Jassy Pyke heads the Bronze League qualifier at Wales and West

Jassy Pyke took one step closer to HOYS by winning the Horseware Bronze League qualifier at Wales and West for a place in the semi-final with best friend Kim Barzilay’s Simply Billie Bunter.

But they were almost non-starters.

Almost didn’t go as I had to get up at silly o’clock and it was a long journey for one class, but Kim persuaded me to give it one last try – and it was third time lucky,” said Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire-based Jassy, who had missed out on qualification twice recently.

A jump-off of 44 from 62 starters promised a hard-fought, red-hot decider, but Jassy was in tune with the 17-year-old Billy Bunter – a prolific winner with usual rider Emma-Jo Slater – and claimed the class by 0.80 sec.

“Billie is the most amazing horse, Emma-Jo has him trained so well he almost knows where he’s going before I do, which is a good job because I only ride him in these qualifiers,” said Jassy.

Sam Oliver took second with Siranimo S, an Animo/Renville 17-year-old at his first show since finishing third in the HOYS 2015 Bronze League final.

“He hadn’t seen a fence for nine months and jumped about 10 fences at home before the show – it’s like he hasn’t had any time off,” said Sam.

Just one hundredth of a sec behind Sam, Emma King and the nine-year-old Calcourt Quicksilva took the third qualifying place.

Ella Nutbeen Slowley headed the Silver League qualifier an Artisan II.

Only nine of 44 gained clears to contend the jump-off, but it was closely fought, with Ella finding the shortest route on the 13-year-old Artisan to take the class by 0.23 sec.

Ella has partnered the Aljano/Coriander gelding for the past two and a half years and they have regularly posted wins in 1.20m and 1.30m classes.

Lily Bradstock borrowed her brother Alfie’s regular ride, Ann Solis’ 10-year-old Concorde gelding Benedictus, and took second. Lily has been sharing the ride with Alfie since April, and both appear to have speed in their blood – their father Mark trains the Cheltenham 2015 gold cup winner Coneygree.

Only 0.58 sec separated the first three, with Tara Byrtt taking third on Tamsin Conyer’s 14-year-old Valerie B.


Horseware Bronze League qualifier

1 Jassy Pyke & Simply Billie Bunter – 0/0 31.55

2 Samantha Oliver & Siranimo S – 0/0 32.35

3 Emma King & Calcourt Quicksilva – 0/0 32.36

4 Jack Retallack & Dustin II – 0/0 33.03

5 Annabel Ackers & Valencia V – 0/0 33.20

6 Peggy Baker & Baraline – 0/0 33.36

Silver League qualifier

1 Ella Nutbeen Slowley & Artisan II – 0/0 39.37

2 Lily Bradstock & Benedictus – 0/0 39.60

3 Tara Byrtt & Valerie B – 0/0 39.95

4 Millicent Cornock & Bommel – 0/0 40.23

5 Georgina Heeney & Sonic – 0/0 40.76

6 Christopher Dempsey & Cornado C – 0/0 41.94

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results

Photo courtesy of British Showjumping