16 May 2011

CHATSWORTH: Baldwin in the driving seat in FEI World Cup™ Eventing at Chatsworth

Emily Baldwin (GBR) celebrates victory at Chatsworth (GBR), the third leg of FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011, with by Michel Asseray (FRA). Photo: FEI/Fiona Scott-Maxwe


Lausanne (SUI), 16 May 2011

British riders got their chance to make an impression on the FEI World Cup Eventing™ 2011 leaderboard when, at the third leg, Emily Baldwin (GBR) spearheaded a one-two-three for the home side at Chatsworth (GBR).

Baldwin and the Dutch-bred Drivetime have a reputation as CIC3* specialists and won the FEI World Cup™ event at Haras du Pin (FRA) last year, a competition that Baldwin has signalled she will be returning to in August in her quest for further points.

Victory at Chatsworth was compensation for an unfortunate Badminton, when the pair stopped at the lake. As a result, Baldwin was seen riding strongly into Chatsworth’s imposing water fences.

“I’m relieved,” she smiled afterwards. “Drivetime has redeemed himself. He jumped into the second water, which was bigger than Badminton, absolutely fine, and his dressage and jumping were really good, so I’m pleased with him.”

Baldwin led the 22 starters in the Dressage phase from Ruth Edge (GBR) on Applejack ll, but their roles were reversed when Edge had the faster Cross-Country time. However, there was only a penalty between them, and when Edge hit two fences in the final Jumping phase, the pair swapped again.

The Cross-Country course designed by five-time Olympian Ian Stark (GBR) was big, bold and testing, and no one came anywhere near the optimum time of 7 minutes 10 seconds around the hilly track in the spectacular surroundings of the Duke of Devonshire’s historic park.

The most influential fence was a pair of right-handed corners on a downhill, curving line, three strides apart. Lucy Wiegersma (GBR), third after Dressage on Simon Porloe, faulted here, as did Paul Tapner (AUS), lying fifth on Kilfinnie, and Oliver Townend (GBR) on Imperial Master.

One of the best performances through here came from Astier Nicolas (FRA), 22, who finished fourth on Jhakti du Janlie. A former Young Rider European silver medallist, Nicolas was previously trained by Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and is now completing a degree in equine management at Hartpury College.

With just four faults in the up-to-height final Jumping phase, Nicolas finished behind Sarah Cohen (GBR) on the home-bred Treason.

Seventeen riders completed the competition, with 14 clear Cross-Country rounds. Townend had even worse luck with his second ride, ODT Master Rose, and suffered a fall at fence 22, a corner-skinny-spread combination, and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) parted company with Armada at the sunken road (7/8). British-based American rider Julian Stiller was eliminated for refusals with both her horses.

However, riders unanimously praised the track, and especially the amount of work done by the course-building team with watering and verti-draining to produce perfect going, despite the lack of rain. Townend said: “I’m a big fan of Ian’s courses. They encourage bold riding and make you think.”

1.    Emily Baldwin/Drivetime (GBR) 35.6 + 19.2 + 0 = 54.8
2.    Ruth Edge/Applejack ll (GBR) 39.7 + 14 + 8 = 61.7
3.    Sarah Cohen/Treason (GBR) 52.2 + 17.2 + 0 = 69.4
4.    Astier Nicolas/Jhakti du Janlie (FRA) 56.1 + 10.8 + 4 = 70.9
5.    Pippa Funnell/Mirage d’Elle (GBR) 56.4 + 14.8 + 0 = 71.2
6.    Clea Phillipps/Lead The Way (GBR) 52.5 + 24 + 0 = 76.5

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Standings (after 3 of 7 events)
1.    Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 118
2.    Chris Burton (AUS) 108
3.    Shane Rose (AUS) 70
4.    Emily Baldwin (GBR) 41
5.    Ruth Edge (GBR) 38
6.    Sarah Cohen (GBR) 36
7.    Stuart Tinney (AUS) 34
8.    Astier Nicolas (FRA) 34
9.    Pippa Funnell (GBR) 32
10.    Brent Jury (NZL) 32

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Calendar for 2011

1.    Kihikihi (NZL), 07-10 April 2011
2.    Sydney (AUS), 06-08 May 2011
3.    Chatsworth (GBR), 14-15 May 2011
4.    Strzegom (POL), 23-26 June 2011
5.    Minsk (BLR), 13-17 July 2011
6.    Malmö (SWE), 05-07 August 2011
7.    Le Pin au Haras (FRA), 18-21 August 2011

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