Reserved for riders ranked in the top 200 in the world, the Elite class was hotly contested, and Tom completed on his dressage score on 26.4 with the smart 10-year-old gelding, owned by Milly Simmie, Patricia Davenport and Sarah Webb.
“He gave me a great ride across country – in all three phases, in fact,” said Tom. “He’s a super horse and we have high hopes of him for the future. He’s gone well all season, and it was nice that he came out and performed in the way that he was supposed to.”
Tom praised Cornbury House Horse Trials, which was a brand-new event in 2020, saying: “It’s brilliant in every sense of the word – the courses, the organisation and the spectacular main arena, and the prize-money, which helps!”
Second was another exciting young British rider, Bubby Upton, who only very recently returned to competition after breaking her back earlier in the summer. She added nothing in the jumping phases to her dressage mark of 29.9, while Phoebe Locke was third on Pica D’Or.
The three members of Britain’s gold medal-winning eventing team at the Tokyo Olympics – Oliver Townend, Tom McEwen and Laura Collett – also finished in the top 10 on promising young horses.
Laura Schroter and her own 12-year-old Willem Van Wup took the second CCI3*-S section on their leading dressage score of 24.4.
Laura said: “He is an established horse so I was hoping he would run well, and he was pretty perfect. I needed a prep run before Lignière in France, and Cornbury House is an amazing venue and the cross-country is hilly, so it was a great fitness test.”
Gemma Tattersall, winner of the CCI5* event at Bicton last weekend, took second place on Johan-Some, also finishing on her dressage mark of 27.3. Third were Georgie Spence and Feloupe.
The CCI2*-S class went to Tom McEwen, who not only won team gold in Tokyo but also individual silver. He was riding Brookfield Braveheart, a seven-year-old owned by Alison Swinburne and John and Chloe Perry, at Cornbury, and added no jumping penalties to his excellent dressage mark of 23.
Kitty King – due to represent Britain at the forthcoming European Championships in Switzerland – finished second on RSH Monbeg Marshall, while Melissa Joannides was third on Prometheus II.