Presented by Beta

3RD - 5TH AUGUST 2018

Top Spec Winner (2).jpg

Collins clinches The Corinthian Cup

Lorna Collins and Blackrock Ricardo scored a pillar to post victory in the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup, a National Restricted Novice Championship at The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

Lorna last competed at The Festival of British Eventing 11 years ago, when she finished 43rd in the British Novice Championship on Benson, but the amateur from Melton Mowbray scored a career-best result when she returned this time with a precocious six-year-old son of Ricardo Z.

I’ve not managed to ride him much this week as Ive been to-ing and fro-ing to Pony Club camp with my eight-year-old son, Joseph,admitted the stud groom, who is married to Quorn huntsman Peter Collins. “My only aim was to give him a nice experience; I was just hoping for a double clear.”

A lack of practise mattered not a jot as the pair turned in a dressage score of 24.6 and delivered one of the most polished showjumping clears of the section.

“He jumped beautifully considering how boggy the ground had become by the time I went,” enthused Lorna. “He went to Burghley for the Five-Year-Old Young Event Horse Final last year, so he is used to a bit of atmosphere, but even so he really surprised me with how he took it all in.”

The pair headed into the cross-country with a seven-penalty cushion and, in the final shake-up, they needed every last second, stopping the clock in a time of 4min57sec — some 17 seconds over the optimum for 6.8 time penalties.

“He went a little bit green on me at the two water fences and was mentally and physically very tired by the end, but I couldn’t be more thrilled,” continued Lorna, whose next target with the talented youngster will be the British Eventing Six-Year-Old Championship at Osberton in October.

Cornwall-based Katie Hancock and her own Coddstown Pet so nearly added the Corinthian Cup to the BE100 Mitsubishi Motors Cup they won at Badminton earlier in the year, but a rub of the second showjump meant they had to settle for second.

“The mistake was my fault,” rued Katie, a mother-of-one who juggles eventing with working part-time as a safety compliance officer.

The half-Shire mare, Coddstown Pet, only moved up to novice level in May.

“I’d always wanted to ride at Gatcombe, so when I found out we’d qualified I was really excited,” she said. “This was by far the biggest track she’s jumped and she answered every question.”

Third place went to another Katie — Katie Haimes and Shes A Million.

There were 38 clears from 48 cross-country starters; the most influential fence being the second water complex at 18abc, the TopSpec Comprehensive Challenge.