Scotland’s pony riders ruled in their native country at Morris Equestrian Centre, taking the lion’s share of the prizes at the 148cm pony premier.
Aberdeen-based Charley Hamilton, 15, outpaced all in Saturday’s Charles Britton winter JA classic to clinch a tremendous victory on Novella II.
Half of the 16 starters jumped round one clears to make it to round two, and five further survived unscathed to battle against the clock. Charley only stepped up the 11-year-old Numero Uno/Guidam mare bought from Fiona Wingrove to JA classic this year, but she kept a cool head to produce another clear round and take the class.
Hannah Barker also jumped a treble clear on the 14-year-old Ammanvalley Santino to slot into second place, 1.55 sec in arrears.
Faye Sutton provided the fastest time in the jump-off with the Irish 14-year-old Robe Ruadh but a rail on the floor cost her dear and dropped the pair to third. Nevertheless, the effort was not in vain and they picked up the third qualifying spot.
Nicole Lockhead Anderson claimed fourth place with Gangnam Style and Shaunie Greig – who already has three ponies through to the British Masters final – jumped into fifth aboard Casino Royale VIII.
It was Nicole’s day to shine in Sunday’s Charles Britton winter JA classic as she guided the nine-year-old Gangnam Style to the top spot.
Only four of the 12 starters posted round one clears and just two went head-to-head into the final jump-off, Nicole pitted against Billy Luther. And both were clear again, but Nicole, 15, another who hails from Aberdeen, skilfully guided the Irish nine-year-old Gangnam Style – current Scope Dunglenn champion – into victory by an impressive 4.61 sec.
A delighted Billy and his 15-year-old HOYS 2017 pony newcomer and Foxhunter finalist Crème De La Crème secured his second qualifying place with a treble clear.
Nicole also claimed third with new ride of three weeks, the Irish 12-year-old Wildwood Silver, their four faults in round two good enough to take the final qualifying spot. Harry Wood finished fourth on Landlord III, also on clear and four.
Alice Weightman outpaced all 37 rivals to head the winter JC to qualify Epapke for the Hickstead final. The pair had shown form two weeks earlier at Addington Manor, missing out by one place with third place in Sunday’s competition. Here, there was no doubt, Alice taking victory on the nine-year-old mare to win by 3.76 sec and claiming a second Hickstead qualifying place – her other ride Cindy qualified at South View.
Megan Morris made her journey to Scotland worthwhile, providing the only other treble clear to take second place on the 10-year-old RS Capello.
Ella Quigley posted the fastest time of the jump-off but the round was marred by one single rail falling. Nonetheless, she is also Hickstead-bound after claiming third on the German-bred 11-year-old Clemens 43 for the final RIHS place.
Paige Wright took fourth on the already-qualified Mullate Duchess and Jessica Howard eased Tinkas Gentlemen Jim into fifth.
Scots lass Shaunie Greig topped Sunday’s 35-strong winter JC to ensure a return to Hickstead, the former 138cm champion with new ride Teagan Arla Rose into victory. The partnership is only two weeks old, but confident Shaunie guided the eight-year-old mare to the top to win by 1.36 sec in the six-pony decider.
Jubilant Jessica Howard will return to Hickstead in the JC final with Rocky Robin. The pair – eighth last year – were on top form to jump a treble clear for second place and the final qualifying spot.
Just 0.09 sec denied Holly Cooper a Hickstead ticket and she finished third on the nine-year-old Valentino Supreme. Nicole Lockhead Anderson was fastest of the class by more than two sec but a pole hit the floor to deny her Hickstead qualification yet again with Tienisks Cruising Clover – who also narrowly missed out at Addington. Ella and Clemens finished fifth with Robyn Woodward’s Rudgeway Maestro in sixth.
An on-form Ella topped the British Showjumping 148cm special and the 1.10m with the Irish 17-year-old Seamus II. The pair raced ahead in the 148cm special to relegate Nicole and Tania Andrews’ 13-year-old Beech Comber by a handsome eight sec. Anoushka Mauree claimed third on Miami Moonbeam with Anneliese Aitken in fourth aboard Dun The Business III.
Charley Hamilton, second in the 1.10m with Castlebaldwin Golden Arrow, also headed the 148cm restricted open on the Irish-bred 16-year-old palomino gelding, pushing Nicole and Beech Comb into second.
Sandy McLean was almost unbeatable in the other classes and scored four wins. He doubled up on Tobar King, winning both the Blue Chip Pro sparkle JC/JA handicap and JC/JA A4 speed. Sandy claimed a 3.42 sec advantage in the JC/JA on the Irish 11-year-old over Charley on Novella II. Faye Sutton took third with the Irish 10-year-old Lucy Rocks ahead of Nicole and Beech Comer. Jessica Howard guided Tinkas Gentleman Jim and Rocky Robin into fifth and sixth.
In the speed class, Sandy claimed the top two places with Tobar King in the top spot and 15-year-old mare Midnight Minuet second, just 0.30 sec separating the two.
And Sandy doubled up in the pony newcomers/1m, winning on both days with Kipure Lancelot.
NB: Qualifications will be updated on the website pending official grading of results.
Photos courtesy British Showjumping & © Jumping Around