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Paget New British Open Champ

Paget New British Open Champ

Jonathan Paget is flying high after winning the British Open Championship at Gatcombe Park in the UK this morning.

Aboard Clifton Lush (owned by Lucy Allison and Frances Stead), the Badminton winner added just four time faults to his dressage score of 37.3 to finish just ahead of Brit Oliver Townend and Andrew Nicholson’s old ride Armada.

The 2011 champ Andrew Nicholson and Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar), who were third after the showjumping, had an uncharacteristic stop at the water in the cross country so retired. Nicholson and Avebury were sixth after picking up 10.8 time faults on the cross country.

Paget says the championship was one of his season targets.

“Lush’s owners Lucy Allison and Frances Stead wanted to win here as well, so it is great to come here and do it . . . and even more special on such a great little horse like Clifton Lush,” he said.

Lush is a horse Paget rates highly.

“He is a fantastic little horse and knows his job now. He was ready for this event and we were in the right place going into the cross country. I knew I had seven seconds to Andrew and about 15 to Ollie, and once Andrew had his unfortunate mishap I knew I could slow down a little, stop taking risks and cruise home.”

The cross country proved more than just a little challenging for most, with just four making it home clear and inside time – fellow Kiwi Craig Nicolai and Just Ironic one of those.

“That cross country was very fast. I was flying and felt on the verge of out of control!”

Paget said the testing track, coupled with the terrain and strategically place fences, made for a tough discipline.

“This is the one day event champion of Britain, so is very prestigious. People come here with their good horses and try and win it – you win this and you are champion for the year . . . so it is a nice feeling,” said Paget.

Results -

British Open Championship Results: Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush (owned by Lucy Allison and Frances Stead) 41.3 1, Oliver Townend (GBR) Armada 43.1 2, Sam Griffiths (AUS) Happy Times 54.2 3, Andrew Hoy (AUS) Cheeky Calimbo 54.2 4, Wills Goodhew (GBR) Trefilan Quicksilver 54.4 5, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Avebury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow and Nicholson) 54.8 6, Sir Mark Todd (NZL) Ravenstar (owned by Paul Quirk and Team Rutledge) 62 13, Craig Nicolai (NZL) Just Ironic 65.6 16, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar) retired cross country, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Viscount George (owned by Robin and Nicola Salmon) retired cross country, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise (owned by Frances Stead) withdrawn cross country.

British Intermediate Championship: William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Fernhill Pimms 27.5 1, Oliver Townend (GBR) Cooley Master Class 29.7 2, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Teseo (owned by Phillip Channer and Nicholson) 39.2 3, Dan Jocelyn (NZL) Haokonn (owned by Panda Christie) 51.1 26, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Tilikum (owned by Libby Sellar) 60.6 44, Dan Jocelyn (NZL) Valemount retired cross country, Lucy Jackson (NZL) Mercury Bay (owned by Maureen Wicks) eliminated showjumping.

Advanced Section A: William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Chilli Morning 32.8 1, Oliver Townend (GBR) ODT Ghareeb 34.3 2, Emily King (GBR) Brookleigh 37 3, Sir Mark Todd (NZL) Oloa (owned by Di Brunsden, Peter Cattrell, Pip McCarroll and Todd) 46.3 9, Megan Heath (NZL) St Daniel 48.8 11, Blyth Tait (NZL) Xanthus III (owned by Jane Lovell-Smith and Tait) 55.5 15, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Quimbo (owned by Libby Sellar) eliminated cross country, Blyth Tait (NZL) Dassett Courage withdrawn showjumping, Clarke Johnstone (NZL) Incognito III withdrawn showjumping.

ENDS

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