Borders best compete with elite at Floors Horse Trials

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The home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, once again provided a stunning setting for the Floors Horse Trials.

This event is one of the premier competitions in Scotland and this year, hosted international classes. A new CIC* course was designed by Ian Stark which proved popular with the riders who tackled it. The Spring weather was unpredictable and Saturday was very wet. The ground stood up well, testament to continuous planning and care that goes into the estate.

The BE 90 and BE 100 classes were very well supported, with almost 300 competitors riding, the arenas were on the go at 8am and the last horse on the cross country was after 7pm. The heavy rain showers did nothing to dent competitors or visitor enthusiasm and the day produced some good sport.

Borders riders, Jennie Reid on Breach of the Peace and Rachel Potts on Winston XX set a good start with a third place in the A Hume Outfitters BE 90 Section C and a second place in Essential Food Company BE90 section D. Local top class rider, Emily Galbraith on Willow Glen took first place in the BE100 section F and in Section I with Harry Oh.

Stark himself competed in the My Team BE100 section H with his young horse Mr Odriscal, which was given to him as a two year old, and this was his first formal competition. The Ashkirk-based Olympian told The Southern: “The horse went very well in all phases and despite the rain we both had a very enjoyable day.” The pair were placed 10th.

Sunday stayed dry but the sun did not peek out until the prize-giving at 6pm. The day started with the new CIC* course which was won in fine style by Emily Parker riding Harelaw Wizard. Emily is from Lincolnshire but is currently based with Stark. She was delighted with the win and told us: “The young horse is improving all the time. I am really pleased to see a new course in Scotland and it is a bonus that it is so close to my home yard.”

Caroline Powell has moved from the Borders to Bury St Edmonds but was back at Floors as a stalwart competitor and came a close second on roan gelding Stellor Seaurchin.

Local competitor Cicely Jeffrey rode Glamour Pose to fourth place in the Cazenove Capital Management Novice section K while Roxburgshire rider Daniella Page took her own Monarch to a creditable third place in the KBIS open novice under 18 section. Berwickshire rider Catherine Watson claimed 5th and 7th place and local rider Rosa Onslow on Templebready Miss Bailey was placed 8th.

Another new class was the Albert Bartlett International Intermediate **. Top riders Caroline Powell and Ben Hobday took the first three places, with Caroline taking 1st with Halltown Harley and 2nd with Mr Cameron Crawford’s Up Up and Away. The Savills open intermediate was won by in fine style by popular Floors regular, Nicola Wilson, with Annie Clover, 2nd with Watermill Vision and 5th with Ngong Hills. Lanarkshire rider Olivia Wilmont was placed 7th and 8th.

The most prestigious class of the competition is the Savils Intermediate with the coveted Murphy Himself Trophy. Twenty-two riders made this a thrilling finale to a great sporting weekend, which was won by Wills Oakden and Mrs Frances Hay-Smith’s Alfi Brown.

Full results can be found on www.britisheventing.com