Wiltshire rider Flora Harris made it a day of start to finish maiden victories when she won the Equi-Trek CCI3* with Bayano. The nine year old gelding, owned by Caroline Harris and Rebecca Salt, finished on his dressage score of 36.8 under Flora’s expert guidance.
William Fox-Pitt, who had been on Flora’s tail in pursuit of a record eighth win, sadly fell foul of Di Boddy’s technical show jumping course to finish in fifth with Fernhill Pimms. Kitty King took full advantage with a clear with Mr and Mrs Frank Inns’ Persimmon to put the pressure on Flora who could afford a single fence down but nothing else for victory. It was clear all the way and Flora’s first ever three day event victory.
Day one dressage leaders France’s Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love, pulled themselves up the leaderboard with an all-important clear to secure a place on the podium. Fourth went to Sarah Ennis for Ireland with Horseware Stellor Rebound who put in a gutsy performance to rise from 15th after dressage to eighth after a faultless cross country and a clear show jumping round promoted them a further four places.
“It’s just amazing to reach this first milestone in my career!” beamed Flora. “We’re a young partnership; he’s just nine so you never know quite what to expect. We had a blip last week at Tattersalls (three day event in Ireland) as he was quite ‘cheeky’ so we re-routed her and formulated a new plan to manage him differently here and it’s all paid off. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing team to help me. All this is quite overwhelming really!”
Flora travelled to five countries before she settled on buying the Dutch-bred horse which had been show jumping with an amateur as a five year old. “He’s gone from BE90 to winning a CCI3* in three seasons so I couldn’t be more proud; I just love him!” exclaimed Flora.
The £5,750 first prize will help but Flora was most excited about taking ownership of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for the year, saying; “It’ll be so handy! I’ve just got a new lorry which I struggle getting in and out of the yard for the little trips so it’s perfect! What an amazing prize – thanks Equi-TrekBack to Hot off the Press