Ruth Edge’s (GBR) decision to ride her long-time partner, the 15-year-old Two Thyme, in the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing qualifier at Gatcombe (GBR) paid off handsomely when she scored a decisive victory on the last weekend of the series.
She was lying 3rd on Two Thyme and 12th on Mayhem after Dressage and Jumping at Gatcombe’s Festival of British Eventing, presented by BETA, but had suffered broken ribs in a fall at Luhmühlen last month, an injury then exacerbated by a fall on the flat at Gatcombe the day before.
“I only had one ride in me today,” she explained, “and I chose Two Thyme because he doesn’t pull.”
Edge, 29, who headed the largest HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing field of 2009 – 85 starters – brought the day to a thrilling climax when finishing 7.3 penalties clear of Oliver Townend (GBR), winner of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and current leader in the HSBC Classics™, who in turn was 7.2 penalties ahead of Bill Levett (AUS) on Hippolyte.
Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) and Mary King (GBR) jointly held the lead after the first two phases, but Fredericks withdrew her Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event winner Headley Britannia because the mare has been undergoing embryo transfer.
King then suffered a frustrating mishap with Imperial Cavalier when missing the distance at the Land Rover at the Folly (fence 16), a line of related, downhill tyre fences, and she fell off over the horse’s head when he jinked to the right.
However, King, who is lying 2nd in the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing rankings, is planning to take her mare Kings Temptress, on whom she finished 7th at Gatcombe, to the Final at Strzegom (POL) in a fortnight’s time.
Clayton Fredericks (AUS), lying 4th, also withdrew Ben Along Time, as he is saving him to defend his title in Poland.
•85 started the Dressage
•9 nations represented: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa
•Ground Jury was Eric Smiley (IRL, president), Sandy Phillips (GBR), Angela Tucker (GBR)
•Marks range from 36.0 to 78.3
•82 started the Jumping
•1 rider eliminated in the Jumping, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Armada for taking the wrong course
•There were 24 clear rounds
•70 Started the Cross-Country
•There were 40 clear rounds
•Only 1 rider, Nicola Wilson (GBR), achieved the optimum time
•Cross-Country Course-Designer was Capt Mark Phillips (GBR)
•Technical Delegate was Jonathan Clissold (GBR)
•The winner, Ruth Edge (GBR) was taking her 3rd national (British) title, having won in 2004 (on Two Thyme) and 2008 (on Mayhem)
The Cross-Country at Gatcombe is renowned among riders as being one of most testing, because it runs up and down the side of a steep valley beneath the Princess Royal’s house, providing a thrilling spectacle for the crowds and a test of nerve and stamina for riders and horses.
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) also fell foul of fence 16, with a run-out on Macchiato, and Rodney Powell (Zin Zan ll, GBR) and Mark Todd (Gandalf, NZL) both had run-outs at the narrow fence at the top of the steps at fence 8, and Stuart Fitzgerald (RSA) had a fall when Classic Diamond Charm slipped backwards here.
The HSBC Corners at 13 also proved influential – Ireland’s Geoff Curran was among the riders to run out here – and many competitors opted for the slow route.
The optimum time is always a challenge at Gatcombe, and Nicola Wilson (GBR) who will ride as an individual for Great Britain at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship in September on her brilliant horse Opposition Buzz, was the only rider who achieved this. Benjamin Massie on Haston d’Elpegere, 15th, one of a strong contingent of French riders at Gatcombe, was second fastest with 2 penalties.
Ruth Edge: “Two Thyme hasn’t run much in the last two years – this is only his third time this year – so for him to go like that and look after me so well is just incredible. He’s a deceptively fast horse and didn’t feel tired at the end, so I was pleased. Gatcombe is the sort of course where you have to go as fast as you can to win and plan where you are going to give your horse breathers.”
Oliver Townend: “I thought I was a goner at the gate [fence 9] but we survived. I was thrilled with the Flint Curtis; it’s great to get a run like that under your belt before the Europeans.”
Bill Levett: “That’s Hippolyte’s best result, right up there with finishing 3rd at Saumur. He’s been a consistent horse.”
•1 Ruth Edge/Two Thyme (GBR) 36.9 + 0 + 3.2 = 40.1
•2 Oliver Townend/Flint Curtis (GBR) 40.6 + 4 + 2.8 = 47.4
•3 Bill Levett/Hippolyte (AUS) 45 + 4 + 5.6 = 54.6
•4 Polly Stockton/Westwood Poser (GBR) 46.9 + 0 + 8.8 = 55.7
•5 Caroline Powell/Lenamore (NZL) 46.7 + 0 + 9.2 = 55.9
•6 Nicola Wilson/Opposition Buzz (GBR) 53.9 + 4 + 0 = 57.9
•7 Mary King/Kings Temptress (GBR) 47.1 + 4 + 9.2 = 60.3
•8 Maxime Livio/Jaipur ll (FRA) 46.4 + 0 + 14.8 = 61.2
•9 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 55.8 + 0 + 8.4 = 64.2
•10 Nick Gauntlett/Chilli Morning (GBR) 50.2 + 0 + 14 = 64.2
2009 HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing standings (after 8 of 9 qualifiers)
•1 Megan Jones (AUS) 203
•2 Mary King (GBR) 165
•3 Alexandr Markov (RUS) 125
•4 Simone Deitermann (GER) 117
•5 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 104
•6 Kai Rüder (GER) 92
•7 Ilya Anisin (BLR) 74
•8= Marina Köhncke (GER) 71
•8= Patricia Ryan (IRL) 71
•8= Kelly Prather (USA) 71
•8= Ruth Edge (GBR) 71
•12= Buck Davidson (USA) 70
•13= Heelan Tompkins (NZL) 67
•13= Georgia Clifford (AUS) 67
•13= Julia Mestern (GER) 67
•13= Peter Thomsen (GER) 67
•13= Michael Ryan (IRL) 67
•13= Aistis Vitkauskas (LTU) 67
•13 = Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe (USA) 67
•13= Oliver Townend (GBR) 67
Qualifying venues for the 2009 HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing series:
•1 Kihikihi (NZL), 10-12 April 2009
•2 Sydney, (AUS), 2-3 May 2009
•3 Marbach, (GER), 8-10 May 2009
•4 Chatsworth, (GBR), 16-17 May 2009 (CANCELLED)
•5 Malmo, (SWE), 23-24 May 2009
•6 Tattersalls, (IRL), 28-31 May 2009
•7 Minsk, (BLR) 16-19 July 2009
•8 Kalispell, (USA), 23-26 July 2009
•9 Mansfield, ON, (CAN), 7-9 August 2009
•10 Gatcombe (GBR), 7-9 August 2009 (ADDED)
HSBC FEI World Cup ™ Eventing final 2009 Strzegom POL 21-23 August 2009
The HSBC FEI World Cup ™ Eventing qualifiers are a series of CIC 3*. Previous finalists are:
•2003 Pau (FRA): Linda Algotsson/Stand By Me (SWE)
•2004 Pau (FRA): Linda Algotsson/My Fair Lady (SWE)
•2005 Malmo (SWE): Clayton Fredericks/Ben Along Time (AUS)
•2006 Malmo (SWE): Nicolas Touzaint/Galan de Sauvagere (FRA)
•2008: Deauville (FRA): Clayton Fredericks/Ben Along Time (AUS)
To find rules and points system, plus full results and standings for the HSBC FEI World Cup ™ Eventing series, please visit www.feiworldcup.org