A team of jump jockeys today avenged their defeat at the hands of the Eventers last year to take the JCB Champions Challenge at the St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials.
The Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, follows the popular Inter Hunt Relay, won by the North Cotswold, when the leading teams lend their hunters to the Eventers and Jockeys.
The Jockeys team of Wayne Hutchinson, Harry Skelton, Nico de Boinville and Bridget Andrews lined up against The Eventers: Zara Tindall, Jonty Evans, Dan Jocelyn and Holly Woodhead.
The Jockeys set a blistering pace and led from start to finish, despite a spirited challenge to catch up from Eventing Captain Zara Tindall. Zara admitted that she chose one of the more pony-ish mounts on offer: ‘I dropped my whip last year so I thought a pony would be easier to get off if that happened again!’ she explained.
Determined to get their revenge, the Jockeys had taken a more tactical approach this time and were under strict instructions from their Captain, leading lady conditional rider Bridget Andrews, who had ridden in a similar event run at the Olympia Horse Show, explained: ‘We were keen to get the changeovers right, as that is key, and also you need to choose your horse carefully,’ she pointed out. ‘We spent all morning watching the Inter Hunt relay and earmarked our horses – you need ones that are quick but careful.’
Nico de Boinville, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Coneygree in 2015, added: ‘It was a lot of fun and all in a great cause. My horse, Coppice, was A-one – he looked after me beautifully and, thanks to Bridget, we had a good strategy which paid off.’
The St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials takes place from the 6th to 9th July 2017. Advanced discounted tickets and hospitality are available to book at Barburyhorsetrials.co.uk until 6pm before each event day. Tickets will then be available to purchase on the gate.
For information Barburyhorsetrials.co.uk @BarburyCastle #Barbury2017 Facebook Barbury International Horse Trials.