Paul Tapner wins the MS Amlin Eventers' Challenge 2017
Australia’s Paul Tapner was crowned the winner of this year’s MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge at Hickstead, this week. Paul produced a foot perfect round in the International Arena, on his grey, Bonza King of Rogues, beating a high-class field of eventing combinations.
No strangers to the International Arena, the winning duo improved from their experience of 8th place in last year’s competition, to speed around the tricky cross-country course in 127.57 seconds. Paul’s masterful cross-country riding was highlighted throughout his round as the rider picked tight lines to save time and put pressure on the remaining riders.
Second was Britain’s Abi Walter on Perfick Miss Amber, who put in a superb round to finish best of the home team and in third place, completing the podium, were Irish Olympic rider, Joseph Murphy and his horse, Electric Cruise. Joseph was delighted with his 16-year old gelding who recently returned to competition after a lengthy break.
The MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge is never without its share of thrills and spills. Pippa Funnell looked likely to complete a fantastic round before falling at the last fence, whilst Austin O’Connor also slipped out of the saddle on course. Luckily all riders were quickly to their feet and their horses reported to be fine.
Paul Tapner, winning rider of the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge, said: “I do enjoy this class. My horse is very careful, brave, and fast. You would expect him to excel in a class like this.”
David Ashby, Lead Underwriter Bloodstock of class sponsors, MS Amlin, said: “It was a thrilling competition to watch and we were delighted to see a number of our clients’ horses go so well. Congratulations to the winning combination. Paul rode a superb round and we hope to see him competing here again next year.”