HOYS got underway with the Silver and Horseware Bronze League finals, and the final draw in both championships proved fruitful, with Rachel Walker and Emily Morris taking the titles.
Rachel claimed the Silver League final by just 0.13 sec with Bo Gi.
“I knew I’d drawn money so had a bit of bash in the jump-off and she is naturally quick with a big stride, and once she locks onto a fence, she’s going, but I took a pull to the last and thought I’d overcooked it,” said Rachel, who exceeded her ambitions.
“I looked at the startlist last night and knew there were some fast ones in it, I just wanted to finish in the top six.”
Penrith, Cumbria-based Rachel, who works as a beauty therapist, purchased the Numero Uno 10-year-old six years ago from Jonathan Dixon and benefits from advice from Jonathan and Tracey Newman.
The pair have been on the ‘Step up to Gold’ programme this year and have contended several 2* small tours for experience and are looking to move up to 1.40m next year.
“It might be my last year in Silver League,” said Rachel.
Jessica Baugh clinched second spot on the Irish-bred Castlemitchell Princess, a Guidam/Cavalier Royale eight-year-old she has competed since the mare’s discovery days almost four years ago. The pair finished second in the Blue Chip Karma performance title earlier this year and also took second at Keysoe to qualify for this final.
Steph Gunn claimed third with Quastor Du Buisson Z, a seven-year-old stallion by Quartz II Adelheid Z she has competed since his British novice days three and a half years ago.
Hayley Webster netted fourth in the six-horse jump-off with the Converter sired nine-year-old LK Rocky. Mark Thompson provided a fast four on Alex H for Fifth and Sally Swiers on Millfield Longsocks took sixth.
A final flyer to the last oxer earned Emily Morris a handsome victory in the Horseware Bronze League final on Ultimatum, marking her first major championship win.
“I was last to go, you just have to go for it,” said Emily, who had watched leader Katie Shaw’s round – “I didn’t think she’d left any room so I just went for it.”
Whitchurch, Shropshire-based Emily’s trust in the Ultimo 11-year-old, bought two years ago, is evident.
“The great thing about him is I can just go, he’s so careful, I don’t have to check or place him – he sorts himself out, he’s very ponyish and agile,” she added. “But he was hard work in the first round, his eyes were on stalks looking at everything, luckily second time round he was OK.”
Katie Shaw – winner of last year’s Silver League on Fools Business – claimed second with Jan Davison’s Cyloma Z, a seven-year-old Cicero Van Paemel daughter.
Steph Gunn claimed third with Lady Larino, a Larino mare only broken 12 months ago and a winner at Arena UK’s grand prix festival in the Midway final.
Rachel Vicary produced the fastest time of the class on the Ukato six-year-old Fjara but at the expense of a rail for fourth spot with first-drawn Florence Bellm aboard Southbound in fifth. Laura Upton took sixth in the seven-horse decider on Rockabye Baby with Nigel Thorpe on Harmonie D picking up seventh place.
Photos © Jumping Around