Amanda Derbyshire is a big winner in Washington

USA-based Brit Amanda Derbyshire claimed a great victory in theCP $50,000 speed final at Washington’s 4* show with Luibanta BH.

Amanda set the target from the front and held on grimly to the lead despite several serious challenges. The USA’s McLain Ward on Malou, Jessica Springsteen aboard Davendy S and Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam with Main Road all crossed the line with faster times, but a rail down for each added two seconds to each time and Amanda breathed again.

“I gave it all I had, I got the right strides everywhere and took a stride out to the last trying to go as fast as I could,” said Amanda, who beat McLain into second by 1.85 sec.

“Last time I was in a speed class, I was second to McLain, it’s kinda nice for it to be the other way round for once. For sure, it won’t happen very often.”

Although Amanda has attended this show five times before helping the Baxter Hill Farm’s horses and riders, it is the first time she has competed here herself.

“This is pretty special, it has been a lot of fun but it’s tiring, we haven’t had much sleep,” said Amanda, who finds this show comparable to Britian’s HOYS – “The ring is small and the crowd is big.”

It was only Amanda’s fourth show with Luibanta, The Irish-bred Luidam/Abantos mare is only eight-years-old and joined Amanda in August after being produced in Britain and at 2/3* shows by Ellen Whitaker, jumping mainly 1.35m classes and the occasional 1.45m. This class was a big step up.

“She’s never seen anything like this before but she’s not fazed by anything, she just tries her heart out,” said Amanda, on the mare that has given her one of the biggest wins of her career so far.

Luibanta will now enjoy a few weeks off before travelling to Wellington for the Holiday and Horses meeting at the end of November.

McLain won the Puissance on ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z, sharing the top spot with fellow America Aaron Vale on Finou. Both partnerships cleared 2.13m (7ft) in the fifth and final round. The USA’s Lauren Tisbo finished third with four faults in round four on Mr Visto, the 11-year-old Levisto stallion produced in Britain by Carron Nicol to 4* level until he was sold at the beginning of this year.

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photoraphy