The sun came out to grace the final day of the Charles Stanley British Masters 2* at Wettenhall, putting a smile on everyone, but especially an estra-wide grin on Richard Howley. The British-based Irishman executed a super-cool, super-smooth round in the jump-off to take the world ranking Charles Stanley grand prix with Chinook.
The pair had finished equal second on four faults in the Hickstead Derby just a week earlier, and they switched effortlessly from grass arena back to an aritificial surface.
“He’s very versatile and evented with Ben Hobday before he came to me 12 months ago,” said Richard on the Tygo/Wellington nine-year-old.
Course-designer Mark McGowan reduced the 51 starters to 12 with skill over his 13-fence track, subtle distance lines, especially the final line which opened up the horses over wide oxers to a final double on a dog-leg line adjacent to the entrance gate.
Annabel Shields set a sizzling target on Wet Wet Wet, pulling off a risk-taking gallop to the final vertical, but she was no match for Richard and big-striding, deceptively quick Chinook.
“I let him travel, took out a stride from one to two and the final distance walked 12 strides – I took nine,” said Richard, who is full of praise for his top horse.
“He’s been an amazing horse for me and got me on a Nations Cup team this year. He’s not spooky, extremely careful with oceans of scope and is as brave as a lion. He’s a little hot-headed so I do plenty of preparation with him at home, and when his head is right, he can win any class.”
Mark Turnbull and the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve took third with James Smith on his Royal Highland grand prix winner Tyson Uno fourth.
Matt Sampson headed the medium tour 1.40m table C speed with almost four sec in hand on the ultra-quick Perfect Rouge, already a winner here.
“I’d planned for this class all week, winning the accumulator was a bonus. He’s jumped bigger classes but I like to drop him down occasionally to keep him happy,” said Matt, who rode Diana Bartolini’s Papillon Rouge 13-year-old four years ago, and got the ride permanently when re-visiting the Spanish sunshine tour this year.
“He’s quite scopey so good at turn-backs, and the more you dare him, the better.”
Steven Franks took second on the Diamant De Semilly 12-year-old Abdul Aziz with Paul Barker on Sandors Legacy third.
Paul also scored a double with Spring Equestrian Partnership’s Happy Boy, the Kannan nine-year-old, winner of day one’s 1.40m, headed the small grand prix by 1.27 sec.
“He’s usually spooky on the first day but settle after jumping a round and he’s better if you press him, he doesn’t have time to spook,” said Paul.
Second went to France’s Julien Feuillerac on Ipswich Ven De Wolfsakker. Early leader Jamie Wingrove claimed third on Zilfa Heleen.
Martha Newall topped the amateur 1.10m final on Ashton Landorina despite riding with a strapped-up leg after snapping ankle ligaments following a fall at Cheshire County show ten days earlier.
The Landor S 11-year-old Landorina, bred by Mark Turnbull’s family in Scotland and bought two and a half years ago, was off all last year due to ulcers, but has bounced back to fitness this year.
“She’s careful and I can gallop to verticals,” said Martha.
Early leader in the eight-strong jump-off Elizabeth Christopher took second on April IV 0.78 sec behind the pace with Angel Tough – second on day one and day two’s winner – took third on Callumbus.
Stacey Willsone claimed victory in the amateur 1.20m final on Newton Nickel at their first show for 18 months.
“My boyfriend Dan [Neilson] pinched him, I’ve only just got him back,” said Stacey, who bought the Wolfgang 12-year-old from breeders Steve and James Davenport two years ago.
Nina Emery led from the front in the nine-strong jump-off on the 10-year-old Galaxy III until Stacey’s final round flyer relegated them to second. Paul Bevan and the beautifully bred Coco Vittorio, a Vittorio/Voltaire nine-year-old, took third.
CHARLES STANLEY BRITISH MASTERS 2* GRAND PRIX
1 Richard Howley & Chinook – IRE – 0/0 38.67
2 Annabel Shields & Wet Wet Wet – GBR – 0/0 39.13
3 Mark Turnbull & Cartouch III – GBR – 0/0 41.36
4 James Smith & Tyson Uno – GBR – 0/0 41.59
5 David Simpson & Unex Cognac IV – IRE – 0/0 43.66
6 Dave Quigley & EIS Isaura – IRE – 0/0 44.11
1.40m TABLE C SPEED
1 Matthew Sampson & Perfect Rouge – GBR – 0 55.55
2 Steven Franks & Abdul Aziz – GBR – 0 59.46
3 Paul Barker & Sandors Legacy – GBR – 0 60.03
4 Charlotte Flack & Ashdale Senica – GBR – 0 60.33
5 James Whitaker & Mersley Chakotay – GBR – (4) 60.83
6 Anthony Condon & Dakar RS – IRE – 0 61.68
SMALL GRAND PRIX
1 Paul Barker & Happy Boy – GBR – 0/0 38.00
2 Julien Feuillerac & Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker – FRA – 0/0 39.27
3 Jamie Wingrove & Zilfa Heleen – GBR – 0/0 39.96
4 Sally Hopkinson & Cartouche II – GBR – 0/0 40.67
5 Annabel Shields & My Casall – GBR – 0/0 40.93
6 James Hughes & Peiter – GBR – 0/0 41.30
AMATEUR 1.20m MASTERS
1 Stacey Willsone & Newton Nickel – 0/0 35.96
2 Nina Emery & Galaxy III – 0/0 36.38
3 Paul Bevan & Coco Vittorio – 0/0 36.86
4 Samantha McCurry & Fun Fun – 0/0 43.25
5 Sally Swiers & Millfield Longsocks – 0/4 35.85
6 Paul Burgess & Havana – 0/4 36.17
AMATEUR 1.10m MASTERS
1 Martha Newall & Ashton Landorina – 0/0 32.83
2 Elizabeth Christopher & April IV – 0/0 33.61
3 Angel Tough & Callumbus – 0/0 33.66
4 Dee Hayes & Casallola – 0/0 37.91
5 Chloe Hitchen & Lambargo – 0/0 38.39
6 Melissa Diamantides & Billy Jean SN – 0/0 43.27
Photos © Jumping Around