Where there's a will there's a Guy! Williams lands the big one in Spain
He left it late to hit winning form on the Spanish sunshine tour in Vejer de la Frontera, but in the final week, Guy Williams did it in style. Winner of the small grand prix on Casper de Muze, Guy landed the big one, taking the invitational grand prix on Lindsay Doran's Depardieu Van T Kiezelhof to pocket 25,000 euro.
"I haven't had such a good show until the final week, but this win has changed that and it is the third time I've won [the invitational grand prix], Spain must be lucky for me," said Guy.
Forty-nine hopefuls contended round one but only eight provided initial clears and two of these posted four in round two – including Brit Tim Wilks with Quelbora Merze – but all eight got a jump-off chance. Tim jumped clear in the third round, but the costly four put him in seventh.
But there was no stopping Guy. On a mission to take the top spot and the major prize, his infectious enthusiasm was matched by the Thunder van de Zuuthoeve/Latano 14-year-old Depardieu, and the pair lifted the grand prix title by just 0.13 sec in an epic battle.
"This win means so much to me and Lindsay, who has owned 'Zak' and supported me since he was five-years-old. It was a difficult but fair course and just eight in the jump-off was good, although I'd have like less, it was a fast jump-off," he said.
Belgium’s Fabienne Daigneaux-Lange had to settle for second on Venue D Fees des Halles with Ireland’s Dermott Lennon and Loughview Lou-Lou in third. On four faults in round one included Jess Dimmock on Cybell II in ninth, Alison Barton in 14th on Roma IV, Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV in 21st, and Harriet Nuttall, 23rd with A Touch Imperious.
Spencer Roe claimed victory in the medium tour invitational, guiding the handsome stallion Chaccomo Agostini into the top spot of the hotly-contended, 20-strong jump-off. Spencer has carefully jumped this Chacco-Blue/Accord II 11-year-old throughout the tour, but they came to the fore here to win by 0.54 sec.
"I was third in, by the time the last went, my heart was racing," said Spencer on the nerve-wracking wait.
Agostini was a late starter.
"He only started as an eight-year-old at 90cm, that was three years ago and he's had to learn quickly and he's still green at this level, but he's stepping up to the mark," said Spencer.
On four faults in round two of three but providing a jump-off clear, Jodie Hall-McAteer took 12th on Coquin de Coquerie Z with Sally Hopkinson in 15th on Temple Marple and Joanne Whitaker taking 16th aboard Contendro Star.
Brits lifted the top two places in the small tour invitational, Abbe Elliott racing to the top spot on the Lupicor/Casco 10-year-old Casti Aneira to win by 1.36 sec.
"She's small but very careful with a big heart," said Abbe.
Ellie Hall McAteer on the Kannan daughter Dazzle II claimed second in the 10-horse decider.
In the only class of the day that didn’t see a British win, the Brits still filled three of the top five places in the Ladies – and they were denied victory by the slender margin of 0.06 sec.
Jodie Hall-McAteer took second on the 10-year-old Colette (Vincenzo/Heartbreaker), conceding the win to Czech’s Emma Augier de Moussac on Copia. Millie Allen and the Balou du Rouet/Quick Star stallion Balou Star claimed third with Georgie Crumley in fifth on Moon Zappa in the nine-strong jump-off.
Photos © Jumping Around