Jake Saywell takes Liverpool by storm


Jake Saywell landed a well-deserved victory in the Equerry Horse Feeds under 25 grand prix at Liverpool International with tight lines at a relentless pace on the ultra-careful Havinia Van De Rosehoeve.

Eleven of a high-class field of 23 posted first round clears and it was all about the clock as seven provided jump-off clears, Harry Charles the first to set a target on Victor. But Robert Murphy quickly and efficiently clipped off more than a second on long-term campaigner Del Fuego, and it looked as though the winner was found.

Jake was not deterred and he set off at a determined pace on the 10-year-old ‘Vina’ (Cicero Z/Lacantus), taking a tight line from one to two and utilising this mare’s stride to gallop to the last, urged on by an excited crowd. And he pulled it off as the only rider to break the 30 sec barrier, winning by 0.33 sec to pocket £2,000 and end 2017 on a high.

“The first round wasn’t an easy track so 11 going through to the jump-off said everything about the standard, and the jump-off was fast,” said Jake, who was full of praise for Vina - “She’s a class horse, a very careful jumper.”

Sienna Charles slotted Chaitanya into third just ahead of her brother, fourth-placed Harry on Victor, with Jordan Thompson claiming fifth on Unistop. Olli Fletcher guided KBIS Caicos into sixth with Aimee Jones posting the steadiest of the double clears for seventh aboard Never Last.

Newmarket-based Irishman Peter Moloney secured victory in the opening 4* class with Team Harmony’s Calimero Van’t Roth, but he was pushed all the way by a trio of British ladies.

Thirty-four contended the Horse & Country TV 1.40m two-phase with Peter setting an early target on the Darco/Calypso 15-year-old Calimero. And it proved enough despite both Louise Saywell and Amanda Derbyshire chasing hard. Louise guided Feigtling to finish just 0.07 sec behind and in-form Amanda equalled her time on Lady Maria BH to share second spot on the podium. Laura Renwick wasn’t far behind for fourth on MHS Washington and Matt Sampson also broke the 30 second barrier in this hotly competitive class to take fifth on Dy Korette.

“I was early to go and couldn’t have done much more in terms of the time, but I thought I’d be beaten. I got a nice turn-back to the second last and a direct line to the last which is probably where we made up the time,” said Peter, who was on his firt visit to this show – “It’s a fantastic show, I knew it would be.”

Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan – based in Ireland with Joanne Sloan-Allen – came to the fore in the Easibed 1.50m with Suma’s Zorro.

Fifteen of the 32 reached the jump-off with Sameh holding on with his early target to win with 0.31 sec to spare over British-based Irishman Shane Breen on Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker.

“I’ve ridden her for seven years now and know her inside out but she has been fantastic this year, placed in every grand prix she’s been in since April,” said Sameh on the Ard VDL Douglas 13-year-old.

Laura Renwick was best Brit with her eight-year-old Olympia Puissance star Top Dollar, just 0.35 sec behind the winning time. Robert Smith finished fifth on Ilton just in front of sixth-placed Jess Mendoza with Toy Boy and British-based Anthony Condon claimed seventh with the steadiest of the double clears on Balzac.

Kerstin Deakin made a winning return to Liverpool by heading the Gatehouse amateur two-phase with Sunsolde.

A winner last year, Kerstin was assured of another victory on the fresh-as-a-daisy Corland/Nimmerdor 18-year-old mare to take the win by almost seven sec. Tony Pearson eased Lightning 67 into second with Ireland’s Joanne Sloan-Allen in third on Fair Play. Drew Coogan provided the only other double clear for fourth with Bachelor K. Bryony Holloway picked up one time fault in the second phase for fifth on Why Not with Eve Staveley the fastest of the four-faulters in sixth on Shadow IV just ahead of Abbie Summers and Quantas in seventh.

Matt Sampson paired up with Grace Shudall Hughes as the ‘Superman’ couple in the Archco mini major to win by 2.41 sec.

“It’s a big pressure class – more pressure than the grand prix as we don’t want to let our partners down, and it’s great experience at a big show for the pony riders,” said Matt.

“I put it down to Grace’s round, she was second here last year and second at Bolesworth and we’ve finally won it. We got a good change-over during our round, it was a great team effort.”

“It’s amazing, a dream come true,” said Grace.

The Netherlands’ Sanne Thijssen partnered Noora von iBulow to second place with The USA’s Andrew Kocher in third with Amelia Tredinnick. Guy Williams and Zara Asani took fourth place.

Photos © courtesy TSM/LIHS

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