King and Persimmon come out on top at Gatcombe
7:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Sport
KITTY KING has won the Whatley Manor International Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park for the second successive year, writes Rebecca Rhodes.
King, from nearby Stanton St Quinton, again partnered Persimmon to retain her title in the top CIC** class.
In third place after the dressage with a score of 39.7, King and Persimmon then put in a double clear in both the show jumping and the cross country.
She did rack up four penalty points for going over the optimum time in the cross country phase, but she was not alone as most of the riders seemed to find the course very testing this year and a number failed to complete.
King completed an excellent weekend when taking second and fourth place in two of the Gatcombe intermediate classes. Runner-up in the CIC** was Irish rider Austin O’Connor on Kilpatrick Knight. Nick Gauntlett, from Chipping Sodbury, took third with Akela as well as finishing fourth and fifth in two of the novice classes.
Freya Hibberd, from Cirencester, took a very creditable seventh place in the CIC** riding The Rusty Box.
There was plenty of international interest, including the winner of the CIC* class, 24-year-old Frenchman Gireg Le Coz, riding his own Sieger Racing Luck.
Long-time leader Millie Dumas and The Duke of Cavan slipped to second place by just 0.7 penalties. Millie, from Shepton Mallett, was part of the British Young Rider Silver Medal-winning team at the recent European Championships in France.
Christian Landolt, owner of Whatley Manor, the title sponsor of the event, competed in the CIC* on his own horse Billy Be Better, taking 13th place. Landolt, from Sherston, has evented at the highest level and is an international three-day eventing judge.
Jonty Evans, from Shipton Oliffe, won an intermediate class with Cooley Rorkes Drift and a novice with Ranger Wing. Daisy Berkeley won an open intermediate class with Tsaro and was also placed with Montserrat and Mopani in other classes.
William Fox-Pitt, the individual bronze medal winner at the recent European Championships, rode eight horses over two days, finishing first and second in a novice class while recording three other top ten finishes.
Friday’s spectators had an added treat as they were able to see Sir Mark Todd and his 2011 Badminton winner NZB Land Vision, competing for the first time after two years sidelined with a tendon injury.
TV presenter and gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh attended on Sunday as a personal guest of HRH The Princess Royal.