Joe Clayton is man of the match at Chepstow
Joe Clayton produced the round of the show at Chepstow International to land the medium grand prix in a cracking jump-off on Luron S Z, a new ride of a month.
Only 11 of the 85 starters gained access to round two, Portuguese course-designer Bernardo Costa Cabral’s 13-fence track sorting the wheat from the chaff, with the final committed line of triple bar to vertical/oxer double catching out many.
Robert Bevis’ early draw on Gypsy King was quickly relegated by Chelsea Skelton on Caramba, but Chelsea’s lead was short-lived as Harry Charles, 17, angled fences at the gallop on Vivaldi du Dom to shorten the time by over a sec.
But no-one was as fast as the on-form Matt Sampson. Matt set off at the gallop and didn’t take a pull on the Lordanos 13-year-old Roi, and it seemed he had claimed another win.
However, Joe Clayton pulled out all the stops with the Lord Z/Landetto 10-year-old Luron S Z, previously ridden by Norway’s Geir Gulliksen, to wipe a further 1.63 sec away and take the medium grand prix title.
“I didn’t think I was going that fast, I turned him up and he jumped,” said Joe, – “And he feels good!”
Matt had to settle for second with Harry in third, Chelsea fourth and Robert fifth. Rboert Murphy’s early round on Del Fuego claimed sixth.
Matt claimed his own win in the big tour speed with the ultra-consistent Billy Mexico/Vechta nine-year-old Billy Tortilla – already a winner this week and also holder of the Welsh Masters Gents title won just two weeks earlier.
“He wants to win more than I do!” said Matt.
Alice Watson’s final draw claimed second on the 14-year-old mare KEC Havana, 0.44 sec in arrears, with Louse Whitaker on Team Harmony’s Cleopatra third and Simon Crippen in fourth on Atlanta VIII.
Alfie Bradstock lifted the small grand prix title with Tiger Bright in a 13-strong decider with a half sec advantage.
The Animo/For Pleasure nine-year-old – owned and bred by Di Wilson – has competed with Alfie from the start.
“She deserved this win, she’s been second so many times,” said Alfie, who relegated Faye Adams and the Eldorado van de Zeshoek/Concorde eight-year-old Ebriolita to second place.
Peter Maloney rode into third on Elvis van de Vrunte with Robert Bevis on Newton Tigra fourth, Carian Scudamore in fifth on Jakarta van de Hunters and Olivia Poole’s Andorra sixth.
Alfie’s fellow stable jockey Oli Fletcher outpaced all in the children-on-horses speed with the consistent Dahar, winning with almost four sec in hand.
“She’s a proper winner,” said Oli, 14, who is in his last year in children-on-horses.
Jodie Burchmore Eames claimed second spot on Casti Aneira with Anneliese Aitken in third and fourth with Walk the Line and Zorland.
Chloe Winchester has hit immediate form with the Newmarket Venture/Cavalier Royale 10-year-old Sportsfield Our Clare since the mare’s return to competition after having a foal. They claimed the Welsh Masters 1.20m final, the gold tour 1.25m on day one here before also topping the gold tour 1.25m speed on day three.
Abbie Summers slotted the Quality 12-year-old Quantas into second 0.68 sec in arrears with Adam Botham on Dakota in third. Joe Veitch picked up fourth on Nibors Aston, Sammy Cotton brought Emely B into fifth and sixth was awarded to Justine Strauel on Elegance Lady.
Jessica Botham topped the silver tour accumulator with the Utah van Erpekom/Galant 11-year-old Utah’s Utopia, claiming a 2.13 sec advantage. Amy Pritchard rode into second on the 15-year-old Hellza Poppin II with Harry Bateman’s Duc de Lyon third and Victoria Garfield-Bennett fourth aboard Raphie Ella. Emily Sandford picked up fifth with PLS Castello and Hollie Pearce rode Ryans Hollie into sixth place.
For full results: https://www.mizoneventservices.com/chepstow-international
Photos © Jumping Around