Tracy Priest cruises to a Blue Chip win
It was another long but enjoyable day at the Blue Chip championships, with an elite few making the victorious lap of honour with championship sash and rug.
Tracy Priest and the deceptively quick Caruso D’Eres Z held off all challengers to take victory in the day’s big class, the Blue Chip Pro Challenge Trophy. The pair had just returned from jumping in Le Mans, France, and the handsome chestnut gelding looked raring to go.
“I kept tight everywhere and he’s naturally fast,” said Tracy on the consistent Calvaro Z/Radiator eight-year-old she bought two and a half years ago.
A late round by Matt Sampson on the Lordanos 13-year-old Roi claimed second, finishing 0.79 sec in arrears. Miles O’Donnell jumped into third on the Contendro I/Nijinski 11-year-old Borsato. And the top three could be in line for the Andrews Bowen £,1000 bonus – awarded to any rider in the top three who go on to win Friday night’s top-billed grand prix.
Mennell Watson slotted Helen van Heyningen’s home-bred stallion Whisper in the Wind into fourth with Joe Fernyhough on Countess II in fifth and last-drawn Yazmin Davis claimed sixth on Zilverster II.
Chloe Reynolds claimed the Blue Chip Karma performance championship from the front of the 14-horse decider with the super-speedy, ultra-careful Grenadier Volo.
Setting off at the gallop, Chloe took out strides and optimised on the turns to take victory by 0.65 sec. And she gained an added bonus, a Prestige saddle was also one of the prizes on offer to the winner.
“I’ve been looking to buy a new saddle, it was definitiely an incentive,” said Chloe, 18, who bought the Numero Uno/Quidam de Revel six-year-old Grenadier from Nick Benterman three years ago.
Sarah Hedges claimed second on Millfield Verve with William Rekert in third on Tinkerbell W. Danielle Clarke slotted Indigo III into fourth with Tracy Priest’s Diamant’s Aurora fifth and Chloe also picked up sixth on Ciara Ballerina.
Although a winner at HOYS in the 2015 silver league final, Katie Shaw finally realised another ambition – winning the Ariat Star championship with the home-bred Its the Business 16-year-old Fools Business.
“I’ve been trying to win this class for years,” she said after eventually taking the title by 1.39 sec with a flying gallop to the last, taking out a stride to soar over the final oxer.
Lowri Ball rode into second in this hot, 35-strong jump-off on Christina III with Tara Byrtt in third on Valerie B. Lesley Mitton claimed fourth aboard Heart of Savannah with in fifth and taking sixth place.
Chloe Coward outpaced 92 rivals in the Joshua Jones UK discovery championship on the five-year-old H Blokx to register her biggest win.
“I fell in love straightaway,” said Chloe, 22, who bought the Der Senaat/Placido gelding in September.
Forty clears made for a hot jump-off, but Chloe put her trust in the H Blokx to wrest the title by 0.63 sec from Ashley Silk-Jones, in second on the Vesuv/Landor S six-year-old Vesuvs Vinetto. Danielle Johns claimed third on Lourdes with Adrian Speight’s Gorky fourth, Melissa Hillard fifth on My Little Ark and John Shaw’s early lead relegated to sixth on Hallmark Elan.
Photos © Jumping Around