Stamford, England—Sept. 4
British-based U.S. rider Tiana Coudray had a lot to smile about today as she drove her lorry home from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
While she’s not competing in the CCI**** with her top mount, Ringwood Magister, Coudray just topped a very large and competitive Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old Final with her own and Dr. Liz Williams’ Cavalier Crystal (Jack Of Diamonds—Cavalier Iris) on a score of 83.
“It’s a stunning, stunning horse who we have some really big hopes for the future,” she said. “She’s had a super season—she’s won a pre-novice and just came third in her first novice [which equates to preliminary level in the United States]. There’s no question in our mind that she’s a fabulous horse. Interestingly enough, it took three goes for her to qualify for the finals because they didn’t seem to like her at the qualifiers. She always got close, but wasn’t quite in the coalfire.
“Today when she led from start to finish and was pulled in first in the final gallop, we were just pleased that they agreed with us!” she said with a laugh. Williams bred the mare at her Matheson Stud in Dorset, England.
The pair led the class, which is similar to the U.S. Eventing Association Young Event Horse program, from start to finish. They received the highest marks for jumping from judges Stephen Hadley and Eric Winter, and 10 full marks from Jane Holderness Roddam, who judged the top 10.
Riders must perform a dressage test (in their jump tack), head straight to a jumping course of show jumps and cross-country jumps and take off their tack for a conformation inspection. (See the guidelines.)
Once the judges choose a top 10, those pairs come back for a walk, trot, canter and gallop under saddle and are judged on their “star quality and potential to make a world class three-day event horse.” Scores are added together for a final placing.
“CC,” an Irish-bred Irish Sport Horse (Jack Of Diamonds—Cavalier Iris, Cavalier Royale), was started by British rider Alice Montgomery. Coudray, 27, took over the ride early this year when she bought a third of a share in her.
“She’s a right madam!” she said with a laugh. “She’s got plenty of opinion about life, but that’s also what makes her so good. She’s a phenomenal jumper and a lovely, loose mover. She’s got a lot more developing and growing into herself and maturing to do. She’s super bold. That’s sort of that dominant mare. She’s fantastic on cross-country.”
Coudray kept CC’s season light and qualified for Burghley at Gatcombe (Great Britain) in August at the last minute when Williams suggested Coudray enter her so she could come watch with friends in town.
“We had kind of given up hope of qualifying because we thought, ‘Well, for whatever reason they don’t seem to see what we see in her,’” said Coudray.
The atmosphere at Burghley is understandably huge with the four-star happening at the same time, but CC handled it like an expert.
“What we ask of these young horses to go in there in that atmosphere and do a dressage test and jump around and what not, it’s pretty incredible what they do to go in and behave themselves,” said Coudray. “It’s quite a big deal and there’s a lot of people that follow it. It’s good for the sport and good for a lot of reasons. She’s so confident and sure of herself, it really serves us well in those situations.”
Coudray’s hoping CC will be her next top horse, but for now, they’re targeting the KBIS British Eventing Young Horse Championships in October.