Amy Inglis was star of the British team as she made her 5* team debut with her mother Claire’s home-bred mare Wishes in the opening leg of the Longines FEI Nations Cup of La Baule in France.
Amy was the only Brit to post a clear in the first round, competently guiding the Guidam/Wellington 11-year-old into a penalty-free round as third to go. It didn’t go so well for the others. Pathfinder William Funnell and Billy Buckingham came home on nine faults while Harry Charles – also making his 5* team debut – and Lordanos Junior returned a round they would rather forget with 16 faults. It was all going well for Holly Smith and Hearts Destiny until late in the round and they also clocked up nine faults. Britain was on a total of 18 and seventh for round one just one fault ahead of Canada. Switzerland and Belgium were level-pegging on just four faults.
“It was disappointing to have two late poles at the penultimate fence but Hearts Destiny showed his class to jump a very good clear in round two,” said Holly.
Amy had so very nearly made it a double clear – five riders managed double clears – and came home with just one time fault on her second trip in the ring. But the team remained in seventh as William returned on five faults second time out and Harry was again the drop score with 14 to total 24 faults.
“It’s been a disappointing day for us as a team however individually Amy has absolutely shone in what was her debut appearance at this level. She has unbelievable focus and to see her achieve what she did on a homebred mare that she has produced from the outset is quite phenomenal. She has planned for this with great detail and to see it pay off with her jumping a double clear, albeit with one time fault, it is an absolute credit to her and she has proved herself and Wishes to be a great combination for the future,” said team performance manager Di Lampard. “Also, Holly Smith delivered a brilliant round in the form that we have known them for and it was great to see them come back in this way.”
A strong Swiss team added nothing further to their score in round two to win on four faults but Belgium battled ferociously and finished second just one fault behind on five.
Amy jumped a steady clear in the 5* 1.45m speed to take 11th some 13 sec off the pace on the Major De La Cour 10-year-old Jule Van Den Tinnenpot. William Funnell posted the steadiest of the clears for 14th on Billy Diamo and Harry Charles returned on one time fault to take 15th on ABC Quantum Cruise. Four faults put Holly Smith and Claddagh Iroko in 20th spot. France’s Olivier Guillon took the win with Vitot Du Chateau.
Four faults in the second phase on both Epke and Lord Boy in the 1.30m two-phase put Chloe Page into 11th and 16th.
Text © Jumping Around & Photo courtesy British Showjumping