Gemma’s soulmate carries her to double success at Gatcombe’s eventing festival

August 31 2017

FORMER racehorse Arctic Soul was ridden to victory in the British Open horse trials championship at Gatcombe Park by Gemma Tattersall, who also became national champion as the highest placed GB rider.

FORMER racehorse Arctic Soul was ridden to victory in the British Open horse trials championship at Gatcombe Park by Gemma Tattersall, who also became national champion as the highest placed GB rider.

A fast and bold cross-country round clinched success for the pair, who completed the undulating track in the quickest time of the day to add just 1.2 time penalties to their score after the dressage and showjumping phases.

Their swift and clear jumping performance rocketed them to the top of the leaderboard after going into the deciding phase in 11th place.

With the cross-country run in reverse order of merit, Tattersall then had to wait for the remaining riders to complete before knowing if any had caught her up.

Brazilian doctor Marcio Jorg - in the lead before cross-country and last to jump the track - put up a spirited challenge with Lissy Mac Wayer but could only finish in seventh place.

Meanwhile, last year’s winner Oliver Townend fell at the fourth fence with Note Worthy, while Australia’s Bill Levett fell with Shannondale Titan on the latter part of the course.

Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal finished runner-up on Balham Mist and part-time farrier Alexander Bragg, of Somerset, was third on Zagreb. Mark Todd was fourth on Kiltubrid Rhapsody.

Tattersall, 32, said: “Arctic Soul is the best cross-country horse in the world. I’ve never been so fast in my life.

“Gatcombe is such a special place. I’ve wanted to win the national title ever since I finished third in 2010 and it really fired me up.”

The Open, which incorporated the Event Rider Masters series, was part of the Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association

It also featured the British Novice Championship, won by Ben Hobday on Shadow Man II, the British Intermediate Championship, which went to Oliver Townend on Khoi Traveler, and an advanced class won by Australian Shane Rose on the injured Sam Griffiths’ Happy Times.

The Corinthian Cup for amateurs was clinched by Lorna Collins with Blackrock Ricardo.

South Gloucestershire’s Harry Meade completed the Open on Away Cruising and the novice championship with Red Kite.

But he was eliminated across country with Sparkys Reflection in the advanced class, which saw completions for Alveston’s Simon Vatcher aboard Camblin Hill and Chipping Sodbury’s Nick Gauntlett on Cosmic Order.

Meanwhile, Zara Tindall was 11th in the intermediate championship on home ground with BGS Class Affair.