Holly Smith adds another title to her hoard at Hickstead
Holly Smith (nee Gillott) picked up another title to add to her ever-growing tally with the winter B and C title on Quality Old Joker on Hickstead’s national championships day.
A total of nine from 22 starters battled against the clock with Adrian Whiteway’s opening round on Anytime II setting a good standard.
Until Holly’s penultimate round on the big-striding, 17.3hh Quality Old Joker – known as ‘Big George’ – who ate up the ground to take the win by 2.88 sec.
“I reckoned he stood a chance [of winning], he’s won an area trial and qualified for the HOYS Foxhunter and talentseekers finals,” said Holly, on the Irish-bred eight-year-old by Obos Quality.
“He’s not the most conventional to ride and can be sensitive, but he’s honest and careful and this jump-off suited him, for a big horse he’s very athletic and light on his feet and can turn on a sixpence as well as gallop.”
Handsome is as handsome does
Holly’s husband Graham bought ‘George’ as a four-year-old in Ireland and told Holly he’d bought her a new showjumper.
“I saw him in the stable and wasn’t impressed,” said Holly, who allowed joint owner and Quorn MFH James Mossman take the big bay hunting for 12 months.
“George has a big head, but there’s room for plenty of brains.”
Adrian Whiteway and his HOYS talentseekers finalist Anytime II took second with Louise Whitaker aboard Di Lampard’s Ruby VIII in third.
Alfie Bradstock eased Hello Disckoboy into fourth with Michaela Huntington on Alegro Z fifth and Adrian and Carambow sixth.
Laura Mantel claimed her first Hickstead win in fine style with New Priory Stud’s Funnycan, commanding the win from second draw by 2.15 sec.
Nine contended the jump-off with James Emblen setting an early target on Skelwith Lady Delilah, but was soon relegated by a focused Laura, who swept to victory with a commited gallop to the last.
“I was quite determined to go on four strides (intead of six), it was going to go one way or the other, but she is so careful l I can trust her to run to a fence,” said Laura, who pulled off the manoeuvre with panache.
The Zavall VDL/Monaco six-year-old gained vast experience early in the year with several wins in Vilamoura.
“Jumping abroad early in the season has brought her on a lot and is such a big plus when jumping in a ring like this,” said Laura.
James and Lady Delilah settled for second place with Beth Vernon postng a sensible clear on Billy Twomey’s Moneybroom Dancer for third. Stephen Lohoar claimed fourth on Dandy Man MFS with Lisa Jones on Diana P fifth and Ben Walker on Brendon Stud’s eye-catching six-year-old Warrior stallion Warratino in sixth.
Winter B & C championship
1 Holly Smith & Quality Old Joker - 0/0 36.29
2 Adrian Whiteway & Anytime II - 0/0 39.17
3 Louise Whitaker & Ruby VIII - 0/0 39.24
4 Alfie Bradstock & Hello Disckoboy DN - 0/0 41.57
5 Michaela Huntington & Alegro Z - 0/4 37.42
6 Adrian Whiteway & Carambow - 0/4 38.05
Winter Novice championship
1 Laura Mantel & Funnycan - 0/0 39.30
2 James Emblen & Skelwith Lady Delilah - 0/0 41.45
3 Beth Vernon & Moneybroom Dancer - 0/0 44.19
4 Stephen Lohoar & Dandy Mand MFS - 0/0 44.32
5 Lisa Jones & Diana P - 0/4 41.38
6 Ben Walker & Warratino - 0/4 44.01
Photos © Jumping Around