The competition was on in the Palace Arena – not only were we spoilt with top horses and riders, but the backdrop of the Palace was a real treat for spectators. 2021 winner of the CCI4*-L and European Championship team gold medallist Yasmin Ingham piloted Banzai Du Loir into the overnight lead in the same class, taking the lead by 5.1 penalties over Gemma Stevens riding Jalapeno III who had led from early in the day. Yasmin’s score of 20.5 is the best dressage score seen at Blenheim in both the CCI4*8/9 and CCI4*L in over 14 years. This beats Christopher Burton and Underdiscussion’s 21.2 from 2012 (EquiRatings). For the 12-year-old gelding, this dressage score is a personal best, although the pair have consistently been scoring in the low 20’s all season, including when they became champions at CHIO Aachen in July.
In the CCI4*-S (8/9yo), Tom McEwen and nine-year-old gelding MHS Brown Jack scored an impressive 24.6 to sit in top spot over second placed Piggy March with Brookfield Future News, by just 0.1 penalties. Tom commented, “In our dressage test, Jack was brilliant. We’ve got a long way to go but it’s great to be in this position. In the 8/9yo class, the showjumping often shakes things up a bit. For developing young horses and horses on their way to greater things, Blenheim is the perfect platform and a key date in our diary.” Tom is an Olympic gold medallist and winner of multiple five stars so is no stranger to success with a string of promising horses in his stable. Tom will also be joining Geoff Billington in an evening masterclass tomorrow (Friday) which promises to entertain and give a fantastic insight the pairs training methods.
Official Charity Partner, The British Horse Society enjoyed a busy day with their members benefitting from free tickets today and Friday. James Hick, Chief Executive of The British Horse Society said: “We are delighted to be the official charity partner for this year’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase the wonderful work our volunteers and supporters do to Keep Britain Riding, and to commemorate the important role horses have in all our lives.”
Tom McEwen riding MHS Brown Jack – leaders in the CCI4*-S