Badminton runner-up Townend goes one better

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The Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe opened their beautiful grounds for an action-packed Floors International Horse Trials and show at the weekend.

The new-look event was a resounding success, attracting some top names in the eventing field, with competitors from Qatar, France and Ireland, as well as a strong local entry, supporting eventing in Scotland.

Oliver Townend and Cooley SRS took first place in the Cazenova CIC**, scoring 42.8 dressage and going double-clear in the show jumping and cross-country phases – 0.8 time penalties saw him finish on a score of 43.6, just ahead of second placed Elizabeth Power from Ireland.

Townend, who came second at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials, is a regular visitor to the Floors competition.

Emily Parker, who is based with Ian Stark in the Borders, came fifth with Cindy Onslow’s Diamond Sundance.

The international flavour of the show, was brought out in the Arpal CCI* class, which was won by Arthur Duffort from France, with Irish rider Lucy Latta a close second.

Hendersyde’s Charlotte Agnew was home from her yard in Oxfordshire with a string of youngsters to compete.

She was placed fifth with Dubai Cruise, owned by Lady Bamford, and continued to do well across the other classes. The three-day equine extravaganza featured a number of new classes, designed to encourage youngsters, local riders and ex-racehorse owners to join in and compete.

Show organiser Cameron Crawford said: “We wanted to make the show a true Borders event.

“Our local sponsors, volunteers and helpers have been so generous with their resources. We have had record entries for the classes and record attendance, with more than 6,000 visitors over the three days.”

There were two retraining of racehorse classes, a showing class was popular with 14 entries, and the three-phase class, sponsored by James Ewart Racing of Langholm, required a dressage test, show jumping, an individual riding show and a conformation test. The winner received a cup.

It was a challenge for the ex racers and their riders, but they rose to the occasion, with Kirsty Brown and Liskaven Beauty producing a fine dressage test, a clear show jumping round and a collected individual show.

Future eventing stars were earmarked during the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes, but the most popular additions to the show were the inter-schools NSEA show jumping qualifier and the Pony Club Games.

The Inter Schools classes featured team and individual entries, with the top two teams from each class qualifying for the Championship at Addington Manor in October.

Ellie Meldrum won the 1m Floors Horse Trial Open Pony class and qualified as a member of the Jedburgh Grammar School team.

The Pony Club Games produced fast, closely contested races, which entertained the Sunday visitors. After nine sets of races and a deciding race-off, the victorious team was from the Berwickshire Hunt Pony Club, including Sophie Mason, Angus Lathangie, George Nisbet, Louisa Letts and Liv Aird (pictured p71).

The event was given support from local schools and from the Air Cadets, who provided arena parties and helpers.

The dog agility team provided a popular demonstration in the family arena with their dogs enthusiastically showing off how to jump, weave and balance. The course was then opened to everyone to have a go. The team were on hand to help and advise and visitors without dogs were allowed to borrow a team dog to give it a go.

There was a buzz in the air and the warm sunny days, together with the exciting new classes, made this year show one to remember.

Floors International Horse Trials is fast becoming a valued event in the equine calendar and a popular day out for visitors.