Willem's on the up
Horse & Hound|September 16, 2021
Laura Schrøter breaks her international duck, while two riders seal their recoveries from season-ending injuries
MARTHA TERRY

Cornbury House, Oxon

LAURA SCHRØTER landed the first international win of her career, heading the massive CCI3*-S section A on Willem Van Wup. This flashy mover led from the dressage, securing victory with a clean sheet on 24.4. The 12-year-old Dutch-bred gelding has been competing at four-star but was rebuilding after a virus.

“He’s an established horse so I was hoping he’d run well, but he had a flat period in August and bad blood tests,” said Laura, 26. “I felt out of practice and wanted a good prep run before Lignières. I felt a bit of pressure not to mess up, but he was pretty perfect. He’s cheeky and knows he’s the top boy, but just loves the job.”

Brand-new five-star winner Gemma Tattersall took second on her promising seven-year-old Johan-Some, with Georgie Spence and Feloupe third. The top four finished on their dressage scores and there were 34 double jumping clears, but there was plenty of trouble in the jumping phases of this 99-strong section. Seventeen retired or were eliminated, with three failing to complete the showjumping. The event proved very popular with competitors, with no expense spared on ensuring excellent ground in every phase, as well as beautifully built and dressed tracks.

Cornbury is clearly a four-star in the making, and among the event’s innovations was a CCI3*-S elite (section B), for riders ranked in the world’s top 200. Piggy March took an early lead with a 24.4 dressage on I Diablo Joe, but lowered three rails and withdrew. The dressage runner-up, world number 98 Tom Jackson (Capels Hollow Drift), seized the advantage, banking the £2,500 winner’s cheque with a double clear inside the time.

The 10-year-old grey, owned by Milly Simmie, Patricia Davenport and Sarah Webb, has been knocking at the door of a big win all season, finishing eighth at Bicton CCI4*-L.

“He’s a super horse and we have high hopes for his future,” said Tom. “It was nice he performed in the way he was supposed to.”

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