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news David Cricket and Tina Cook win RoR/NTF Eventing Championship at Gatcombe Park

4th August 2019
Images courtesy of Lotte Simons Photography
  • Son of racemare Lady Cricket hailed an exciting eventing prospect

Tina Cook and the seven-year-old gelding David Cricket have won the 2019 RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Eventing Championship at Gatcombe Park, part of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing.

Since retiring from a brief racing career at the close of 2016 and being retrained for a second career as an event horse, David Cricket has made rapid progress under the tutelage of Tina Cook, the 2009 European Champion and three-time Olympic medallist.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal joined RoR Chairman, Paul Roy, and trainer Richard Phillips, representing the NTF, on the podium to make the presentation to the winning owners and rider, which included a cheque for £2,000.

Cook and David Cricket, who is a son of the prolific race mare Lady Cricket, led the nineteen horse class from day one, the dressage phase. The pair jumped a double clear in the showjumping and cross-country on Saturday, before incurring just four additional penalty points when knocking down one pole in Sunday’s second showjumping round to finish on 32.5 penalties.

In second place, just 0.2 penalties behind, was Highland Patriot and in third was Ballyvaughn, both the runner-up and third were ridden Jodie Amos and were previously trained by Caroline Bailey. In fourth was Watergate Bay, ridden by Harriet Colderick, the winner of the RoR Elite Eventing Champion Award in 2018.

David Cricket raced three times in 2016 in the colours of Normandie Stud when trained by Alan King. He was placed in two bumpers before finishing his racing career with one unplaced run over hurdles.

Afterwards, commenting on David Cricket’s prospects and potential as an event horse, Tina Cook said: “I think he could go all the way. He’s got a fantastic temperament, he is very scopey, and he is, touch wood, a sound little horse. He is a great horse to work with.”

This is the second year the National Trainers’ Federation sponsored final has been held at Gatcombe Park, forming part of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing. First staged in 2003, the RoR Eventing Championship is an Intermediate Novice Class open to former racehorses.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said: “We are so pleased for Tina and David Cricket. It is a much deserved win, especially as Tina has been a great supporter of RoR since the very early days of the charity.

“We are also thrilled with how the class is progressing and thriving following its move to Gatcombe where it is now an integral part of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing. It is great platform on which to showcase the versatility and talent of these horses.”

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