Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash, plus Tina Fletcher and Laura Renwick all made it to the podium at the Olympia Horse Show in London yesterday, but the host nation are still waiting for an individual win.
With so many British riders entering the jumping portion of the elite-level competition, it’s perhaps a surprise that none of them, as of yet, have grabbed the initiative and claimed the first home trophy of the event. Brash came closest in the Christmas Speed Stakes, coming in on Bon Ami just 0.38 seconds behind winner Peder Fredericson of Sweden. Laura Renwick was edged into third place on Roller Coaster, but she had already gone one better than this earlier in the day. Jumping with Oz de Breve, had claimed second place in the opening Welcome Speed Stakes and a nice €1600 in the process.
Tina Fletcher was the other British rider to narrowly miss out, forcing a seven horse jumpoff in the Martin Collins Christmas Pudding Stakes. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep up with the dominant Cian O’Connor of Ireland who finished with a time over two and a half seconds quicker than the Brit, recently returning from an ankle injury on Hello Sailor.
As expected for a British top-class event, the line-up was dominated by a mix of home jumpers who similarly brought home a mix of results. Ben Maher was the closest to joining the other three on the podium with Milena, but a faultless run through the second major event of the day was still two seconds too slow to make an impact. Guy Williams finished fifth early on in the contest but results slipped throughout the rest of the day and he had to be content with second-last and tenth. Nick Skelton and Peter Charles, the other two members of the gold medal-winning equestrian team, had a poor day, with Skelton only reaching a high of 14th on Big Star, unable to avoid accruing penalties all day.
The action continues today with the Earls Court Olympia Christmas Cracker at 2:45pm. All of the big hopefuls return and there’s still a good chance that the Brits can end the day with at least one win.