Claudia Moore dominates day one at South View
Reigning Hickstead 138cm champion Claudia Moore is aiming to defend her title robustly after taking the top two places in fine style at South View in the first of 2018’s Royal International Horse Show 138cm qualifiers.
Claudia, 13, won with My Bugsy Malone last year, and claimed the top two here with Tullineaskey Fear Deas and new ride Sonas Barney.
Thirty-seven initially contended with Gillian Milner’s 12-fencetrack reducing these to 11 for the second round and further whittled them down to seven for the final jump-off. Codie McGowan rode a lovely round to set the standard with an easy clear on the big-striding Oakhurst In The Spotlight, but they were no match for the much more experienced Claudia. She commandingly claimed the lead with first ride Tullineaskey Fear Deas, guiding the 17-year-old into tight, smooth lines to wipe 10 sec from the time.
And Claudia underscored her form with e 21-year-old Sonas Barney, easing him into second place two sec behind her leading time.
“Dylan [Fear Deas] is a machine, he’s incredible and tries so hard for me,” said Claudia, who was at her first big show with new ride Barney – “This is only the second time I’ve ridden him in the ring. He’s similar to Bugsy but gets excited about everything.”
Olivia Banks proved more than five sec in arrears behind Claudia and Barney to ease the 12-year-old Spending Record into the third qualifying place, pushing Codie and ‘Spot’ down to fourth.
A delighted Fergal Holohan topped the winter 128cm second round with Harri Potter, a 16-year-old he has ridden for “one year and three-quarters!”
Eleven of the original 28 produced first round clears with these further reduced to seen for the final jump-off with Fergal’s tight line to the final oxer securing victory.
Sophie Wicks was just 0.19 sec in arrears for second in her first ever winter second round qualifier on the 12-year-old Camizion – a ride of just three months – to ensure her Hickstead debut.
Poppy Deakin - former rider of Camizion - is on a roll, and following victories at Olympia and Liverpool International with Munsboro Plunkett, the pair picked up the third qualifying place here.
Tia Squibb just missed out with fourth place on Wyndham To Thumb and Madeline Archibald was also treble clear for fifth on My Little Sweetheart.
Henry Squibb and Major Jack claimed sixth with Noora von Bulow taking seventh aboard Peppino Il Grande.
NB: Qualifications will be updated on the website pending official grading of results.
Photos © Jumping Around