Megan Taylor takes the pony Newcomers Masters with Novella at the National Championships

A close second in the winter JC final at Hickstead, Megan Taylor continued on her successful run to head the Blue Chip pony Newcomers Masters on Fiona and David Wingrove’s Novella II.

From a startlist of 32, only nine made it through to the jump-off over Mark McGowan’s testing track with Megan providing the winning round on the consistent Numero Uno/Guidam mare.

“I had to hold her back in places but I just let her go and run to the last,” said Megan, who has ridden the nine-year-old since February and qualified HOYS in the pony newcomers and Foxhunter finals at Bicton – “We’ve had a great season, she’ll have a little break now before HOYS.”

Nicole Kershaw took second with Miami Moonbeam, but as the top two had already taken qualification, the coveted HOYS tickets were passed down to third-placed Ffion Roberts and the 10-year-old Kantjes Bozzy – who also contended the Foxhunter final – Alana Hood in fourth on the eight-year-old Miami Sandyman and Anoushka Mauree with fifth-placed Westervelds Florijn. Lottie Mayvers took sixth aboard Gortahork Maeve.

The on-form Ffion triumphed in the National pony 1.15m Members Cup final with Rich Faith. They have already qualified for HOYS in the pony Foxhunter final after winning at Wales and West.

Ffion, 14, rode to a plan.

“I knew the turns I wanted and which fences were likely to cause problems, so I rode carefully,” said Ffion, who took over the ride on the 12-year-old mare from her brother Joseph two years ago.

Izzi Ryder and the Irish 16-year-old Woodfield Five Star claimed second and Megan Taylor aboard another Irish 16-year-old, Cross Word, in third. Katie Waldock-Smith eased the 13-year-old mare Ross Cottage into fourth with Oliver Francis-Jones fifth on Ballyduff Bobby and Serena Kullich sixth on Kilcurry Dawn.

Lauren Roach has hit a purple patch of late. She won Hickstead’s winter JC final on Westcoast Express just two weeks ago, and was again victor at Stoneleigh, taking the pony British novice title on Renkum Starlight, a seven-year-old mare she has only ridden since March.

Katie Woods-Young took second with the 10-year-old appaloosa Apache Joe and third was awarded to Freya Russell on Prince Of the Dales, an eight-year-old by Prince Of Thieves. Freya also claimed seventh with Heartbreak Express and George Atkinson took fourth aboard the Irish seven-year-old Tynagh Sunshine with Maisie Say on Carbis Bay in fifth and Sophie Phillips sixth on Valentino Supreme.

Olli Fletcher, 13, pulled off show-stopping turns to take victory in the British Showjumping pony Silver League 148cm final on The Bobster. The Matchello sired eight-year-old joined Olli two years ago jumping at British novice and discovery level.Alexander Stormonth took second aboard the Irish-bred 18-year-old Chivaz with Katie Waldock-Smith claimed third on the 13-year-old appaloosa mare Clailu Saffron. Oliver Francis-Jones slotted Ballyduff Bobby into third with Ffion Roberts on Kantjes Bozzy in fifth and Katie Clarke sixth with Baussy Jones.

Sophia Lugo’s decision to miss out on the family holiday to compete at Stoneleigh paid handsomely, she won the Silver League 138cm final with Cheeky Chap.

“The win has made it all worth it,” said Sophia, who took over the ride on the15-year-old from her sister Francesca four years ago.

Holly Cooper netted second on the 12-year-old Mr Jack Sparrow with third going to Oscar Hobby and Sweet Delight, an 18-year-old mare previously ridden by Olli until Oscar took over at the start of the year.

Hannah Bishop claimed fourth on Castle Ri Ra.

Only 15 competitors contended the Silver League 128cm final and jumping in a championship combined with jumping on grass over some of the Olympic fences added pressure, and no-one produced first round clears. The four-faulters jumped off, with Aimee Jones, 11, on her 11-year-old mare Arrogan Emily TR making a winning return to these championships.

“We won the Stepping Stones Final here last year,” said Aimee, who has ridden Emily since May last year.

Rachel Proudley took second on Bleach Boy, a dun 11-year-old bred in Ireland, with Charlotte Page and the 12-year-old Thistledown The Graduate in third.

Katie McNamara topped the Pony Restricted Rider 1m final with a quick, late-drawn round on Lackaghmore Avatar.

Almost half of the 50 starters jumped a first round clear, with 24 accessing the jump-off for a hotly-contended class, Katie taking victory by just a tenth of a sec on the Irish-bred nine-year-old Avatar.

“I’ve ridden him for almost two years but sadly it is my last year on ponies, he’s a pony of a lifetime,” said Katie, 16, a Waen-y-Llyn, North Wales pony club member.

Long-time leader Dominic Turner’s opening round with the 17-year-old Freddie The Star hung on grimly to take second place with Iona Campbell in third on the coloured 10-year-old Murphy X.

Georgie Vile finished fourth on Master Foxlynch with Charlotte Raybould in fifth aboard Afon Lad and Charlotte Hyslop sixth on Ooops II.

Toby Fry jumped into a championship win with the Stepping Stones 138cm title on Bubble Pop Electric, an 18-year-old he began competing at the start of the year.

Ralfie Timmins took second with the 14-year-old Ellie Jay and third was awarded to Isobel Kerrigan and the 18-year-old Golden Friskey. Charlie Atkinson was in fourth on Lady Arabella with Missie Stokle on Sanderson Boy fifth and Ella Hall sixth with Calusa.

Ellie Burrell Squibb, who celebrated her 10th birthday last week, claimed victory in the Stepping Stones 128cm final with a super round on Kitty, a 22-year-old mare she has ridden for 15 months.

Missie Stokle also featured in the 128cm final, taking second with the 10-year-old Thistledown Fairyland, her jumping partner for two years.

Katie Bradburne took third on the 16-year-old Jack XX with Eva Haley on Merlin XVII in fourth, Millie Hale aboard Tas Valley Suzanne fifth and Phoebe Farman on Sparkling Mount Royal sixth.

Photos © Jumping Around & First Class Images