Drew Walton takes the National 148cm title on the final pony day at Stoneleigh


On the final pony day at the National Showjumping Championships, Stoneleigh, more titles were won and lost in fearsome battles against the clock.

Drew Walton has every intention of making her final year in ponies a great one. She was one of only four initial clears in the National 148cm final, and gave that extra push on the 14-year-old Tequila Twist to claim victory.

“She’s always worked well and it all came together this year, we have that trust between us nand she’s naturally quick,” said Drew, who will maek her eight consecutive appearance at HOYS in October.

Sophie Bowen-Howard took second with Quincy V, and these top two claimed the HOYS pony showjmuper of the year places on offer.

Perdi Digby took third on Kayelighs Star with Faye Sutton fourth on Robe Ruadh, Tahnia Jordan Jones in fifth aboard Sulan Hollywood Knight and Bobbie Heath took sixth on Cisco Bay.

Emelia Mitchell risked a near-impossible but clever turnback to the penultimate oxer to post her biggest win in the Waddesdon Stud 138cm title with Shaman Sundance.

“I felt I was holding him back too much in the first round, so I let him go in the jump-off,” said Emelia, 13, who has ridden the 10-year-old appaloosa since October and finished fourth in the Hickstead 138cm final just two weeks ago.

Madison Heath netted second with the 19-year-old Sonas Barney and Tahnia Jordan Jones took third on another appaloosa, the 15-year-old Oakhurst In The Spotlight and sixth aboard Thyme Flies. Izzi Ryder finished fourth on The Agent with Faye Sutton in fifth on Fast Fun.

Tom Francis-Jones posted the only double clear to commandingly take the National 128cm final with Major Jack. Only four competitors achieved round one clears from 30 starters, the treble combination proving the ‘bogey’ and claiming several victims.

But Tom kept his cool to prove penalty-free, trusting the Irish 15-year-old Jack.

“He’s easy when I ride him well,” said Tom.

Claudia Moore took second with Peppino Il Grande with Rosie Collins and her Hickstead champion Bradmore Mystique in third and Alena Hughes taking fourth aboard Mathews Girl.

Luli Loveridge took fifth on Time To Party with Sebastian Marmont sixth on DC The Piler and Henry Squibb seventh aboard Pussycat Doll.

Olli Fletcher is on a roll! Just 24 hours after taking the Silver League 148cm final on The Bobster, he topped the Squibb Group pony Foxhunter Masters with the on-form eight-year-old gelding.

A total of eight reached the jump-off with Olli outpacing all his rivals for victory.

“The course was tricky and up-to-height but I can trust Bobster to jump clear,” said Olli, who was has produced this Matchello K gelding for three years.

Anoushka Mauree took second on Westerveld Florijn with Serena Kullich in third on Kilcurry Dawn and Nicole Kershaw aboard Miami Moonbeam in fourth. Ffion Roberts and Rich Faith took fifth with Joe Fernyhough aboard Midnight Milly in sixth.

Pony of the Year Novice Grand Prix champions Jessica Howard and Rocky Robin claimed another title with the Haygain Pony Discovery final. They did it in style - 81 starters contended this hot class.

Jessica, 13, has ridden Claire Darwin’s Irish nine-year-old for 12 months and they took both Novice and Discovery titles at the Blue Chip Championships in April.

“He’s a strong character,” said Jessica.

Mia Gill and the Its The Business 14-year-old mare Sunset Saphire took second with Alexandria Hands third on the nine-year-old Sliabh Lan John Joe. Freya Russell took fourth on Prince of the Dales with Lucy Blaire fifth on Whizzy Socks and Jade Williams sixth aboard Big Stars Dollar.

Elloise Smit lifted the pony restricted rider 1.10m title with the Irish-bred 14-year-old Newtown Samson with one of only two double clears from the six-pony decider.

“This is such an amazing feeling, I was only doing 70cm classes this time last year,” said Elloise, 13, who has ridden ‘Sam’ for eight months.

Serena Kullich was the only other jump-off clear for second on the consistent Kilcurry Dawn. Sophie Lewns took third aboard Rutland Red Alert with Katie McNamara on her Restricted Rider 1m final winner Lackaghmore Avatar in fourth, Mia Barr in fifth on Killy Colour Code and Hannah Barham sixth with Sky Bonita 1.

Cousins Ellie Burrell-Squibb and Tia Squibb battled it out in the 128cm Bronze League final, with Ellie having the upper hand this year on Kitty and beating 2015 winner Tia with Gorm And Ban.

Ellie and Kitty were on top form, the pair had already topped the Stepping Stones 128cm title and Ellie doubled up here, winning by two and a half secs on the 21-year-old Kitty.

“I stuck to my jump-off plan and got all my turns,” said Ellie.

A total of 12 of the 20 starters jumped round one clears to make hotly-contended jump-off, with Tia and Gorm And Ban taking second. Eva Haley aboard the 12-year-old Merlin XVII took third with Maisie Talbot in fifth aboard Trefriw Eros and Amy Tucker sixth on Maybrock Aristocrat.

Kelly Wecke landed the 148cm Bronze League final with the 21-year-old Welsch section D gelding Smudge by an impressive three sec.

“He still acts like a six-year-old, he’s always full of energy and gets over-excited at times,” said Kelly, who was offered the ride on Smudge by Penny Ballard – who has owned Smudge since he was five – when they met at a local show.

Abigail Dorset and Inverin Bobby took second with Lucy Rennie on GEC Delight third and Molly Bennett aboard Little Miss Mayhem in fourth. Poppe Wilcox was fifth on Narnia and sixth went to Gemma Thorley on Camber Matilda.

Casey Bell, 12, claimed the 138cm Bronze League crown on the 17-year-old Meadowbrook Wizard, relegating Charley Hamilton’s tough standard-setter on Kayem Friday’s Dance down to second.

“I’m gobsmacked, we only registered for affiliated jumping five months ago,” said Casey.

Ellese Ankers took third with Jazzy Feet with Charlotte Bowman in fourth on Howel Judy. Lauren Caley took fifth on Mr Magner and sixth was awarded to Elizabeth East aboard Allanagh Roshanna, winner of the accumulator.

Photos © Jumping Around & First Class Images

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