British superstars Oliver Townend and Ros Canter won a section of the ultra-competitive Hambro Sport Horses CCI4*-S at the Hambro Sport Horses Burgham International Horse Trials – Northumberland’s premier equestrian event.
It was the fifth CCI4*-S victory at Burgham in recent years for world number one Oliver, who rode Paul and Diana Ridgeon’s Swallow Springs to capture section H. Ros – the reigning world champion – collared section I on her own and Alex Moody’s Izilot DHI – was scoring her second Burgham victory of the weekend, after winning section A of the Howard Russell Construction Ltd CCI3*-S on Cooley Copresenter.
Oliver, who also finished second in section I on British team Olympic gold medallist Ballaghmor Class, said: “This was great preparation for my horses for their major autumn targets. Both performed extremely well – as did Tregilder [sixth in section H] – and they enjoyed having a gallop on ground conditions that, considering the very dry weather, were as good as we could hope for.”
Ros said: :”This was quite a big challenge for Izilot DHI, because in the past he’s been a bit spooky at brush fences with angles. He’s a real flight animal by nature and if his first thought is, ‘out is, that’s not a jump’, he can fly off in the wrong direction. But today he was just really logical about everything, and he’s honest, he wants to jump the jumps – it’s just making sure his mind is working alongside me; that’s always been the challenge. He’s amazing, and brave as a lion – he’s just got a very sharp flight response.
“Looking at the start list, I wouldn’t have put my name and his at the top of it this weekend, although I know he’s capable of beating the best in the world. We’re not in a hurry – it’s all about doing the right thing with him – but I think he could be a medal-winner for his country one day.”
The Hambro Sport Horses Burgham might be considered to have acted as something of a final trial for selection for the upcoming World Championships in Italy in September. Young British star Yasmin Ingham will have boosted her chances of a first senior selection by finishing second in section H aboard Rehy DJ, and fourth in section I with Banzai Du Loir.
Action at Hambro Sport Horses Burgham continues tomorrow with the Holme Dodsworth Metals CCI2*-S, which includes the valuable Northumberland Challenge, uniting the Northumberland international events of Belsay, Alnwick Ford and Burgham. Oliver Townend is the remaining live challenger and could win £10,000 if he finishes in the first three.
full results here