Richard Barton claims his well-deserved HOYS ticket on Donata

Richard Barton finally gets his chance to contend the HOYS Foxhunter final with Donata. Last year, he won the Foxhunter Masters at the National Championships with the grey mare, but was later denied a finalist place in the prestigious final when it was ruled they had not jumped the required four double clears to qualify for the second rounds.

This year, there is no question. The pair lifted the top spot in the Foxhunter second round at South View to register his HOYS finalist place.

Only five from 56 starters accessed the jump-off, guaranteeing a place in the Foxhunter Masters at the National Championships, Stoneleigh, in August, with Louise Whitaker having two rides in the final shake-up. But the ultimate was HOYS qualification, and the task looked difficult as clears proved scarce, the first three competitors posted four faults each.

Penultimate drawn Richard, however, pulled a much-needed clear out of the bag on Gaye Hartley’s Ukato/Ovidus eight-year-old mare Donata to lead the way and secure HOYS qualification.

Last-to-go Louise Whitaker just had to jump clear to qualify, and she dismissed any pressure to produce a clean round on Team Harmony’s Cero/Kannan eight-year-old mare Udget Du Rozel. It was 2.51 sec in arrears, but that was irrelevant, they claimed the important second qualifying spot.

Ailsa Black and Indy IV took third with Louise on her second ride Leen OL fourth and Louise Alston on Mack the Knife in fifth.

Adrian Whiteway secured victory in the Connolly’s Red Mills newcomer second round with Contendro’s Quest.

A mammoth 122 competitors initially bid for the two coveted HOYS tickets, but these were whittled down to 23 for the final jump-off. Drawn in the latter half, Adrian outpaced all to take the winning spot on Contendro’s Quest, a seven-year-old Contendro I/Raphael mare, winning by 0.45 sec.

It was a good weekend for Louise Whitaker, although she didn’t thnk it when broken down on the side of the road with five horses on board. But she managed to switch to another lorry and just made it in time to take second qualifying position here on another Team Harmony mare, Cleopatra VIII, a Kannan 10-year-old.

Twelve combinations produced treble clears to gain access to the Newcomers Masters at Stoneleigh for another qualifying chance. Beth Vernon has to be the unluckiest girl on the showground – not only did she just miss out on HOYS with third place, she was also fourth on Moneybroom Dancer and Hashtag. Daniella Johnston took fifth on Cavalier Road.

James Shore deputised for his sidelined father Keith to take the 1.40m aboard Mystic Hurricane. Donald Whitaker took second on Anne Bedford’s Billy Z, a HOYS talentseekers finalist. James also took second on Coriender Van’t Vennehof in Saturday’s 1.30m, won by Chrstie Pritchard aboard Bol.ton Gate Ben

Jonathan Dixon claimed first and third in the 1.30m on Continio and Camona with Adrian Whiteway and Anyway II sandwiched into second. Charlotte Arnold posted a one-two in the 1.25m on Everest II and Divident SB.

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy British Showjumping