It was a truly international line-up at the end of a thrilling weekend of competition at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials, where a bumper crowd enjoyed exciting sport and some welcome sunshine.
Kazuma Tomoto from Japan and Julia Krajewski from Germany won the two sections of the prestigious Dodson & Horrell Challenge, while Laura Collett triumphed for the home side in the first leg of the 2019 Event Rider Masters, a Europe-wide series.
For good measure, Krajewski’s boyfriend Christoph Wahler finished second to her and won the CW Sellars prize as the fastest rider across the Dodson & Horrell Challenge.
“I am working my way around these lovely British events,” said Krajewski. “You can only hope that a weekend goes well after such a big trip but I wanted to bring my mare, Amande de B’neville (stable name ‘Mandy’) to tackle something bigger. This is a cool course here – as long as you have a brave horse.”
Tomoto, 36, is being trained for the 2020 Olympic Games by former world number one William Fox-Pitt in Dorset, as the Japanese are keen to have a good home showing and is hoping that Chatsworth’s reputation for nurturing champions holds true for him. “My horse [Brookpark Vikenti] was very straight and very honest,” he said.
Sam Ecroyd from Clwyd, who finished second on Wodan lll, won the Lismore Lord Charles salver, presented by Nibby Bemrose, for the best under-25 rider.
There were thrills and spills galore in the ERM class as riders flew around Ian Stark’s spectacular cross-country course in reverse order of merit, but the leader, Laura Collett, 29, from Salperton, Gloucestershire, made no mistakes and looked a picture galloping around the parkland on her handsome bay gelding, London 52. “He is a very special horse and gave me some feeling,” she said.
Collett, and second-placed Briton Tom McEwen, also from Gloucestershire, are both Dodson & Horrell ambassadors.
Dodson & Horrell’s Head of Marketing, Gemma Schwarz summed up a great three days: “It’s been an absolutely brilliant weekend of competition at Chatsworth House and there have been some very deserving winners across all the classes.
“We feel proud to be a part of such a prestigious horse trials. Our thanks must go to all the people who have made it happen – the team at Chatsworth House, the volunteers who come to help, the riders and their support teams and everyone else involved in putting on such a great event – thank you all.”
Next year’s Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials are on May 15-17, 2020 (www.chatsworth.org)
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