Two real stars of the future shone on the final day of Cornbury House Horse Trials (8-12 September 2021) in Oxfordshire.
Seventeen-year-old Finn Healy, individual and team gold medallist for Britain at the 2019 Pony European Championships, won the NAF Youth Performance CCI2*-S riding the 10-year-old 17hh grey mare Fathers Compromise. The pair finished on their dressage score of 26.7.
Finn said: “It feels amazing to win! Fathers Compromise is so cool – she’s stepped up the levels really quickly, from BE100s last year to her first novice at the end of the season. She’s gone from strength to strength.”
This was Finn’s first visit to Cornbury House Horse Trials.
He said: “It’s a beautiful place with a really good atmosphere, it’s a traditional event and I am definitely coming back here – I’ve loved it.”
The NAF Youth Performance CCI3*-S went to Tom Woodward, 19, who has made a remarkable comeback from injury, riding Low Moor Lucky.
At the end of March, two days before his first event of the year, Tom broke his left leg, suffering a compound fracture. He was told his 2021 season was over, yet he has recovered quicker than was expected.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted with Lucky. It is the first international win for both of us and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Tom and Low Moor Lucky, who is owned by his parents David Woodward and Sue Thompson, achieved a double clear at Cornbury, finishing on their dressage score of 31.7.
“Cornbury House feels like a major international event. The cross-country is big and bold, the fences are dressed so well; it’s a lovely track to jump around,” he said.
Cornbury House Horse Trials’ founder and president David Howden is very keen that the Charlbury event – which is in its second year – becomes a nurturing ground for the best of British-based equine and human talent.
He said: “The young horses – and the young riders – are the future of our sport, and Cornbury House Horse Trials, with its big-event feel, spectacular setting and excellent courses and conditions can hopefully provide them with the grounding and the experience to set them on the path to the very top.”
Sunday’s national class winners included Tokyo gold medallist Laura Collett with her CCI5* partner Mr Bass, and Piggy French and her forthcoming European Championships ride Brookfield Inocent, underlining the quality of the huge entry to Cornbury House 2021.
David Howden added: “I am thrilled with the way the 2021 Cornbury House Horse Trials has gone. It was wonderful to welcome spectators this year, having had to operate ‘behind closed doors’ at our inaugural event in 2020, and I think we created a really special atmosphere.
“We are so flattered that so many of the most famous riders in the world, including all three of Team GB’s gold medallists at the Tokyo Olympics, chose to come to Cornbury House, and that so many equally illustrious horses competed here. We had a Badminton winner, several championship medallists and the horses going to the European Championships in two weeks’ time, and it has been lovely to watch them gallop round this amazing park.
“We have such big plans and high hopes for the future of this event, and I think we have made a great start.”