Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials 2014

Oliver Townend and Skyhills Cavalier

Oliver Townend and Skyhills Cavalier - Credit: Archant

Rachael Morley reports on this year’s exciting event

Winner of Section G, Sir Mark Todd and Amacuzzi

Winner of Section G, Sir Mark Todd and Amacuzzi - Credit: Archant

Thousands of visitors from across the country arrived at Chatsworth for the annual Dodson & Horrell International Horse Trials, 16th to 18th May. Glorious sunshine, a course that looked its spectacular best and a field of world-class competitors ensured that all returned home feeling inspired by the event.

In addition to competing for the top prizes, a good performance at Chatsworth helps towards selection for the World Equestrian Games which will take place in August in Normandy. For less experienced riders it provides valuable experience and aids in qualifying for future three day events. Cross-country course designers Ian Stark and David Evans had produced a challenging and attractive course, making a few ‘tweaks’ to last year’s that resulted in an exciting competition. Amongst the competitors were Olympians Zara Phillips on High Kingdom, who finished in third place in the Advanced Section, Nichola Wilson on Opposition Buzz who won Section I, and William Fox-Pitt. From a strong field of 60 riders, Ireland’s Sarah Ennis claimed victory in the main three-star Dodson & Horrell Challenge on Stellor Rebound. In fifth place after the dressage phase, she climbed the rankings after show jumping and cross-country to finish first. In the second section of the three-star event, New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd won the class on Amacuzzi.

There was also strong competition at Novice and Intermediate level. Notable successes among local riders were Georgie Rockingham who was the highest placed local rider in the CIC* section and Lucy Robinson from Hatton who won the Derbyshire Life and Countryside trophy for the highest placed local rider in the Open Novice section. It was the first year in the role for director Patricia Clifton, who was ably assisted by a team of helpers that included experienced event co-ordinator Gail Dale. Patricia commented: ‘It was an amazing event with a wonderful atmosphere and such a pleasure to see so many people enjoying the exciting competition.’