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Jump jockeys win eventing challenge

John Francome, nearest camera, and Zara Phillips battle it out in the JCB Champions Challenge.

John Francome, nearest camera, and Zara Phillips battle it out in the JCB Champions Challenge. © Trevor Meek/Barbury Horse Trials

A team of jumps jockeys triumphed in a celebrity race against hunt riders, showjumpers and eventers at the Barbury International Horse Trials on Saturday.

The JCB Champions Challenge went right down to the wire in a nail biting contest over a specally designed course of fences including a water jump.

The team of John Francome, Sam Twiston-Davies, Richard Johnson and captain Noel Fehily, replacing the injured AP McCoy, edged out the VWH Bathurst Hunt team of Tintin Belsham, Ella McEwen, Scarlett Crew, who had won the inter-hunt relay earlier in the day.

Finishing in third place were the eventers team of Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Mark Todd and Laura Collett.

Winning jump jockey team member John Francome said: “The VWH Bathurst team gave us a real run for our money, the boys certainly need to watch out for their day jobs. But where were the eventers, did they show up? We barely broke a sweat against them! It was a real buzz to ride in front of such a great crowd here at Barbury and all in aid of the fantastic work of the IJF”.

The JCB Champions Challenge was held in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), whose patron is Princess Anne. Jumps jockey AP McCoy, who was to ride at Barbury but pulled out because of injury, is vice-patron. He attended the event to cheer on his colleagues.

Horsetalk.co.nz

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