Blair Castle CIC3*: What We Said, What Actually Happened

So we have never been allowed to forget the time we said Don Geniro COULD NOT win. Of course, he did. Don’t be fooled. We are right more than we are wrong! Have a look at the Event Rider Masters at Blair.

What we said:

The CIC3* has run six times (2009 to 2014) and some clear trends stand out. Only once (from 295 runs) has a combination finished on a score lower than 45 penalties. While the ERM competitors love to break trends and records, that 45 barrier sets a good benchmark of what it will take to win this week.

What happened:

Lucinda Fredericks remains the only rider to complete the CIC3* at Blair on a sub-45 score (2013, 43.8 with Flying Finish) but our 45 number came through with the winner finishing on 45.2.

timWhat we said:

Time is always a factor on Ian Stark’s course, with no one making the optimum time in four of the six years. Just six riders have ever made the optimum time in the CIC3* at Blair: Paul Sims, Nicola Wilson, Gemma Tattersall, Emily Galbraith, Marilyn Little and Caroline Powell.

What happened:

Time was a BIG issue as usual. Just one rider made it. Tim Price makes it seven riders in seven years to not add time on the Blair Hills.

What we said:

Five of the six winners of the CIC3* at Blair all sat inside the top three after dressage. Nicola Wilson won the inaugural running of the CIC3* in 2009 with Opposition Buzz after sitting in 10th place following dressage.

ollie pngWhat happened:

Oliver and Cillnabradden Evo, 42,80: Second after Dressage. Eventual Winner. A good start is crucial at Blair.

What we said:

Blyth Tait and Xanthus III and Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo are the strongest show jumping combinations in the field, both averaging above an 80% clear round rate. It’s notable that Blyth and Xanthus have preserved that record over 13 rounds, while Oliver and Cillnabradden Evo’s average comes from five rounds.

What happened:

Clear SJ rounds for these two. No alarms and no surprises.

Chris BurtonWhat we said:

While Polystar I is one of the most inexperienced horses in the field, he comes to Blair with perhaps the best chance to play spoiler with Chris Burton. Polystar I won his CIC3* debut at Barbury Castle last month on his dressage score of 42.2 and was one of just four horses to make the tight optimum time. With an average final finishing score of 41.5 for the 2016 season, Chris and Polystar I are on track to challenge Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish for the best final finishing score in Blair CIC3* history.

What happened:

Eh…not this time. The third cross country refusal at the second last meant elimination for Polystar I. It was a big call in hindsight but Chris’ cross country record is so good we thought he might be the one to do it. Not the last we have heard of Polystar I I expect.

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