Phillip Miller hits unbelievable form at Herts County

Phillip Miller hit top form at Herts County, claiming three of the top four places in the area trial.

Twenty-three contended the first round but only four provided initial clears – three belonging to a busy Phillip – and they were joined by fastest four-faulter Tracy Priest and Caristo VDL – winners of Devon County’s International Stairway.

Tracy’s four faults cost her dear, and as all five in the jump-off jumped clear again, she was forced down into fifth spot despite clocking the fastest time. It was all about the clock with Phillip pitted against Bryony Ward and Cacharel Z.

But an on-form Phillip had the top two places sewn up, cruising into the top spot with Brendon Stud’s home-bred Unbelievable Darco/Hamilton 10-year-old Unbelievable Lady by 0.43 sec. And he underscored his talent by taking second on his fresh and feisty 2013 Hickstead Derby winner Caritiar Z – now 17-years-young.

Phillip also claimed fourth on Di and Pennie Cornish and Mark Chadwick’s Berlin 11-year-old Basic with the steadiest of the double clears. Bryony slotted the Caretano Z 16-year-old Cacharel Z – formerly in the Cornish stable when ridden by Ben Walker – into third.

Michael Jones rode to the top in the Speedi-Beet HOYS grade C on Trezanti.

Only seven of the 39 starters tackled the jump-off, Michael hitting top gear to take the winning spot – and a coveted HOYS place – with 1.70 sec to spare on Trezanti.

The eight-year-old mare – bred by Michael’s partner Alison Bradley from two of her former rides, by Caetano and out of the Concerto II mare Fedder – has been produced for the past three years with Michael, Alison and their son Charlie all taking the ride. John Crippen jumped into second with the Cardento/Chin Chin eight-year-old Jorki and Kellie Taylor picked up the third and final qualifying position on Ferro Opaal, a Lord Z/Mr Blue seven-year-old competed for the last 15 months.

Father and daughter Mark and Lauren Williams just missed out with fourth and fifth on Greenacres Diadoro and Elle Van Overis Z. Joe Maher finished sixth on Atticus and Darren Wise took seventh aboard Full Of Beans.

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy British Showjumping/SBM Photographic