Monday 1st of March 2021

Kitajima triumphs at Bicton Arena

There was a true international flavour to Bicton Arena’s International Horse Trials held at the weekend where Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima headed the Rathbone Investment Management’s CIC2* class riding the ten-year-old Poachers Hope.

It was the combination’s first outing of the year and a solid dressage test with a score of 46.9 put them fourth of the 40 starters going into the cross country phase. A clear showjumping and a fast accurate round across country, with just  8.4 time penalties, put the pair in pole position.



Winning form: Poachers Hope & Ryuzo Kitajima

Winning form: Poachers Hope & Ryuzo Kitajima

Reigning Badminton Champions: William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning

Reigning Badminton Champions: William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning

Cullompton’s Janou Bleekman’s performed a super dressage test on the veteran Granntevka Prince to head the field along with Sarah Parks whose couple of stops across country dropped her down the leader board. Janou rolled a pole showjumping and added time penalties cross country to finish fifth. Taking second was Dickon Reader on Bravanjo, in third was Caroline Harris on Billy Bumble, and David Doel took fourth riding Eisfee.

Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon headed the advanced intermediate riding the 13-year-old mare Borough Pennyz who won the CIC3* at last year’s Wellington International. Two points away was Kristina Cook on Quarrycrest Echo while in third was Darius IV and Blyth Tait.

Hector Payne, William Fox-Pitt’s stable jockey, had a handful of rides with Top Biats jumping a double clear to win the open intermediate.


William was also in action on several horses including Chilli Morning who was having his first run in the open intermediate since winning last year’s Badminton Horse Trials.

 “He show jumped a super clear, over quite a decent track, and on the cross country he felt lovely. He went very nicely indeed, felt very relaxed and didn’t pull at all. He was very happy to be out and enjoyed the decent ground and lovely intermediate track,” said William on his website.

 He added:

“Helen West and her team have really done a superb job to produce a good flowing track. The intermediate course was spot on for this time of year and she had really ironed out some of the tougher terrain to make the course flow well.”

Virage Des Falaises, was one of two wins for Kitty King winning a novice section with 7.6 time penalties added to their dressage score of 26.

“He made one mistake in his counter canter when he got a little excited as he thought he should be doing a flying change! He has been learning them at home so I was pleased he was thinking about them, but it was a shame it was in his test. He scored a very competitive 26,” said Kitty.

Vendredi Biats also headed an intermediate section. Kitty said:

“He stormed round the cross country in pretty wet and muddy conditions. He made the course and the testing conditions feel very easy and gave me a great ride. We picked up a handful of time faults to win the section by nine marks.”

Mary King denied Kitty a third win with King Robert II finishing less than a point in front of Kitty’s Virage Des Faliases in another novice section. Julia Norman riding the seven-year-old Joblesse Can Bareelhof won the remaining section.

Crewkerne’s Thomas Hawke took the open novice riding Mr Cruise Control and was second in the open novice under 18 class on Irish Jester to Talullah Bartlett riding Tiggity Boo.

BE100 sections went to Lauren Pinnell and Tihui Sept, Dani Evans and Fun Time Cilla, Millie Dumas riding Electric Lux and Tom Mcewen on The Magician.

The BE90 sections were headed by Maxime Jambleu on Cante Jondo Rocio, Pippa Tucker on Rambo II, Suzie McGeorge on Langarth Gwendolen and India John riding Balllyhooly,

Nearly 800 riders contested the three days with the plaudits coming thick and fast on Social Media following the event.

Speaking after the event, Organiser Helen West said 

“It was a very good event and we’re delighted. The rain on Friday tested the team to the max, but everyone stepped up to the mark and we produced a great day of competition. The ground was put right on Friday evening and by Saturday morning the going was perfect. We benefitted from lovely weather on Saturday and Sunday which brought out plenty of spectators to enjoy the competition. This year I’ve really worked on designing courses that flow and are encouraging while asking questions at the appropriate levels. The comments we had following the event were superb, and gave us a lot of encouragement that we are putting on events that competitors and spectators want. My next aim will be to secure an advanced and CIC*** here at Bicton Arena.”

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