EQUESTRIAN: David’s back from a break to boost European prospects

CIC** section winner Doel (right) with the Barbury Estate’s Nigel Bunter

CIC** section winner Doel (right) with the Barbury Estate’s Nigel Bunter

First published in Sport by

REYBRIDGE eventer David Doel hopes his comeback win at last weekend’s Barbury International Horse Trials can be the springboard to securing a place at September’s European Young Rider Championships in Portugal.

Doel, 21, returned to competition a month after suffering a broken collarbone to win the CIC** section B class on Miss Caruso, ahead of New Zealander Andrew Nicholson on Jet Set IV.

Marlborough’s Nicholson proved the undisputed king of Barbury yet again as he and star mount Avebury soared to a third successive CIC*** title.

Doel, meanwhile, heads to Ireland at the end of the month to try to boost his qualification hopes for the European event, in which he helped Britain to team silver in France last year.

He said: “I couldn’t fault her (Miss Caruso). She went well all weekend and it was a bit of a relief because it was the horse I fell off during a warm-up at the Houghton trials (in Norfolk at the end of May).

“I’ve had some good finishes at Barbury in the past and it’s been a good place for me. It was a confidence boost and also reassuring for her owners (Jane James).

He added: “Because of the injury, I need to go to Ireland (Camphire) to get the qualification. I’m still trying to make the team and hopefully I can be in it for the final selection trial in August.”

Nicholson meanwhile, dominated the top Barbury class yet again, finishing well clear of Britain’s Francis Whittington and Easy Target in second and Highworth-based Australian Paul Tapner and Yogi Bear VIII in third.

“He (Avebury) is a horse that seems to like going back to certain places,’’ said Nicholson.

“He was squealing and shying and jumping extravagantly in the warm-up.

“To win here three times in a row on a horse that was born round here and is named after a local landmark feels pretty good.’’

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