Beth Mantel overcomes illness to take the bronze league qualifier at the Welsh Midsummer Festival


Beth Mantel is a step closer to HOYS to defending her 2015 Bronze league title after topping a strong, fiercely competitive qualifier at the Welsh Midsummer Festival at Wales and West with Caoimhes Delight.

Almost 80 competitors chased after the three semi-final qualifying places and such was the standard, more than 50 jumped initial clears with 33 going forward to the third and final round against the clock. But Beth, who has produced this 13-year-old mare from her British novice days in 2008, was totally in tune with her HOYS 2015 winner. They were on form after heading an accumulator the previous day and negotiated tight lines at a relentless pace to secure the top spot by with almost two sec in hand.

“I’ve never gone so fast in my life, I put pedal to the metal and off we went. I couldn’t be more proud of her, after almost two weeks off due to me being ill, she really pulled it out of the bag,” said Beth, who had been hospitilised with tonsillitis and was still croaky with hardly any voice.

Lizzy Knight eased the Cult Hero/Tara Flight 11-year-old Cult Flight – a partnership of seven years since their British novice days in 2010 – into second place. Georgia Sykes netted the third qualifying spot on the Solitair/Karandasj 11-year-old mare Borienta.

This very popular show went down a storm with riders, owners and connections, the live bands as part of the evening entertainment proving a big hit.

Carl Freeman jumped to the top in the 49-strong silver league qualifier with Eriggy. Eighteen reached the final decider with Carl guiding the Zanzibar V/Londontimes eight-year-old into first place with skilfully executed tight turns.

Stevie Jenkins slotted the 16-year-old Nolton Its Oscar (Its The Business/Hello Oscar) into second with Millie Cornock claiming third on the Concorde 11-year-old Bommel to access the semi-finals in August.

Carian Scudamore hit form with five wins over this meeting. The Nonstop nine-year-old Irina Van T Huka topped the initial 1.30m by 0.40 sec over Matthew Broome on Duffy II. The eight-year-old Jakarta VD Hunters (Scendix/Nonstop) doubled up for Carian, heading the second of the 1.30m classes with more than three sec in hand over Alex Kublin’s Diablo G, and also topped a 1.20m with a 0.30 sec advantage over Tara Byrtt’s Valerie B. And Carian also picked up two newcomer wins with the Lauriston/Randi seven-year-old Delaroche Land Girl.

Helen Rees posted a hat-trick of victories, topping a 1.20m on the Rosire 15-year-old Maximo Des Forets and claiming two British novice classes – taking the top two in the first with the Sambo/Balou Du Rouet five-year-old Beyonce Rouet and the Statinus/Baou Du Rouet four-year-old Bianca De Rouet – winner of the second class.

Helen and Maximo also featured in the 1.20m championship, having to settle for second behind Charlotte Foreman’s Tubbercurry Lass by 0.89 sec. Carian and Jakarta finished third.

Sam Oliver was another to clock up three wins, winning three 1m amateur classes on the consistent Animo 18-year-old Siranimo S, and Holly Wyberg was another three-time winner, topping three 1.15m classes on the 11-year-old Luidams Girl (Luidam/N-Aldato). Robert Skyrme also claimed a hat-trick of wins in the 95cm amateur on the 19-year-old Springville, and Jessica Simpson claimed three victories with the coloured nine-year-old Lightwood Leonardo in the amateur 75cm. And Franke Bennett was another with three creditable wins, triumphing in three 85cm amateur classes on the 16-year-old mare Belladonna.

Rachel Horton clocked up a double of wins in the 1.10m series and took second in another on the 15-year-old Carneval De La Ferme Blanche, and the performances earned her a fabulous bonus of a £1,000 as leading rider - chosen over selected classes throughout the show covering all heights.

Several riders claimed two wins apiece. Natalie McQuiggan doubled up with the 1m amateur accumulator and the Wales and West ride and run aboard the ultra-consistent Irish-bred 11-year-old Kilshanny Gold. Mark Poskitt claimed a double in the 90cm classes with Millroad Musician, Kevin Whiting headed a British novice and a discovery with The Wee Midget and Emily Morris topped the 1.05m amateur accumulator on Scarthill Captain and an amateur 1.10m on Ultimatum II.

Kelly Read claimed wins in the discovery on the eight-year-old Trevoulter Rumble and the Dodson & Horrell 95cm on the Jack of Diamonds 10-year-old Jacks Diamond Cruise, and Annabel Ackers jumped to the top in the Dodson & Horrell amateur 1.05m and a 1.15m on the Athletico/Landgraf 1 15-year-old Valencia V.

Photos © Jumping Around & Ellie Mantel

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