Robert Whitaker and Noble Warrior top the HOYS talentseekers qualifier at Hickstead
Robert Whitaker is off to HOYS with the Brendon Stud’s home-bred Noble Warrior after topping the Talentseekers qualifier in fine style. The stallion with Warrior/Casantos bloodlines answered every question to take the top seven-year-old spot in a hotly contended, 28-strong jump-off.
Gemma Ellison recorded a second HOYS finalist place with second on Rambler VDL. The Diamant De Semilly/Grandeur 11-year-old obviously has a liking for Hickstead – he won the Foxhunter second round here to claim a place in the prestigious final.
Phillip Miller and the Moschino seven-year-old Roulette H took the third qualifying spot with Nicole Pavitt and the Chellano Z 11-year-old Shahenaz taking the final HOYS ticket in fourth.
Kirstie Leightley just missed out in fifth and Phillip Miller took sixth on Darona.
John Crippen seized the Douglas Bunn 1.35m Derby challenge with a flying round in the main Hickstead arena on the Coolcorran Cool Diamond 15-year-old Loughnatousa OB.
It was the second time Patricia Brown's OB has won the class - the first in 2012 with Michael Lonsdale.
Sammie Coffin chased hard on Willem De Lux, a Lupicor/Ekstein 13-year-old, but had to settle for second place. Harrison Polley claimed third riding the Ublesco/Calvaro Z 10-year-old Index II with Biba McCaul fourth on HD Dor, Alice Watson on The Precious One in fifth and Zoe Adams with Satonamillion sixth.
As predicted, the ultra-quick Leesa Long dominated the 1.20m amateur championship, outpacing all her rivals to take the top two places. New ride Britannicus, a Padinus 10-year-old, topped the class and the Malito De Reve/Quick Star 12-year-old Saber (pictured) took second.
Julian Mincher netted third on the Mr Darcy 10-year-old Risk It with Samantha Garry and Sumas Haunting in fourth, Mark Fyfe fifth on Kannoko and Emma Hinkley aboard Taffetta in sixth.
Heidi Sellar topped the amateur 1.10m title with the Polydox 12-year-old Posh Totty, a mare she’s ridden for five years, to scoop the £200 first prize. Al Jabar Yaqib took second on the seven-year-old Quito Du Buisson Z with Melissa Eagles in third aboard the 16-year-old Tithus Van Hey Rietven. Melissa Garry and Hotesse took fourth with Jack Moore and Annie Oakley in fifth and Louise Fisher on Parisian Girl sixth.
Monica Ballard headed the 1m open championship with an ultra-quick round on the Iden D’Azur/Wellington 10-year-old Anemoon Van De Kapel, beating Melissa Garry and the Kannan/Carnaval Drum 15-year-old Kirsch into second. Christopher Franks claimed third with My Little One, a Cicero Z Van Paemel/Wellington seven-year-old, and Ben Parnaby took fourth on Chesta. Louise and Parisian Girl took fifth and Kyle Bedford aboard Kilcurry Jumping Z rode into sixth.
The speedy Nicole Pavitt took first and third in the second qualifier of the 1.30m with the Cassini II 12-year-old Unesca and the 14-year-old Victor Blue – a winner at Hickstead’s 5* Royal International five weeks earlier.
Alex Hempleman sandwiched Billy Dinero into second with Michaela Huntington on Alegro Z in fourth.
Christopher Franks netted the second 1.20m qualifier on The Megabyte/Goodtimes seven-year-old Mega Times with Johnathan Bowman in second on the eight-year-old Garcia. Nici Wilson took third on Viktor Krum with Tom Whitaker and Love Handel CS in fourth, Kallum Fletcher fifth on Disco III and Tristan Gray sixth aboard Billy Boundary. Victoria Jenner and Euromagic won the amateur 1.10m consolation with Victoria Cooper on Caspen Retto in second and Isabelle McClelland third on Verazano VDL.
Jade Baxter topped the 1m open classic with Billy On Edge, relegating Sophie Rees into second on Positively McGillacuddy. Elliott Dowler took third on For Gotti with Jody Cooper in fourth on Okehurst Coastline.
Josh Betts beat 136 rivals to win the newcomers on Buckshot Irish Mint and Ruairidh Bothwell claimed second on Lord Gold.
Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy Hickstead All England Jumping Championships