We have been very pleased to be able to support the Bicton Arena International Horse Trials event which took place over the past weekend 10th – 13th June. We knew that the team at Bicton would do a brilliant job hosting this prestigious event, and we thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. This fixture included three classes including CCI4*-L, U25 & CCI4*-S which were previously scheduled for Bramham. Bicton had a very successful weekend running its first ever 4* level of competition.
With Dr Guy’s equestrian passion, and vision of rural enterprise in the South West, this local collaborative relationship is one we hope to see develop further.
Friday 11th June
The focus of today was on the discipline of dressage. Across the three classes of competitors (long, short & under 25s) there were around 150 riders competing today.
One of the main things we noticed upon arrival was what a wonderful job the Bicton team had done of organising the venue and facilities to accommodate this international event. There is ample space for teams, spectators, vehicles, horses and everything in between. The layout gave the main ring the perfect sense of atmosphere one would expect at an event of this calibre, even without the Covid compliant crowd numbers.
The layout has been well thought out for efficient use of space, as well as Covid19 safety. There was a real sense of ‘normality’ about the event whilst also feeling safe in the current climate. The organisers struck this delicate balance perfectly.
There were clear separate walkways for people and horses linking the main areas of action. There were two spacious warm-up spaces for competitors to practise and get prepared before their allocated competition time. For the visitors and spectators there were information points with competition details printed onto paper, site-wide WiFi, volunteers, live-streamed coverage, shopping and refreshments, and it all ran very smoothly.
We have been very impressed with the professional, friendly and efficient planning by the team involved, and we were of course very pleased to see so much Chedington & Chedington Equestrian branding over the site!
Dr Guy & Kate were pleased to have a tour of the site, and particularly enjoyed seeing the Pivot Productions team and their impressive high-tech set-up they have on site to capture and broadcast the event live on Horse & Country TV.
Our representative, of course Chris Burton, riding for Australia on Leopard’s Action was on the dressage arena at 11:30am, and performed a brilliant test with a final score of 30.6.
It’s been a wonderful start to the weekend, and we are very much looking forward to the rest of the event.
Saturday 12th June
The focus of today’s disciplines are showjumping and cross-country. Bicton’s Helen West has designed an impressive and challenging new cross-country course, featuring a wide variety of challenges for both horses and riders over the undulating parkland of the Clinton Devon Estate. The course started, of course, with a Chedington branded jump.
The day started with the show-jumping arena, with a course designed by Jamie Peryman.
Chris Burton had two rides in this class. His first ride on Quality Purdey was a great success, jumping clear and within the tight time allowed. On his second round, on Clever Louis (owned by Dr & Kate Guy) however, he had an unlucky rail and dropped just outside of the top ten.
The afternoon saw the newly designed 4* cross-country course being put through its paces. The course started with the Chedington jump before taking in a varied and challenging series of obstacles that caught several riders out, including our very own Chris Burton on Leopard’s Action. It was Leopard’s Action’s first time at this level and he showed exceptional promise around a track well above anything he had seen before, however made a mistake at the big drop into the arena just four fences from the finish.
The top of the leaderboard by the end of Saturday’s action was as follows: Nicola Wilson leads, she gave a great performance on JL Dublin. She was within the optimum time and had a clear round to stay at the top of the CCI4*-L leaderboard at the end of the day. In second place was Piggy March with her 2019 Badminton winner Vanir Kamira and in third place was Ros Canter on Lordships Gruffalo.
Everybody was able to keep up to speed on the scores throughout the competition via eventingscores.co.uk
The brilliant Bicton and JB promotions team were also working hard in the press and media tent to get coverage out on social media and the Bicton website, with some interesting behind the scenes features, including on about Dr Guy on the main website: News and updates on the Bicton Website
Sunday morning saw the last few cross-country and showjumping rounds. The horses and riders were performing well in the very warm conditions, with temperatures reaching around 26 degrees.
Chris Burton had a brilliant cross-country course on Dr & Kate Guy’s horse Clever Louis, but unfortunately picked up a controversial 15 penalty points on the influential coffin combination for knocking out the flag as he jumped the fence.
Bicton wrote of Chris: ‘The stylish Australian horseman Christopher Burton, who is based at the Dorset yard of the sponsor, Chedington, was, appropriately, the best-placed non-British rider, sixth on the mare Quality Purdey’
After the final rounds were complete in the morning, the spectators gathered in the sunshine amongst a brilliant atmosphere to see Geoffrey & Kate award the top three winners of the CCI-L4* on the podium.
1st Place Nicola Wilson on JL Dublin
2nd Ros Canter on Lordships Graffalo
3rd Gemma Tattersall on Santiago Bay
And the top 3 in the CCI4*S
1st Tom McEwen – Toledo De Kerser
2nd Kitty King – Vendredi Biats
3rd Rosalind Canter – Allstar B
It was a brilliant event for the competitors involved, and especially ahead of the upcoming Olympics. Bicton wrote: ‘Olympic selectors were given lots to think about — and plenty of good news — in the star-studded CCI4*-S at Bicton International Horse Trials, supported by Chedington, which featured more than 100 starters from 12 nations.’
It was a fantastic event in the Devonshire sunshine, and we applaud Bicton for their hard work bringing this event to a great success. Many congratulations to all the talented and passionate competitors and horses who participated over the few days.