JAYNE DOHERTY declared herself on “cloud 10” yesterday, after finishing fourth and best of the Irish with The Only One in the feature class at Tattersalls International Horse Trials.
However, it was Britain’s William Fox-Pitt who dominated with Oslo in the Irish Field CCI three-star competition on his way to a hat-trick at the Co Meath fixture.
Last year’s World Equestrian Games individual silver medallist went into yesterday’s show jumping phase with a fence in hand following a powerful cross-country ride over the new Ian Stark-designed course. The consummate horseman produced another cool performance at a cost of two time penalties to finish on 43.2 penalties and hold off compatriot Oliver Townend (The Imperial Master), while Britain also claimed third place in the form of Ruth Edge and Applejack II.
Doherty rose to fourth place with the 12-year-old gelding when clear in Saturday’s cross-country and yesterday she maintained her place with another fault-free display in the show jumping. She felt the result set her up for her goal of making the European Championships and, ultimately, next year’s London Olympics.
“I’m on cloud 10. I felt the wee horse deserved it. It’s my best result. I know I won in Ballindenisk [Cork] last year, but this is a CCI and it was a very high class in terms of competitors. It’s certainly nice to be up there with the likes of William and Oliver Townend, some of the best riders in the world.
“Hopefully, I will go to the Olympic test event in July in London’s Greenwich Park. I’m very serious about making the Olympics, as is every rider in the squad. I am chasing the Olympic dream and I do not give up easily and this is firmly in my head,” said the Armagh rider, who said the support of the large crowd on Saturday had spurred her on.
Doherty also placed 12th with Ravenstar, adding 0.4 penalties on the cross-country to his dressage score of 66.3pens and she declared him as one to watch.
“I was 30 seconds up on the time in the cross-country and had to ease off, but he is just naturally fast. He has always been the second-string horse, but people underestimate how brilliant he is.
“I really think I can knock 10 marks off his dressage, so he could be the horse at the end of the year that everybody is talking about,” she said.
She also had high praise for Fox-Pitt: “In this sport, you need to be mentally strong, be tactical and be a good organisers, as well, of course, as being able to choose the right horse. Because he has all those areas nailed, aside from being an excellent rider, he is a winner.”
Fox-Pitt’s dominance saw him win the three classes in which he competed, also taking first place in the two-star contest on Bay My Hero, winner of the one-star in 2010. This year, the one-star saw him win by 0.1pens on Lady Voltaire, with his compatriot Louisa Lockwood (The Leopard) ruing a single time penalty in the show jumping phase. Co Down’s Suzanne Jordan (Da Capo Two) placed third.
Townend did not go away without a win, topping the leaderboard in the short-format CIC three-star with Jeepers Creepers. Ireland’s Kate Harrington (Jantar) placed third in a competition that saw only nine of the 23 starters complete following a dramatic cross-country.
Meanwhile, at the three-star show in Norten-Hardenberg, Germany, Denis Lynch finished second in a 1.45m jump-off on Abbervail van het Dingeshof, having already won a 1.40m speed class on Lacroix.
At the two-star show in Bonheiden, Belgium, show jumper Ivan Dalton was a second off the pace in the grand prix jump-off to finish runner-up with Pocento du Temple.
In the Junior Grand Prix at Reims, France, Edward Doyle Jnr and Flexing placed second.
In the TRM National Grand Prix League class in Ravensdale, Capt Michael Kelly and Lough Foyle took the honours.
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