Dashing Dermott takes the grand prix in Vilamoura

Risking a flyer to the final vertical, last-drawn Dermott Lennon clinched the concluding grand prix title on the Vilamour Atlantic II tour with Fleur IV for Ireland.

Only five of the 43 posted initial clears to access the jump-off with Philip Spivey claiming the lead from mid-draw on Darya I Nur. But Dermott left no doubt he was in it to win it, trusting the Chatman/Darco mare – a 12-year-old produced in Britain by Jude Burgess – to gallop down to the last. They were the only pair to break the 40 second barrier, winning by 0.80 sec.

"Three weeks ago I was last to go in the grand prix jump-off and didn't go fast enough and finished third, I've been kicking myself ever since," said Dermott, who made no such mistake on the concluding day of the tour.

So near, yet so far. Philip had to settle for second on Greg and Tracey Forrest’s nine-year-old mare Darya I Nur (Diamant de Semilly/Demonstrator), who gave her all. British-based Irishman Anthony Condon jumped a super second clear on the Oklund 11-year-old Balzac to take fourth place behind the Netherlands’ Charlotte Verhagen and Abache HL. A total of 10 returned four faults in round one, including Emma Stoker, in ninth on Townhead Campus and Chloe Aston, 10th aboard Cornado’s Boy RC.

Chloe topped the 1.40m in speedy style with the consistent Padinus 13-year-old Amigo T, flying into first place with 0.37 sec in hand. British-based Australian Rowan Willis rode into second spot on the nine-year-old Wittringer VDL daughter Doulita in the 51.strong two-phase class. Anthony Condon slotted Zira VH Kapelhof Z into 10th with Emma Stoker on Shelby 12 in 12th and Cressy Neads was also double clear for 14th aboard Chinta van Geluut Z.

Douglas Duffin featured in the 1.30m, taking third, fifth and seventh. First ride the eight-year-old Eclips V (Diarado/Heartbreaker) finished 3.73 sec behind the winner and the Indoctro 10-year-old Chento D slipped into fifth place. Joe Whitaker sandwiched the Irish-bred nine-year-old Loughnatousa Sheldon into fourth and Douglas also picke dup seventh on Pyjama Jack. Stuart Neads finished eighth aboard Chaska II and Henry Turrell claimed 10th on Barbados III. Anthony Condon on Elvis and Richard Jenkinson with Cobalt II also posted clear rounds.

Amy Duncan slotted the Adagio II into second place in the 1.20m speed, the Indoctro 12-year-old finishing 1.90 sec behind the pace. Vanessa Jobson-Scott followed behind for third on the Cassini I/Caretino seven-year-old Crocantino of Greenhill Z. Sarah Lundy popped Spen Brook Georgie Boy into 13th and Tim Page guided the promising seven-year-old Chaccomo Blue into a steady clear to finish down the line.

Just half a sec denied Emily Smallman victory in the 1.10m speed and she jumped into second on the Sir Lui/Zamiro 15-year-old Casimir II. Amelie Villeneuve-Moore posted the steadiest of the clears for sixth aboard the Billy Congo seven-year-old Billy Whistle. Winner of so many classes on this tour, hopes of a final victory for Vanessa Jobson-Scott on Arthur van de Helle were dashed with a rail down and they took eighth with the fastest time of the class by eight sec.

Photos © Jumping Around