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TIGHT MARGINS AT THE TOP LEAVE IT ALL TO PLAY FOR TOMORROW AT BICTON INTERNATIONAL

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Everyone enjoyed the sunny start to the day in Devon for the jumping phases at Bicton International Horse Trials. Three classes took to the cross country course while the showjumping got underway in the main arena for the TopSpec CCI4*-S.

Yasmin Ingham on Gypsie Du Loir take the lead to head to the final day of competition

The finest of margins separate first and second place in the Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L with Gemma Stevens picking up 0.4 time penalties meaning that as Friday’s overnight leader, she slips down to second place. Yasmin Ingham and Gypsie Du Loir take the lead to head into the final day of competition tomorrow for the showjumping. This 8-year-old mare is owned by The Sue Davies Fund, so named after the sad passing of part-owner of several of Yas’ horses, Sue Davies in 2023. Janette Chinn, Sue’s daughter, also part owns the mare who started her eventing career with the Cheshire based former World Champion in 2022. Yas is no stranger to success with a ‘Du Loir’ horse from breeder Pierre Gouyé, her World Championship horse being Banzai Du Loir.

Ann Price on Keep Happy regained their lead from Ivy Fisher and Global Promise

Next to go cross country around the Helen West designed course were the Western Counties Equine Hospital CCI3*YR-L competitors. Leader after Thursday’s dressage, Anna Price and Keep Happy regained their lead from Ivy Fisher and Global Promise who picked up 15 penalties on the course. Hot on Anna’s heels are Joshua Levett and This Ones On You, followed by Isabelle Cook and Mexican Law. Bedfordshire based Anna and 9-year-old Pepsi, as the mare is known at home, stepped up to three-star level earlier this month with a top ten finish at Osberton.

Tom McEwen and Shannondale Arnold holding onto the lead ahead of Laura Collett on Blancoero

The CCI2*-L class is sponsored by Mitchell & Webber, proud promoters of renewable liquid fuels to replace conventional fossil fuels across the South West, “We are delighted to be supporting Bicton as we have shared values in equestrian sports with social and environmental commitments,” said Robert Weedon from Mitchell & Webber. This class was the last to take on the cross country today, where the top 30 all went clear within the time, the course proving to be a great experience for these younger horses. As a result, the top of the leader board remained unchanged with Tom McEwen and Shannondale Arnold holding onto the lead with 26.5 ahead of Laura Collett on Balancero in second on 26.7 and Ros Canter on Silvesters Finesse in third on 26.8. Tightly bunched together at the top, it will be all to play for tomorrow, with none of the top three able to have even one pole down in order to maintain their position.

Laura Collett on Landon 52

Meanwhile, the TopSpec CCI4*-S showjumping phase was in full swing in the Western Counties main arena. The top eight go into the final day of competition on their dressage score, having all gone clear within the time. The top two remain unchanged from yesterday with Laura Collett and London 52 still on track for their campaign for another win having taken the title last year. Laura has partnered Dan, as he is known at home, to success on the biggest of stages including 5* wins at Luhmühlen in 2023, Badminton in 2022 and Pau in 2020, plus a top 10 finish at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Tomorrow promises to be a final day full of thrilling eventing action as well as a packed schedule of demos, great shopping and fantastic food and drink – join us for some fun, book your tickets here.

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