Equestrian action back at sunny Houghton
Stunning weather, top class eventing action and spectators starting to return meant there was plenty to smile about at Houghton International horse trials.
Spectators, including Zara Tindall pushing new baby Lucas in his buggy, were able to enjoy a wide variety of equestrian sport, including the home leg of the 2021 FEI Eventing Nations Cup. It was the opening round of the 2021 series and saw Britain take on teams from Ireland and Australia.
The British team of Tom McEwen, Mollie Summerland and Georgie Spence put in an almost faultless performance to secure the win for the home team. Not one of them had a jumping fault or a time fault throughout the competition, leaving them on their dressage score of 98.5. The Irish team finished ahead of Australia in third.
The competition for the CCIO4* short individual title drew a top-quality field of more than 100 world-class combinations. In the end, a brilliant double clear and a masterclass in cross country riding took William Fox-Pitt and Little Fire to the top of the leaderboard.
Six time penalties on the cross country dropped overnight leaders Alex Hua Tian and Jilsonne Van Bareelhof back to fourth.
Fox-Pitt said: “It was great to see people here enjoying it, having a very good time - I think life is coming back into the world now, which is great.”
The Young Rider National Championships returned again to Houghton Hall. Less than one fence separated the top four combinations heading into the showjumping, with Oliver Jackson and Viktor Krum holding the lead.
Clear rounds from Georgina Wood (Coronel MCJ) in second and Jemima Stratton (Global H) in third put the pressure on Oliver but he kept cool and delivered a lovely clear to take the title. The performance also saw the combination take second place in CCI3*L Section B.
It was a dream weekend for Ros Canter who led from start to finish in both CCI3*L Sections with two lovely young horses, Shannondale Nadia and Izilot DHI.
A lovely dressage test put Emily King and Imposant at the top of the leaderboard in the CCI2*L, a position they maintained for the rest of the competition.
The event was an opportunity for the equestrian community to come together and enjoy some great sport in the most stunning of locations. Alongside the international sport, there were classes and competitions for equestrians of all size and experience to enjoy, including lots of local riders.