Funnycan can! Laura Mantel is best Brit in Vilamoura

Laura Mantel stepped up Funnycan easily to 1.45m to finish as best Brit and take third in the seven-year-old final on the Vilamoura Atlantic tour.

Forty-two started in the three-round class, with an initial 12 posting round one clears and just five making their way to the third and final round – now standing at a not insubstantial 1.55m – quite a step up!

Laura sensibly guided New Priory Stud’s Zaval VDL/Monaco mare into a steady, accurate third clear, opting not to push Funnycan against the clock at her first attempt at this height, but the mare took it all in her stride. And they may have been the slowest round in the jump-off, but it earned them third place.

“It was unknown territory for us, but we had saved her for this week, she’s had two weeks chilling, and she didn’t even have to try hard,” said Laura, whose tactics paid off handsomely.

Germany’s Marc Bettinger claimed victory on Celina IX (Canstakko/Carthago) by 1.54 sec from Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli on VDL Friso SMH (Bugatti VDL/Chin Chin).

Emma Stoker and the Arko III/Darco stallion Everton de Villee made just one mistake in the final round to finish fourth, just ahead of Nicole Pavitt in fifth with the home-bred Don VHP Z/Quo Vadis mare Paris 16. Four faults in the second round dropped Laura Renwick and Alothain de Blondel to ninth. On four in round one was Emma Stoker with Pembroke 3 in 14th and Nicole Pavitt on Zampa Z and Xena 16 for 15th and 19th.

The Brits tried hard to win the five-year-old final in a 15-strong jump-off yielded from 29 starters with Chloe Aston the best of them, but had to concede to on-form Belgian Thierry Goffinet. Winner of the six-year-old final a day earlier, Thierry continued with his targeted assault on the age classes in Vilamoura by heading the five-year-old final on Mr Idol S.

Brits were bunched together in the lower places, with Chloe Aston taking third on the stallion Magic Chanti, finishing 0.56 sec behind the winner to slot behind Ireland’s Tracy Walshe on Fernhill Lucky One in second. Laura Mantel riding for New Priory Stud took fourth and fifth on Hauri Blue M (Mr Blue/Boreas) and Super Nova (Casall/Carthago). Chloe also collected eighth on Merci de Geliveaux with Sophie Fawcett providing the steadiest of the double clears on Cedric for ninth. On four faults in round two – Vanessa Jobson-Scott (Muna VD Bisschop), Barry Dove (Hamona) and Emma Stoker (Grand Stakkato) to take 11th, 12th, and 14th. Dan Moseley and Magic Quality returned four faults in round one for 16th.

Photos © Ellie Mantel & Jumping Around