BAYDON-based Flora Harris was thrilled with her top-10 finish at the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials.
Harris and her ride Bayano bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on the European Championships, after being dropped from the Great Britain squad, with a fantastic result.
The duo went clear in the show jumping round to lift them to eighth place and the 27-year-old was more than pleased with their efforts.
“I am relieved and very happy,” Harris told the Gazette.
“I am really pleased. He is a fantastic jumper and I didn’t give him the best ride into the first three fence, but then he jumped really well and came out feeling fantastic after the cross-country round.
“He is such a lovely horse and he has got such a big engine and so much energy and I am very lucky because he is a pleasure to jump.
“In all honesty it has been a fantastic weekend, the ground has been fantastic, Eric Winter’s courses were wonderful to ride and both of my horses have gone absolutely beautifully and I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I have certainly learnt that out preparation for this level of competition is really important.
“He is a horse that doesn’t need over-working, which is a mistake we have probably made in the past, but we have brought him to Blenheim fresh and it has certainly paid off.”
Harris also came in the top 25 in the CIC*** eight and nine-year-old class as she finished in 23rd place on Cooley Lord Lux.
Both horses will now have a winter break and Harris is hoping to come back even stronger in the spring.
“They have got a well deserved holiday and then moving forwards we will continue to work on the dressage and show jumping and get him stronger,” she said.
“We’ll also look to work on our cross-country in the new year and come out well in the spring.”
Matthew Edwards/Thursday 24th September/Sport
Gazette and Herald
Flora Harris on Bayano PIC: Tim Crisp