Tim Page was on top form in Dunkerque, France, with five wins – Elvera taking two wins and Steady the Helm posting a hat-trick.
This party-atmosphere show had fun and serious showjumping in equal measures, with the very entertaining, ‘a la French style’ Ride and Drive the highlight of Friday night. Tim’s brilliantly inspired, well thought- out round with Steady the Helm deservedly took victory. Typically taking the shortest route with angled turns, Tim guided the 11-year-old gelding between an oxer’s front and back rails to gain extra valuable seconds and then proved equally skilful driving a buggy between cones to win by 0.82 sec.
And the pair went on to head the penultimate day’s 1.40m speed with almost a second in hand over France’s Margaux Broucqsault on Oscar Du Bassin. Claire Gradley – at her first show for almost 12 months on the Marius Claudius 11-year-old Andersons Almare Marius – took fourth. Four faults dropped Rose Moss (Carlos F) and Ben Clark (Valentino) down to 17th and 21st respectively.
The partnership was unbeatable throughout the meeting, and their third and final win came in the 1.35m accumulator on the last day. The versatile Steady the Helm posted a maximum score in the quickest time by 0.31 sec under Tim’s guidance. Sam Ward also posted maximum points for 11th on Troy III with Alicia Page and Ulievka De Breve in 12th and Rose in 13th on Caliva.
Tim topped two 1.30m classes with the seven-year-old Amadeus/Tygo mare Elvera, winning the first by a quarter of a second. Sam Ward and Wish claimed fourth with Rose and Weston Ninith and Ben Clark in 13th on Valentino and 15th aboard Lanverdel – all jumping double clear. Tim headed the second 1.30m by just 0.05 sec from Sam on the Hors La Loi II 13-year-old Wish. Rose and Caliva claimed sixth.
Rose picked up third in the initial 1.40m on the Ol Metto/Burggraaf nine-year-old Carlos F, 1.82 sec behind the winning time. Four faults in the jump-off dropped Sam Ward and Quality down to ninth.
Sam and the Quidam De Revel 12-year-old mare Quality II were best of the British in the 1.45m grand prix, four faults in round one denying them a chance in the seven-horse jump-off and putting them eighth. France’s Benjamin Barbot took victory on Oz Du Moulin.
In the opening 1.25m, Alicia netted sixth with a double clear on the Toulon/Le Tot De Semilly eight-year-old Ulievka De Breve. Rose took eighth on Caliva with Ben Clark just behind in ninth with Valentino and Claire Gradley and Andersons Almare Marius taking 14th.
Rikki Gradley netted 10th place in the final 1.30m on Cassandra Z with Rose and Darko Supreme taking 14th.
Ben was 10th in the 1.20m on Curosa III with Claire Gradley and Super Model in 12th and Alicia Page aboard Erika in 14th. Alicia and Erika took 10th in the final 1.15m with Ben and Clarence in 13th.
After claiming 10th in an early 1.10m, Elizabeth Christopher, 13, on the 10-year-old April IV - a Luidam daughter bred in Britain by Tracey Barrow - topped the penultimate day’s 1.10m in fine style, winning by 0.22 sec. Ben Clark collected ninth on Clarence with Jessica Blatchford 13th on Clemeniene.
In the initial 1.10m, Megan Broadway took 13th on Daturano, Ben was 15th on Clarence and Madison McCrory with Wynton D finished 17th.
Photos © Jumping Around