Another successful event for Olympian
LOCAL heroine Nicola Wilson clocked up another success at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials last weekend, taking fourth place in the major competition with one of her upcoming rides.
Morton-on-Swale based Wilson, 37, partnered Annie Clover in the CCI three star class at the event, alongside her four fellow members of the 2012 London Olympic eventing team.
The ten-year-old mare, owned by Wilson’s parents, Mary and Barry Tweddle, was recently seventh at the CIC three-star at Belton and is regarded by Wilson as one of her best prospects for the future.
The combination went into the cross country on Saturday with a dressage score of 49 and were one of only a handful to complete Ian Stark’s testing 24-fence track within the ten-minute optimum time.
And a faultless showjumping round on Sunday meant they climbed the leaderboard to finish in fourth place.
Wilson was not so fortunate with her second ride, One Two Many. The 12-year-old, which had been aimed at Bramham CCI three star, had a creditable dressage score of 45.8 and was lying in equal 13th place, but by mid-afternoon when they went into the cross country, the day-long downpour was taking its toll on the going.
Although conditions were getting steadily worse, Wilson, who is considered one of the best cross country riders in the world, set out for business, taking the quickest routes and looking set to post a winning time.
But the pair made an uncharacteristic mistake at the Yorkshire Footbridge, Wilson was unseated and had to accept elimination.
The CCI three star class was won by Irish rider Aoife Clark on Fenyas Elegance with a score of 46.2.
Richmond rider Laura Ritchie-Bland was in top company in the CIC three star – up against the likes of Olympians William Fox,- Pitt on his previous Bramham winner Chilli Morning, and Zara Phillips with High Kingdom.
Ritchie-Bland, 22, riding Zonnedauw, a horse she bought when she saw it out hunting as a five-year-old and which she has produced herself, has had a busy season so far this year and has only recently recovered from a dislocated shoulder.
Going into the cross country on a dressage score of 59.4 and a showjumping total of 18, the combination put in a strong, confident round in appallingly wet conditions, but finished with jumping and time penalties.
Afterwards Ritchie-Bland said Bramham was the 15.2hh gelding’s biggest test to date and she was “over the moon” with his performance. The pair are now aimed at Hopetown, in Scotland.
The CIC three star class was won by William Fox- Pitt on Chilli Morning, on a score of 37.1.