Joe Whitaker continues on his winning form at Arena UK
Joe Whitaker is firing on all cylinders of late. Winner of two 2* grand prix classes in the space of a week with Lola, he continued on his successful streak and headed the Topscore riding the nine-year-old Locarno daughter Lovarno – a full sister to Lola.
Matt Sampson had taken a late lead with a score of 1240 on Perfect Rouge, but his lead was short-lived as Joe aimed higher and faster, with Lovarno gaining another 110 points and in a faster time.
“It was interesting, there were so many options the top three all took different routes – definitely a thinker’s track,” said Joe.
David Simpson had to settle for third on Double Deuce Retto, 30 points behind Matthew, and also netted fifth aboard his Foxhunter finalist ride Obama JD. Lola Wade took fourth on Baby David with Joe on second ride Lareeco in sixth.
Chloe Winchester with Shannondale Linnet and Joss Williams on Culmore Prospect
Holly Smith and the eight-year-old Quality Old Joker
Three shared first place in the Puissance – all on Irish-bred horses. Seven from 17 provided clean sheets in round one, and these seven reached round four before being reduced to three. The big wall reached 2.10m, but all three in the fifth and final round failed to clear it – although only a coping brick fell for Holly Smith and Chloe Winchester in a class accompanied by amusing commentary from Nick Brooks-Ward and Geoff Billington.
Joss Williams took first on the 16-year-old Culmore Prospect, sharing with Chloe Winchester aboard Shannondale Linnet and Holly Smith jumping only her second Puissance with the eight-year-old Quality Old Joker.
Nick Benterman was the sole rider to jump four rounds clear in the six-bar to claim the £2,000 first prize with the nine-year-old Canyon Volo.
Both James Smith on Tyson Uno and Dale Burnham with Doriena hit the final vertical to share second place. Lance Whitehouse took fourth with Dior Van Overis Z and Richard Howley slotted Chinook III into fifth.
Amy Ryan’s penultimate round flyer gained the speed derby title on the coloured 12-year-old Caltra Minister with 1.23 sec in hand. She was closely followed by speed merchants Paul Barker, in second on Lux Fabulous, and the on-form Joe and Lovarno.
James Smith was fourth on Quattro 27 with Joe and second ride Lareeco fifth and Derek McCoppin sixth aboard Whiterock Lucky Lady in the entertaining 37-strong class.
Smooth as silk and deceptively quick, Billy Twomey took the Star of the Future grand prix on Sue Davies’ home-bred Pewit Nono, a seven-year-old by Luidam and out of Anastasia – both past top rides for Billy.
“She’s done a couple of shows abroad and jumped well, this was the first time I’ve pushed her,” said Billy, who highly rates this mare.
Long-time leader Joe Clayton was 0.41 sec behind for second on Lexie III with Holly Smith hot on his heels for third with Elore. Sophie Fawcett and Winning Good took fourth, last to go Phillip Miller took fifth on Roulette H and David Simpson claimed sixth aboard The Jeweller.
Mark Thompson topped the amateur 1.20m grand prix in a 13-horse decider with the Sport Horse Centre Stud’s Alex H. Their late round claimed the £500 first prize by 1.77 sec. Alana Stonehouse took second on Gin with Anya Jackson third aboard Liberty in the 50 starter class. Danielle Holme jumped into fourth on Boyd with Adam Taylor in fifth and sixth on Banca II Bloomfield Bergerac.
Olli Fletcher on the eight-year-old mare Dahar claimed the children-on-horses grand prix in a head-to-head with Anja Moret aboard Gypsy Chip, a steady double clear gaining the top spot.
Photos © Jumping Around