Sophie Phillips will make her HOYS debut in her final pony year with Valentino Supreme after heading a mammoth 112-strong Blue Chip pony newcomer second round at the Wales and West pony premier.
A total of 38 returned first round clears with an eventual 12 tackling the final jump-off. Nevertheless, only two treble clears were recorded to fill the two HOYS places on offer, Sophie gaining the advantage with more than eight sec to spare.
The pair won the Old School Bamburgh novice pony title at the Scope Festival last year and they have stepped up well. Sophie has brought on the now eight-year-old for more than three years.
“He’s an easy pony and helps me out a lot, but this is all down to my trainer David Austin,” said Sophie, who endured pouring rain during round one of the class – “But we had a rainbow in the jump-off.”
Izzi Ryder clinched the second qualifying place on the Irish six-year-old Cuilin Dun.
Sinead Cox and Lislan Cruising Lady just missed out on HOYS again in third with a fast four faults. The eight-year-old mare has finished fifth twice in pony newcomer second rounds and fourth and fifth in pony Foxhunter second rounds this year. Let’s hope their luck changes for the better at the National Championships.
Also on four in the jump-off was Katie Pryce on Ruby Trevalyan of Lyonnesse and Lila Bremner aboard Lapislazuli – another pair who have come close but just missed out on HOYS several times – for fourth and fifth places.
Courtney Young and the consistent Zucan V posted a great treble clear over a strong track to head the pony Foxhunter second round.
Eleven of 54 starters posted initial clears and just seven came forward for the third and final round against the clock, Courtney’s early lead from second draw on the 12-year-old gelding holding the top spot despite several challenges.
“He’s very bouncy,” said Courtney, who gained the ride just two weeks before winning the pony newcomer second round at Sparsholt.
The pair also qualified for the HOYS Foxhunter with a win at Bicton, and therefore the HOYS ticket was passed down.
Cleo Loizzo and the lovely Irish 10-year-old Banner Girl – who qualified for HOYS at Weston Lawns – picked up second here, and again the HOYS finalist place was passed down. Atlanta Vallionis posted the only other treble clear on the eight-year-old Northbeech Forever Rhodri for third and a coveted HOYS place.
Tall verticals at the stile and a new fence for the jump-off, the ‘Zebra’ planks, caught several bidding for the top places. Nicole Lockhead Anderson aimed for a clean sheet but returned on four with Tiernisks Cruising Clover, but it was sufficient for fourth and a pass to HOYS. Ffion Roberts also came home on four in the opening round to return to HOYS with Kantjes Bozzy – the 11-year-old finished second in the newcomers final and fourth in the Foxhunter final in 2016.
Photos © Jumping Around