Olympic riders at Houghton

Houghton Hall was the spectacular setting for the Subaru Houghton International from Thursday to Sunday.Day one saw two brand new British Olympic Team riders competing.

Houghton Hall was the spectacular setting for the Subaru Houghton International from Thursday to Sunday.

Day one saw two brand new British Olympic Team riders competing.

Norfolk's own Nini French won the first competition - the Burghley Loddon Young Event Horse Qualifier for five year olds with the 16.1 grey gelding Dippyparflam, owned by John Peace. There were 50 in the class.

In the four-year-old qualifier it was Zedea, ridden by Rosalind Canter and owned by Judy Bradwell, who took the win and qualification.


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There were two other Olympic hopefuls in action as well as GB Team newcomers Sharon Hunt and Lucy Wiegersma, William Fox-Pitt and Olli Townend.

Day two of the Houghton International brought more non-stop sunshine and action.

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The day started with the North Astor Group Invitational Eventers Grand Prix run in and around the main arena.

A first prize of £1,000 went to Oliver Townend with a total time of 139.3 seconds and no penalties.

Townend completed a Norfolk double on Sunday. Riding horses owned by Andrew Cawthray, he had already secured a win in the Eventers Grand Prix on Friday with Polar Run, and he carried on his lead from the Dressage on Friday in the International CCI** to win the major prize of £5,000 and collect the stunning Subaru International Perpetual Trophy - a bronze by Jonty Meyer.

Riding Waterview, a 10-year-old bay gelding, he had a remarkable dressage score of 35.1 - nearly four points ahead of Matthew Wright on Hugginstown.

They and William Fox-Pitt stayed on their dressage scores after all going clear in the cross country on Saturday.

Then, during a nail-biting wet finale in the grand ring, all of them went clear, leaving Townend as the winner.

William Fox-Pitt's two horses are both owned by Norfolk residents.

Chuckleberry is owned by by Catherine and Bridget Joice and Bee Animas by Catherine Butler.

In the CCI* section A it was again double clears all round for the top three, but it was Owen Moore on Danewood Clover Lad with a dressage score of 40 that secured the £1,000 and in section B with a dressage score also of 40 John-Paul Sheffield on DHI Hindle who took home £1,000.

In other classes over the weekend the Novice Eventers Grand Prix, with over 50 entries on Saturday, saw Emily Blew take the £250 prize money on Portumna Rose in a time of 135.65 with Jo Williams on De Ja Vu coming a close second on 137.94.

The Burghley Event Pony 138cm was won by Constance Copestake on Outwood House President and the 153cm section by Amy Wells on Memphis Flyer.

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