British Eventing held its Young Horse Championships at Osberton International Horse Trials at the weekend (30 September), with some quality horses taking the titles.
The four-year-old champion was Chilli Chap, an Irish sports horse (ISH) ridden by James Sommerville who had only sat on the grey gelding a few times before. The grey gelding is owned by Pam Ashworth and was bred Pam Ashwort. He is by the stallion Chillout and out of Heroes Pride.
“He is a sensible little horse who gave me a lovely ride today and coped well with the atmosphere,” James said.
In the five-year-old class it was Kitty King and Ceylor LAN who took the top spot. The pair also won the Dubarry five-year-old class at Burghley.
The Dutch warmblood is owned by Jackie Owen, Diana Bown and Samantha Wilson and was bred by R Lycklama A Nijbholt in the Netherlands and is by Veron and out of Winanda Lan.
“After Burghley I had hoped he would go well here but you never know at this early stage,” said Kitty. “He has been round a few novice courses recently so he almost found the cross country here a little small but really enjoyed himself. It’s lovely to end the season on a good positive round after stepping up a level.”
Last year’s five-year-old champion was this year’s winner of the six-year-old title (CIC1*), ridden by Tom How who produces young event horses. Belco HRS was bred by YE Hiemstra and is by the Selle Francais stallion, Hold Up Premier and out of Iris. He was then snapped up by Hows Racesafe as a rising four-year-old.
“He is a classy horse and really showed exactly how quality he is here this week because we came here without having had many runs this year at all,” Tom said. “He is strong in all three phases and comes out of the stable on form and loving his job every time.”
The last Young Horse class was the seven-year-old championships, run at CCI2* level. Taking the title was British young rider team member Tom McEwen and Rehy USA, who Tom part owns with John Burt. The bay thoroughbred was bred by Edna Briscoe in Ireland and is by Warcraft and out of On the Eve.
“He is a beautiful mover and coped really well with the atmosphere of the arena; it was a tough enough course for this age and level of horse,” said Tom. “He cruised around easily and made the time without using all the gears. I would have loved to go to Le Lion for the World Seven year olds but to actually win your own national title on home soil is really great too.”