Phillip Miller takes Hickstead's All England grand prix for the second year running

There’s no doubt about it, Caritiar Z likes Hickstead. For the second consecutive year, the Chellano Z/Concorde 16-year-old owned by Di and Pennie Cornish with Nigel Eccles bagged the All England grand prix – the top-billed class of the four day meeting.

As with any win in Hickstead’s hallowed International arena, it was no mean feat. Only 10 of the 66 starters jumped clear to access the jump-off, although newly-married Lucy Townley (nee Bunn) could be considered unlucky when clearing all the fences but incurred one time fault on Billy Buckingham.

However, Lucy – stable jockey for the Billy Stud – had Billy Fanta in the mix, and as second to go in the jump-off, set an early standard. And although the time proved beatable, she maintained her lead as following riders chased her and met with errors, including two former Derby winners – Trevor Breen (eight faults) with Loughnatousa WB and Guy Williams, who retired Carlson after hitting the first two fences.

But Phillip and ‘Carter’ – Hickstead 2015 Derby winners – made no such mistake in the penultimate draw wiping more than four sec from Lucy’s time. Only Queen Elizabeth II Cup winners David Simpson and Chessy 17 could prevent Phillip from lifting the £2,000 first prize, and although they were quick, a rail on the floor dropped them to fourth. Phillip was crowned the winner for the second year.

“He loves this ring – he’s best on grass arenas and the ground is perfect for him here,” said Phillip, who also received the six-month loan of an Avant loader as part of his prize.

“It’s always fabulous to win a class at Hickstead, and who knows how much longer he has left in showjumping,” he added, referring to the gelding’s age. “He’ll have two main aims for next season – the Derby and the Queen’s Cup. I really want to win the Queen’s, but I especially want to win it on ‘Carter’ because he’s got me where I am.”

Lucy and the Billy Congo/Cevin Z eight-year-old Billy Fanta had to settle for second with Michael Duffy in third on Belcanto Z and sixth on Dominant H. Amy Inglis and Wishes took fifth.

Zoe Adams and Satonamillion – also no strangers to this arena having claimed the 2013 Eventers grand prix – galloped into an unbeatable lead to take the 1.30m title by some six sec. David Simpson on the nine-year-old Curly Sue took second with Danny McGlynn on Team Harmony’s Atletico Can D’Abelendreef in third.

Two promising eight-year-olds filled the next two places – and both have qualified to jump in in the HOYS talentseekers final next month. Michaela Huntington with Alegro Z claimed fourth with Paul Bevan on the ultra-consistent Deangelo in fifth.

Simon Crippen stepped in when wife Abbie hurt her foot, and promptly won the 1.20m championship with Elstar.

Nici Wilson took second with the consistent Viktor Krum and Sam Ward with Star Bound took third. Ella Popely on Little Luidam finished fourth with Chrstiopher Franks on Mega Times in fifth and Sharon Hunt on Veyga sixth.

Julie Draper claimed the All England novice title on the six-year-old mare Lauren Limite after seeing off 31 rivals. Charlene Bastone and Fyberlinus H, a Zirocco Blue VDL/Nimmerdor six-year-old took second with Phillip Miller and Brendon Stud’s Warrior/Creme Van’t Steentje six-year-old Warrior’s Creme third. Mark Dorgan and the six-year-old Lux Trendy took fourth, Emma Hinkley and the 10-year-old mare Taffeta fifth and Ben Walker on the Warrior/Maestro Nativio six-year-old Native Warrior, another bred by Brendon Stud, sixth.

In the 1.30m classic, Justine Strauel topped the class on Chincoreve with Tony French on Last Twist second. Samantha Staples netted third aboard Grange Komet and Guy Williams took fourth on Santa Cruz W.

Mark Dorgan headed the 1.20m classic on Lux Trendy with Ben Dalton aboard Cosmic Neo in second and Shakin Steven in fourth. Danny McGlynn aboard Team Harmony’s Babilonia took third and Alice Cadman claimed fifth on Be My Angel with Sebastien Poirier on Radwan De Baugy sixth.

Melissa Garry claimed the top two in the 1.10m classic, Hotesse taking the win with Kirsch in second. Emily Portas and Elassisi took third, Christopher Franks on Kurmit IV took fourth, Safia Khalfan aboard Baloubet View took fifth and sixth went to Nicola Abbott on Levano II.

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy Hickstead All England Jumping Championships