Jay Halim takes a double whammy at the Blue Chip Championships
A magnificent, exciting and exhilarating round from Jay Halim secured the Blue Chip grand prix title on Helen Rees’ Bart VI.
And, for the first time, the Andrews Bowen £1,000 bonus – awarded to the any of the top three riders of the Blue Chip Pro challenge who go on to win the grand prix – was taken.
The victorious pair had taken a close second in the Pro challenge, and with two horses in the jump-off, Jay was the only one who could pull it off. No pressure then!
“I had some luck when I turned tight into the double, I nearly overcooked it, but the more you put on Bart, the better he is, he’s so sharp off the floor,” said Jay.
Jay’s early lead on VIP II, who finished fifth, was short-lived, Robert Smith wiping away two sec on Cimano E in the 12-strong jump-off. And VIP dropped further down the line when Phillip Miller eased Brendon Stud’s Unbelievable Lady just behind Robert and Cimano E.
But it didn’t deter Jay, who smashed time by over two sec with daring turns and a flying gallop to the last.
Julian Mincher – a double winner here last year – retained his Blue Chip Dynamic B and C title, won in 2015 on Dolanda, with Samantha Middleton’s Eindhoven GH, winning by 0.71 sec.
“He’s so easy, I can cruise down a distance and take a stride out,” said Julian, who will campaign the Welsh Masters and Chepstow 2* in the imminent future.
In the hottest jump-off of the show, Adrian Whiteway emerged triumphant to take the Halsall Electrical 1.25m title on Cojack, a nine-year-old he owns jointly with Heather Larson.
“I was tight back to the verticals, galloped at the double and was tight again to the last,” said Adrian, who is aiming for county shows and a few trips abroad this summer.
Using her final draw to maximum effect, Georgie Burchmore-Eames seized the Blue Chip Pro sparkle JC/JA championship title on Ron Burgundy.
This consistent Irish-bred 10-year-old won the British Showjumping 148cm special final for Georgie at Pony of the Year Show just five days earlier, and they were also second in the POYS top-billed JA.
“He’s a very good Christmas present,” said Georgie, who found it was quicker to go round than take the ultra-tight turn options and pull ‘Ron’ out of a rhythm.
Only two JA’s reached the jump-off, and Tahnia Jordan-Jones secured second place with the other – Sulan Hollywood Knight.
Joe Fernyhough claimed third and fourth with two ponies from the JC section, the Irish-bred 10-year-old Wildwood Silver and the 11-year-old mare Eastside Mirah.
Photos © Jumping Around