British Fiona Bigwood and her Danish mare Atterupgaards Orthilia are in the winning mood and after bagging the 2016 CDI Joosland big tour at the beginning of April, they now nailed the Grand Prix with a personal best score at the 2016 CDIO Saumur on Friday 29 April 2016. Now Britain's second best scoring Grand Prix duo, Bigwood and Orthilia posted 77.600% on the board.
With 42 combinations entered for the Grand Prix, the 2016 CDIO Saumur Big tour was a massive one. Judges Lionel Du Tranoy (FRA), Jean Michel Roudier (FRA), Leif Tornblad (DEN), Francis Verbeek (NED), and Elke Ebert were in for a treat with Bigwood producing a world class ride on her 11-year old mare (by Gribaldi x Donnerschlag). She scored 77.600% for victory and left all competition miles behind her.
"Anyone who works with horses knows how incredibly tough it can be. We all put in hours of work and we can have our hearts broken so quickly. We reach low points that the average person never gets to see but the highs are so amazing that they keep us going," said Bigwood. "After tragically losing my grand prix horse, Mr G, many years ago, I have never truly found a horse that touched my heart like he did until I found Tillie. The mental connection I have with her cannot be put into words and this is what all us riders work so hard to try to find. I am going to bed feeling very blessed and enjoying one of lives 'happy' moments after she gave me such an amazing test."
Michael Eilberg and his 16-year old Latvian warmblood Marakov (by Rufs) were solid for second place with 70.460%, followed closely by Belgian team rider Jorinde Verwimp on her 16-year old Dutch warmblood Tiamo (by Lester). She made a few atypical mistakes and scored 69.720%.
Bigwood's husband, Danish Anders Dahl, made his international Grand Prix debut on Selten HW (by Sandro Hit x Hohenstein) and scored a strong 69.260%. He referred British based Irish rider Roland Tong on the 11-year old Dutch bred Ambience (by Trento B) to fifth place with 68.980%.
Photo © Astrid Appels