Kerry Brennan reigns supreme at Notts County
An exciting, edge-of-your-seats battle between Louise Saywell and Kerry Brennan kept the Nottinghamshire County show crowds on tenterhooks as they risked galloping at fences in a bid to claim the £3,500 to-the-winner 1.55m Mattie Brown Stakes. But it was Kerry – who finished second in last year’s competition – who dared the most to the final tall vertical, taking it on at the gallop with the ever-eager Wellington M to take the win by 0.20 sec.
Eight of the 22 starters reached the jump-off, with Louise taking an early lead on new ride, the Vaillant eight-year-old Eindhoven GH, after beating her partner Graham Lovegrove on Cento Love. But Kerry and ‘Welly’ were in their element in a jump-off with twists and turns and a risky gallop to the last.
Louise chased hard with her on-form second ride and last-to-go Peiter, and despite pushing on to the last, they were just short of the winning time. Nonetheless, Louise was still quids in with second and third. Graham took fourth with Alfie Bradstock, also clear, in fifth on KBIS Caicos.
Louise came to the fore on day one at Notts County, lifting the top two places in the area trial with the speedy Peiter and the impressive, big-jumping Dassler.
Six of the 28 starters posted initial clears over David Cole’s 13-fence track, jumping on liberally-watered turf which drew compliments from the riders. And Louise dominated with two bites of the cherry. She took the lead from mid-draw with the scopey nine-year-old Dassler, and immediately proceeded to wipe 1.72 sec off her own time to command the first two places.
There was only Kerry that could dislodge her, but the enthusiastic Wellington M tapped out an early pole to see their chances fade fast.
“Peiter was always going to be faster than Dassler, he’s amazing and can jump 1.40m speed to 1.55m jump-off classes in his stride,” said Louise.
Helen Tredwell’s early clear on the home-bred Vangelis S daughter Larksong took third with Alfie Bradstock’s opener aboard KBIS Caicos in fourth. Ben Walker jumped steadily for fifth on Roulette H and and Kerry and ‘Welly’ ended up sixth.
Georgia Lovett is off to HOYS after topping the Speedi-Beet HOYS grade C with Westend Gunner – her first visit to the NEC since her pony days with Knockmartin Gold back in 2012.
Nineteen jumped round one clears to return for a sizzling hot jump-off in the sunshine, with 14th-drawn Georgia on the eager 12-year-old grey claiming victory by more than two sec.
“He was bred for speed and I took a chance at the [penultimate] vertical, I usually have to balance him but he took on it and was so careful,” said Georgia, who praised the “super going.”
Joe Clayton’s late challenge netted the second qualifying spot with Ballinteskin Eyecatcher, a black eight-year-old ridden for 12 months who gained experience in Spain earlier this year. Helen Tredwell jumped into third on Calcourt Fergus to make the three-line whip for HOYS.
Just missing out was Al Yaqub on Oligar Angelus in fourth with last-to-go Dale Burnham aboard Gigolo Z fifth and Mark Williams in sixth on Greenacres Diadoro.
Pippa Allen headed the Bloomfield Horseboxes 1.40m speed with the Calvino Z eight-year-old Carthagon G Z, taking the top spot by 0.18 sec. Kerry was relegated into second on Dynamic III with Dan Moseley taking third aboard Escapado S.
Helen Tredwell topped the concluding accumulator to pocket £400 with the 10-year-old Balouetta (Balou Du Rouet/Concorde), pushing Emerson Sender into second on Dalton W. Kristy Kemp netted third spot on Topflight True Carlo.
Dale Burnham jumped to the top in the 1.30m two-phase with Calinka, claiming the win with 1.78 sec in hand. Paul Crago guided Obama JD into second with Emma Lovegrove taking third on Alfie 192. Abi Walters slotted Master Milligan into fourth spot.
Sophie Strawson galloped into the top spot of the 1.25m speed on Carabas Rebel with 1.75 sec to hand over Harry Wainwright’s Dolia in second. Abi Walters claimed third on Miretta Mena.
John Crippen claimed the initial B and C with Jorki, posting a win with 1.08 sec to spare. Holly Smith – back in the saddle after breaking her leg last February – took second place on Elore. Eoin Gallagher slipped Caspian into third spot.
Photos © Jumping Around