British-based riders hit HSBC FEI World Cup trail
The Chatsworth CIC***-W has often proved a pointer to future international success, and Clayton Fredericks (AUS), who won this class in 2006 on Ben Along Time, is riding his smart new acquisition Bendigo lll, a German-bred horse proven in Grand Prix Dressage and Jumping which has been taking the national season by storm.
The other former Chatsworth winners in the field are Britain's Mary King (in 2007 on her European silver medal ride Call Again Cavalier), who rides the exciting prospect Fernhill Urco, and Pippa Funnell who took the main class in 2000 on Supreme Rock and in 2004 on Primmore's Pride. She brings Blue Horizon and the up-and-coming Redesigned, which she hopes will be her next major 4-star horse.
One rider overdue a victory here is Andrew Nicholson (NZL), whose best placing was a second on Fenicio in 2004. He rides that horse's Spanish-bred full-brother, Armada, a great galloper and jumper which is expected to make light of Chatsworth's undulating course and imposing, well-built fences.
The event, set in the Duke of Devonshire's spectacular Chatsworth estate, has a new organiser, Tissie Reason, and a new Cross-Country course-designer, the five-time Olympian Ian Stark (GBR) who has taken over the international track from Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR).
Stark promises excellent grass cover on the course and several new fences - some of which were designed for last year when the event had to be cancelled due to heavy rain. "The sunken road has been revamped and is, I think, appropriately tough," he said.
"The Ice Pond has two new carved birds in the water, there's a new double of brush corners and a new combination on the flat ground by the car park. I think it's going to be quite a bit different to before and, perhaps, a little more difficult."
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