Michaela Huntington and Julian Mincher are the first winners at the Blue Chip Championships 2017

All roads led to Hartpury in Gloucestershire this week, and such is the popularity of the Blue Chip Championships, day one kicked off at 7am.

Michaela Huntington has just returned from a successful Bonheiden and jumped straight to the top in the Blue Chip power championship with Gina Trojka S.

This For Fashion daughter – winner in the six-year-old class out in Belgium – is also a Hickstead winter novice finalist and has come on in leaps and bounds since jumping abroad and headed the class here by almost two sec.

“I think a lot of her,” said Michaela.

Only five double clears were recorded in the 27-strong jump-off with Adrian Speight claiming second on Gorky. Corinne Collins rode Fabienne C into third with Bethany Bould fourth aboard Kinsale Flamenco and Martin Barke filled fifth spot on NPS Thyme.

Julian Mincher lifted the HorseQuest UK Novice championship on Equity, a five-year-old bought two months ago from Rachel Burr and John Steels.

“She’s quick and careful, a very nice one to have,” said Julian.

An initial 96 contended this final with 24 coming forward to the jump-off after successfully negotiating Paul Connor’s 12-fence track. Danielle Hughes slotted the eight-year-old mare Mercedes Mulrine into second, almost three seconds behind Julian, and Nathan Bull on the Cupido five-year-old Milton van Vrijhern took third.

Darren Walsh rode into fourth on the Locarno/Quick Star five-year-old Locarno Star with Emma-Jo Slater riding Fielina in fifth and Samantha Bishop on Willbrook Diamond Banner sixth.

For full results, visit: http://www.bluechipchamps.co.uk/results/

Photos © Jumping Around