EQUESTRIAN: Jockeys show their class to win JCB Champions Challenge at Barbury

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: John Francome, for the jump jockeys, and Zara Phillips, for the eventers, compete at the water splash. Picture: Trevor Meek John Francome, for the jump jockeys, and Zara Phillips, for the eventers, compete at the water splash. Picture: Trevor Meek

A QUARTET of Britain’s finest current and former jump jockeys were victorious in the JCB Champions Challenge held at the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials.

Displaying a take-no-prisoners, will-to-win attitude, the jockeys – John Francome, Sam Twiston-Davies, Richard Johnson and captain Noel Fehily, replacing the injured AP McCoy – edged a nail-biting final against the VWH Bathurst Hunt team, winners of the inter-hunt relay held earlier.

The VWH Bathurst team included Tintin Belsham, Ella McEwen and Scarlett Crew.

Francome said: “The hunt gave us a real run for our money, the boys certainly need to watch out for their day jobs, but where were the eventers, did they show up we barely broke a sweat against them?

"It was a real buzz to ride in front of such a great crowd here at Barbury and all in aid of the fantastic work of the Injured Jockeys Fund”.

Finishing in third place were the eventers team consisting of Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Sir Mark Todd and Laura Collett.

The JCB Champions Challenge was held in aid of the IJF. Zara Phillip's mother HRH The Princess Royal is patron and AP McCoy is vice patron.

McCoy, who had given up his race rides earlier in the week due to injury, was nevertheless present cheering on his weighing room colleagues.

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