Equestrianism: General Jock stands tall for Gifford

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The Independent Online
KRISTINA GIFFORD rode General Jock to victory in the Toyota Bramham Three-Day Event but had a fraught time before securing her prize in yesterday's final show jumping.

A mistake from Carolyne Ryan- Bell, second overnight on Hooray Henry, left Gifford with more than five penalties (the cost of one mistake) in hand. When General Jock removed a rail from the eighth fence, there was no room for error. 'I had to say come on, don't let's have another one down,' Gifford said. The big horse, who stands 17 hands high, responded by clearing the remaining fences with his talented rider, who is the daughter of the racehorse trainer, Josh Gifford.

Pippa Nolan and Cartoon II, who had dropped from first to third at Blenheim last year after three show- jumping errors, moved in the opposite direction with a clear round. Lying fourth overnight, Nolan finished second with Ryan-Bell third.

Gifford's father was playing cricket but her mother (the former Althea Roger-Smith, who was a top international show jumper) was here to help. The seeds were sown in the cross- country phase on Saturday when General Jock's long stride and bold, accurate jumping carried Gifford to one of only two clear rounds that were within the optimum time.

Ryan-Bell, 24, a part-time rider who runs her own business as an insulation specialist, was also within the time on Saturday. Her Hooray Henry is normally a careful show jumper, but he succumbed to the atmosphere of the big crowds here yesterday and was too impetuous when making his single mistake.

Mary Thomson, who had shared the lead with Nolan after the dressage, retired during Saturday's cross country. She had been going well until she came to earth on the landing side of fence 17 after King Samuel had stopped there.

TOYOTA BRAMHAM THREE-DAY EVENT: 1 General Jock (K Gifford, GB) 61.2 penalties; 2 Cartoon II (P Nolan, GB) 64.0; 3 Hooray Henry II (C Ryan-Bell, GB) 64.8; 4 Fordeist (S Lemon, GB) 68.6; 5 Orvet de Bellaing (J Teulere, Fr) 71.2; 6 No Comment (L Alvarez Cervera, Sp) 72.8. Young Riders National Championship: 1 James Frederick (S Cutteridge) 59.6; 2 Hail and Thunder (S Cutteridge) 77.8; 3 Vital Decision (T Boon) 81.4.

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