Holly Smith had an up and downer of a day at HOYS, but it finished the right way up – with a win in the Addington Manor talentseekers final on Lammy Beach. She had taken second in the newcomer final on PLS Halo Diamond earlier in the day, but suffered a crashing fall in the working hunter championship.
“The horse was young and green, it was probably a year early for him and he froze in the ring, sent me flying over his head and I face-planted,” said Holly, who nonetheless appeared unscathed.
She had three chances in the Talentseekers – Quality Old Joker, Carolus K and Lammy Beach.
They had four, eight and the last one pulled it out of the bag. I meant business in that jump-off,” said Holly, who used her final draw to the max in the nine-horse decider with inside turns and a forward stride to the final double to win by 2.25 sec.
“He’s used to me daring him, I got the turn in and just kept tidy after that. He’s not the biggest horse but he’s very scopey and has been jumping in a few International 1.50m classes and he’s only eight – I can’t fault him.”
Holly is looking forward to next year with the Irish-bred Beach Ball gelding.
“I’d like to do a minor Nations Cup with him next year, but first he’s going to have a month off without seeing a saddle or a brush. And I’ll try and keep his weight down, he does struggle with that,” added Holly.
After selling top horse Dougie Douglas [at auction to the USA’s Katie Dinan] 12 months ago, Holly thought top level and International shows were out of the question and it was back to basics.
“I’ve had more time to devote to the youngsters and they’ve come on a lot quicker than we first thought – I have five horses that can jump at International level now.”
Sophie Fawcett was another with mixed fortunes. She took second and the top seven-year-old place with the impressive Winningmood gelding Winning Good, but her maternal grandfather Jackson Reed-Stephenson Snr had passed away late the night before.
“I’ve been dazed all day – it’s probably helped with the nerves – but there’s no way my grandfather would want me to miss this show, he’s say ‘Get out there!’ I’m sure he’s looking down and feeling proud,” said Sophie.
Sophie bought Winning Good as an unbroken three-year-old.
“He’s a dream horse, probably the best I’ve had, and I knew if I rode him right, I could win top seven-year-old,” she said.
Tracey Newman brought Derek Bolton’s nine-year-old Lucky Boy stallion Challenge into third with Emma-Jo Slater on Kim Barzilay’s Je T’Aime Flamenco home-bred Kimba Flamenco into fourth.
First to go Paul Bevan, who jumped a super double clear on the impressively scopey and careful Deangelo, a Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve eight-year-old, took fifth with Alex Thompson taking sixth with the other double clear on Cathalina V.
Photos © Jumping Around