Dublin on sensational form
Horse & Hound|August 19, 2021
Super-consistent horses continue their run of form, one rider has a long-awaited win and young riders impress
GEMMA REDRUP

NAF Five Star Hartpury, Glos

JL DUBLIN continued his sensational run of form when topping the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S under Nicola Wilson. The 10-year-old added four faults in the showjumping and 1.2 cross-country time-faults to his leading dressage of 23.9, clinching victory by just 0.2 of a penalty.

“He really showed off in the dressage and the fence down was unlucky,” Nicola explained.

“I thought the cross-country was cleverly designed with some difficult combinations, but Dublin felt as if he’d already looked at the course plan.”

JL Dublin, who is owned by James Lambert OBE, Jo Lambert and Deirdre Johnston, recorded the equal second-fastest cross-country time of the day, but Nicola said that he isn’t naturally quick.

“He isn’t very thoroughbred, but he is a powerful horse and he’s got a good engine,” explained Nicola. “But we get them as fit as we can and this horse is improving all of the time.”

Kitty King was second with Vendredi Biats, another proving super-consistent at this level.

“I’m delighted with how he went – we didn’t come here to win, but to have a solid run before his autumn campaign,” explained Kitty. “It was never my plan to chase the optimum time, so it’s a nice result and he did a great job.”

Kitty and the grey, owned by Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker, added 4.4 cross-country time-faults to a 24.9 dressage. However, there was one pair who managed to conquer Hartpury’s notoriously elusive optimum time, with Gemma Tattersall and Chilli Knight coming home four seconds inside the seven-minute target, which helped cement third for them.

“He is a freak across-country – an incredibly fast horse but also very rideable, amazing at measuring his fences and moving up and down through the gears,” Gemma explained of the 11-year-old son of Chilli Morning, owned by Christopher Stone. “‘Alfie’ is a real ‘yes man’ and always wants to go in between the flags.”

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