Emily, who lives just ten minutes from the venue, said: “I was hoping to take her to the Young Rider Europeans but unfortunately we had a fall at the last fence at the final trial.
After that she won the ERM CIC2* at Barbury and a OIU21 at Wilton.
She’s been a fantastic horse for me.”The 20-year-old had already scored an impressive brace of wins with Dargun in the Chipmunk South West Ltd OIU18 and a novice section on the stallion Quinlan Z with the former finishing with 13.8 penalties in hand from second placed Georgia Bartlett on Spano De Nazca.“Dargun is my top horse at the moment and next week he goes to Blair and then to Blenheim for the CCI3*. The stallion only started eventing this year, jumping his first cross country fence in February and got fie babies that are really smart too. ”Third in the CIC2* was Pippa Funnell on organiser Helen West’s former ride MGH Grafton, opting to go the longer route at the corners.
Explaining the decision, the multiple medal-winning rider said: “I’ve just come back from injury so he hasn’t run for a while.
“He’s taken a while to mature but he’s really coming into himself,” said Chelsea who has just finished her A’levels and will event full time before heading to university.
Georgina Hambly was third on Hilldown Harley and filling third and fourth spots was Kitty King who was kicking herself for rolling the last pole showjumping on both horses. ” she said adding, “Drewmain Firefly has barely had a fence all year while Snow Wind SN jumped a really beautiful round and they were both super across country.” Despite not winning, Kitty was over the moon to win the six-year-old prize, sponsored by Devon-based equine sales website Horse Pursuit. The Drewmain Stud is just ten minutes from my yard and I’ve known FIrefly since he was foal.
Summing up the three days, organizer Helen West said: “It’s gone very smoothly thanks to the fantastic team, from the ground jury to the fence judges.He has completed three CCI ***, running at Blenheim twice and Tattersalls.” Sam, who also collected a BE100 win on Carphene, said: “I came here expecting to withdraw my horses after the showjumping, but the going was excellent with a good covering of grass and without any bumps, which meant I could really put my foot down with On The Brash.He was a machine and didn’t put a foot wrong.” There were a handful of local wins with Amanda Wreford-Brown, a Mc Timoney Animal Practitioner and Chartered Physiotherapist, from South Brent heading a Wyvern-sponsored BE100 section with her homebred seven-year-old Tristis Rock, named after a landmark on Dartmoor.“You needed to ride very positively and confidently but its great to come to an event where the cross country is influential,” said Alex.In scoring the win, Bragg denied Emily King a hat trick of victories on her super talented mare Walitze F Vejgard, or Zara as she is known at home.There are so many people involved in making horse trials happen and without them, we couldn’t run.Beccy Barrett does an amazing job with sponsorship and social media, Gemma Cooke runs the dressage like clockwork, Matt **** is fantastic on the ground and his work with the verti drainer ensured the rain could really soak in, which prevented slippy conditions.Libby Seed and Philanderer II were third and Aaron Miller was fourth on Leonardo VIII.Tiverton-based Sarah bought the 11-year-old as a foal from Ireland and after spending his first three years living in her fields, he was sent back to Ireland to be backed and ridden by her step-father Eric Smiley who started competing him before Bicton Arena’s manager Helen West took over.“Helen brought him up to intermediate level and when she took over running Bicton, Rufus moved to Sam Griffiths’ yard and Sam has successfully competed him since then.We are very much looking forward to attending.”Megan Wilkinson of Horse Pursuit, a national hub for buying, selling and advertising horses, said: “I have competed at Bicton for a number of years and I am delighted to support the August horse trials.It’s a wonderful venue that is beautifully run and offers a great shop window for my business which gives people an easy way to both advertise their horses and find them online using refined search options.”The event is Devon’s second international of the season, and looks set to attract competitors from far and wide, including many eventing personalities such as local legend Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, Sir Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson who all competed last year.