After being a visitor for as long as she can remember tagging along with her mum Mary, Emily King realised a dream earlier today as she became the 2018 British Horse Feeds u25 CCI3* champion.  Riding Jane Del Missier’s Dargun, Emily rode an expertly crafted clear round over Di Boddy’s technical and up to height track to add no further penalties to the 25.5 she posted for her dressage on Friday.

Dargun, a ten year old by Valliant, showed no signs of fatigue from yesterday’s superb effort across the country – in fact Emily reported he was positively frisky on his leg stretch this morning before the final horse inspection.  As she entered the ring, she knew she couldn’t afford a single pole down as French rider Thibault Fournier had gone clear with Siniani de Lathus to climb to second from third place and pile on the pressure.

It was a heart stopping moment when the duo rattled the first fence but it stayed in place and afterwards they gave every rail space to leave them all standing to finish on the dressage score she posted on Friday, the only rider to do so in the section.

Emily’s boyfriend Sam Ecroyd ended up third, but not on the horse he lay second on after cross country, Cooley Currency who unfortunately had the first two parts down in the treble to slip down the order to sixth. But it was Vicki Irlam’s Master Douglas who rose from fifth to third with a clear on a final score of 32.1.  Tom Jackson and Carpa du Buisson Z maintained their fourth place with one down while France took the final top five place when Marie Caroline Barbier and her stunning grey Picasso D’oreal rose from seventh with just a single time penalty in the show jumping.

A beaming Emily said; “He felt amazing today! When I got on him in the warm-up he was bucking and squealing — it helps him with his spring and attention if he’s a bit jolly. He jumped well in the warm-up and carried that through into the ring. The crowd helps him rather than distracting him and the fences were quite spooky here, which helps too. He jumped consistently and was very focused so I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Tibault followed in saying; ““He’s a really good jumper, but I don’t know him well after a longer cross-country and I was afraid he might be tired and not jump as well as usual, but he was fresh today.”

“I’m really happy with both horses,” declared Sam. “Master Douglas has struggled with dressage but always been a fabulous jumper and he’s had a real ‘rocky road’ of soundness issues.  We’ve only had one and a half runs in two years so to come here and do this shows he’s a real special horse.

“Cooley Currency is still green at this level and coming here I didn’t think he’d even go inside the time across country. It’s a lot for a big horse to go 10 and a half minutes yesterday and then go into a tight treble at the end of a round of 12 fences, that can happen. But I hope the more he does, he’ll get stronger and he won’t have that sort of problem.”

Full results – click here

Rider interviews – click here