David Simpson pulled it out of the bag on Chessy 17 in the big one, taking the 2* 1.45m grand prix on the final day of the three week tour on the Autumn MET Tour in Oliva Nova. Twelve of a huge entry of 77 conjured up first round clears to access the jump-off, with Britain’s Graham Gillespie just missing out on the ever-improving home-bred Calvaro Z daughter Celine, jumping a super clear but finishing a frustrating 0.01 sec over the time to incur an undeserving time fault. Spencer Roe was the only Brit in the jump-off with Wonder Why, but four faults in the second round dropped the Padinus 13-year-old down the order to seventh.
But Ireland’s David, who is based in Sussex with wife Louise and their two sons, made no mistake, and pushed the Cellestial 12-year-old Chessy up into top gear to take the 7,500 euro first prize with almost a sec in hand. They finished 0.86 sec quicker than nearest rival, Sweden’s Nicole Holmen on Cochella.
David McPherson on Belle Fleur 38 and Jess Dimmock with Cybel II both returned four faults in round one for 18th and 19th, and Louise Whitaker on Ruby VIII came home on five faults.
Brits claimed the top three places in the Gold 1.35m with Ellen Whitaker landing the top spot on the eight-year-old mare Fleur and beating her cousin Louise aboard Cleopatra by 0.33 sec. Louise Simpson completed the trio on Double Deuce Retto.
Alison Barton picked up second in the Gold 1.30m on the La Poca mare Billy Anna, missing out on victory by just 0.03 sec. Abbe Elliott slotted Casti Aneira into third and Ellen Whitaker finished in 12th aboard Arena UK Winston. Ben Raistrick took 15th on Benevita.
Joe Veitch rounded up the tour with a win, heading the Bronze 1.25m speed with Art Candy, finishing 2.44 sec in front of fellow Brit Olivia Gent on Carnavals Wonder. Posting four faults apiece, Kayleigh Watts on Fashion V and Colton Playtime, Ashley Ray with Anis De La Piece and Romilly Simmons (Ferani Paulowna) took 18th, 21st, 22nd and 24th respectively.
Brits filled the first three places in the Bronze 1.15m, Drew Coogan taking the win on the Kashmir Van Schuttershof nine-year-old Bachelor K. Romilly Simmons stopped the clock 1.69 sec in arrears on Rukkato for second with Tom Hollins third on How About Now. Madeleine Kellett was sixth on Smokey Malone, Sophie Bennett was 16th on Cirmosa and Ashley Ray aboard Fort Blue took 19th – all jumping double clear.
Ashley Ray and Care For, an eight-year-old with Careful/For Pleasure bloodlines, claimed fourth in the Bronze 1.30m speed, 2.27 sec behind the winner. Victoria Bennett eased theIroko seven-year-old Raphoe Ella behind for fifth place. Theo Simpson was 10th on Alvin Only and Abbie Newbery guided Frasier into 12th.
Joanne Whitaker netted third in the Bronze 1.40m with the Contedro I eight-year-old Contendro Star, 2.34 sec behind the pace. Kayleigh Watts rode Kondy into ninth on clear and four.
Photos © Jumping Around