Reece Oliver takes the Northcote Stud Grand Prix

Northcote Stud’s young horse show was blessed with brilliant sunshine and four days great jumping, culminating in the young horse finals and the grand prix.

Reece Oliver topped the concluding Northcote Stud Grand Prix, outpacing his three jump-off rivals to take the £1,000 first prize with Urlanmmore Aldi. The Aldatus Z/Clover Hill gelding was previously ridden by Peter and Brian Lear and Henry Turrell.

“I’ve only ridden him since February – Matt Sampson found him for me, and I owe this win to Matt, his advice has been invaluable,” said Reece, who hit immediate form with the 13-year-old gelding.

“In our first four shows, he won seven classes at 1.30/1.35m, he’s a real winner.”

Course-designer Raf Suarez skilfully reduced the 26 starters with distance questions and square oxers followed by tall verticals to achieve four clears.

Matt Sampson was first off with Perfect Rouge, but the first fence fell to put him out of contention despite the quick time. Liam Fitzgerald was next and jumped a steady clear to take a brief lead on Cowboy, but Reece was quicker from the off and crossed the line with five sec to spare on Aldi.

“He’s easy, a ‘get-on-and-go horse’ and the jump-off suited him, all the turns were to verticals and he’s braver at uprights and he’s fast, only have to think quick and he’s gone,” said Reece, who is full-on with his showjumping fences business

“He’s not as fit as he should be as I‘m so busy.”

Liam and Cowboy took second with Matt and Perfect Rouge in third. Last to go Graham Babes looked to be jumping the perfect clear on Boucheron, but the final vertical fell to push him into fourth. Andrew Mizon claimed fifth as the fastest four-faulter in round one on NCS Chico’s Junior.

Lauren Edwards was on top form at Northcote Stud’s young horse show, taking two titles – the seven-year-old on Ella Sandra G and the five-year-old with Expresso 99.

Seven contended the Northcote Stud seven-year-old title, with Lauren setting an unbeatable standard with Ella Sandra G. The Zirocco Blue mare was bought in Germany as a four-year-old by Kevin Cooper, but missed her six-year-old year.

“We sent her to France for ET and she has three embryo transfer foals by Diamant De Semilly,” explained Kevin.

Lauren got the ride when she moved to Kevin’s Hampshire base as stable jockey in July, and qualified Ella for the RIHS winter novice in the winter and was placed well in the seven-year-olds at Mijas.

“I haven’t pushed her against the clock until we started doing the HOYS qualifiers this summer, she has all the ingredients of making a top horse and I want to produce her slowly so pick and choose the classes for her,” she said.

The mare has quickly picked up the pace and is fast catching up with her peers.

“She has so much scope it’s easy to catch up and she has a big stride, it’s easy to open her up,” she added.

In a fast, hard-fought Peace Love World five-year-old final, Lauren claimed the top spot on Expresso 99, beating Pippa Allen into second on Galarius, last year’s four-year-old winner.

The Pall Mall H/Kannan mare Expresso 99 – owned jointly by Andy Doswell and breeder Kevin Cooper – has been ridden by Lauren since last July and won five classes in Mijas in March.

“She’s an out-and-out trier, the more I ask the more she gives, she gives her all,” said Lauren.

Sophie Hillier finished third on Stoney Raikes Gindy.

Locally-based Rachael Connor topped the John Reilly Civil Engineering six-year-old with an early draw in the 15-strong jump-off on Fantastic and earned her holiday spending money.

“I’m off to Marbella tonight,” she said.

The Casantos/Oklund mare, who is another Hickstead novice finalist, missed most of her five-year-old year with a bout of pneumonia when in Lier.

“She stayed in Lier for six weeks and I didn’t think I’d ever ride her again,” said Rachael, who was amazed at the mare’s miraculous recovery.

Here, the pair set off at the gallop to provide an unbeatable target.

“I took out a stride to the planks and two to the last. She jumps so big it’s easy to take out strides and she’s best keep moving forward or she goes higher and higher, but she’s so honest – I was a mile off the last but she went, she trusts in me,” said Rachael.

A strong four-year-old final drew 21 post double clears. Laura Mantel was one with New Priory Stud’s NPS Supernova, who was also judged best four-year-old in the style and performance.

The Casall/Carthago stallion was bought unbroken from Addington’s Brightwells Sales last August. He was immediately broken and contended the Burghley young event horse qualifier at Badminton, taking sixth.

“We have a few mares in foal to him and now he’s had a few outings he’ll have a little break,” said Julie Whibley of New Priory Stud.

Millfield Stud’s Millfield Counterfeit, a Cooper VD Heffinck/Contender stallion won the loose-jumping three year-old contest, picking up 49 points out of 60.

Steve Pullin’s mare Aredis Cookachu – another by Cooper VD Heffinck – and out of a Hello Oscar mare on 47 points. Jeanette Powell’s Sire De La Tour Z, by Sisley De La Tour, took third on 46 points.

Photos © Jumping Around