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A First International Win for D-Day
March 31, 2024

A foggy start gave way to glorious Spring sunshine as BEDE Events welcomes a record-breaking crowd to enjoy their day at the Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby Park, in Nottinghamshire.

With many visitors taking advantage of the Easter Sunday deal bagging a family bargain for £15, it’s no wonder the event attracted a large, local family audience.

Rathbones incorporating Investec Wealth & Investment UK CCI3*-S

With the jumping phases proving influential, winner Caroline Harris swooned “he’s been perfect start to finish.”

Riding Mrs Fiona Olivier, Mrs Lucy Matthews, Mrs Marie Anne Richardson, and Mrs Heather Royle’s horse, aptly named D-Day, the combination finished on a three-phase score of 30.9.  D-Day was originally heading to Thoresby Park for the CCI4*-S but Caroline, adorned with her winning sash said, “he hasn’t had any runs here so we thought we would just drop down a level and he loved it.”

A good run at the Spring Carnival were integral for dictating the pair’s Spring plans, “he’s stepping back up to 4* next run at Burnham Market and possibly, if all goes well maybe aim for Luhmuhlen CCI5* in June.”

Following a very wet Winter the Thoresby ground has been holding up remarkably well, much to the delight of the competitors. Caroline said “he ran really well last year at Chatsworth in the 4* on this sort of ground so he actually, because he’s small and light and nippy he finds it quite easy, so he was okay.”

Moving into second in the was Gloucestershire rider Tom Woodward and Shannondale Varsity owned by Carole Broad. Tom, aged just 22 looks to have a bright future ahead of him with the 10-year-old gelding Shannondale Varsity who he plans to “step up to Advanced next time out, and he wouldn’t be too far away from stepping up to 4* level, I think he’s a horse that is definitely able to jump some big tracks in the future and it’s great to have him feeling so good and hopefully keep gaining confidence and go from there.”

Tom has had a successful weekend with both of his horses securing 2nd place today with Shannondale Varsity and 3rdyesterday in the second of the two CCI4*-S sections with Jaeger Master.

He said of the weekend “fantastic weekend and firstly I want to say a massive thank you to BEDE and Stuart Buntine and the team for keeping the show on the road because obviously we’ve had a lot of rain and you know it’s just great to have all the horses out and like you say a brilliant weekend for us with the two horses that we brought here, both finishing on the podium and feeling really good for the year ahead.”

Finishing in 3rd place in today’s CCI3*-S alongside the top two Brits is Italy’s, Paolo Torlonia riding his own Bambino De L’Ilatte. Paolo said, “he was very good, very good yesterday with a personal best in his dressage, so really pleased with him, and he jumped well in the show jumping and was very good cross country today” his plans for the Spring are “taking each event as it comes, I think we are building up towards a long format, sort of early ish in the Spring we’ll see a little bit how he comes out of here and yeah, we’ll go from there really.”

Kids in the Courtyard has been a huge success this weekend here at The Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby Park with many children taking advantage of the sunshine, bouncy slide, face painting and other activities. The biggest hit of the weekend with the children must be the Easter egg hunt. With over 2,000 participants over the course of the weekend, lots of children concluded their visit to Thoresby Park clutching a chocolate egg.