not overly technical but some pretty enormous ditches, and some tight turns to negotiate early on - not to mention the testing, undulating landscape to cover.
Izzy Taylor and KBIS Starchaser make a splash at the water complex.
There were some fantastic examples of horsemanship on show, not least of which was demonstrated by Clayton Fredericks. He masterfully hauled himself back into the saddle to avoid elimination when Walterstown Don made a terrible mistake coming out of the water complex. The crowd showed their appreciation with a well deserved round of applause! The drama didn’t end there, and late on Mark Todd was eliminated after inexplicably missing out a fence late on as he stormed into the arena on NZB Campino; the pair had been lying in a handy 3rd place. It just goes to show that even the most experienced and talented of riders can make mistakes; the 4 time Badminton winning legend is human after all!
Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz impressed at Barbury International Horse Trials.
The overall competition proved to be the Andrew Nicholson show, as the Kiwi rode the lovely grey Avebury to victory, with his other ride Quimbo taking the 2nd spot. The Brits gave a good account of themselves too, with Oliver Townend (described by the commentator as riding like a man on a mission!) taking 4th place on Pepper Ann, hot on the heels of Lucy Wiegersma and Simon Porloe in 3rd.
Mary King and Kings Temptress take the Trakehner in style at the Barbury International Horse Trials.
Mary King looked as stylish and smiley as ever, but the popularity stakes seemed to be topped by one Brit combination in Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz. This horse is a particular favourite of mine for his unique style over a fence, and great appetite for the job. He didn’t disappoint, chalking up a phenomenal clear and quick cross country round, seemingly un-phased by anything he faced. The crowd all got behind the pair, cheering and clapping them at almost every fence. There’s just something about Buzz that captures your heart! I for one was very sorry to see this combination only make reserve for the Olympics, and this solid 7th place further franks their already impressive form.
Mary King shows she is the best of British with Imperial Cavalier.
A special mention too, must go to Miners Frolic. Tina Cook’s mount nearly lost his life last year following a bad reaction to a course of antibiotics, but the gelding looked in rude health as he powered round with only time faults to add.
Tina Cook and Miners Frolic are back on form.
I particularly enjoyed being able to get so close to the action; there aren’t many places you can feel the spray at a water complex on your face, and there was certainly something special about seeing some of riders due to compete at the Olympics, knowing that in a month’s time they will be representing their countries at Greenwich! Overall, the event provided a fantastic day out; drama, excitement, and of course something to indulge the shopaholics like myself.
Andrew Nicholson on his winning ride Avebury.
Congratulations to all those involved for pulling off another fantastic event; I will certainly be looking forward to next time!
Horsemart reader and blogger Nicola Strong has been riding for 24 years and is an amateur rider taking her first steps into the world of British Eventing and British Showjumping, supported all the way by trainer and sponsor Sharon Kilminster. She has her own blog at www.headstrongequestrian.com.
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