Richard Barton was crowned Welsh Masters champion after claiming the 1.40m grand prix with Gay Hartley’s Donata.
The 52 starters were reduced to eight for the jump-off with James Winter setting the pace in the opening draw on Cosmo Boy. But Richard wiped almost thee and half sec off the time with smooth, tight lines on the 10-year-old Donata, a Ukato/Ovidius are he has produced through the grades, including finishing third in both HOYS Foxhunter and grade C finals in 2016.
“She is so consistent,” said Richard, who is looking ahead to jumping bigger classes, but let daughter Alison borrow her earlier in the year to go alongside her top horse Roma jumping Nations Cup competitions – “But I soon got her back, she’s my horse.”
Olli Fletcher, 15, proved the future is bright with two lovely rounds on KBIS Caicos for second place, only 0.72 sec in arrears. Alfie Bradstock eased Benedictus into third and James finished fourth.
An early but devastatingly effective round earned Sienna Charles, 15, the Graham Heath ladies title with Chaitanya 2, an 11-year-old with Cartani/Athlet Z bloodines she has ridden for two and a half years.
Sienna held off all her older rivals to top the 22-strong jump-off with 0.43 sec in hand.
“She’s careful but I still had to respect the tall vertical going into the double,” said Sienna.
Bethanie Knight came the closest for second on Foss with Chelsea Skelton in third on Millfield Baloney. Christie Pritchard claimed fourth on Bolton Gate Ben with Sian Edwards fifth on Adriarna. Nicola Barry rode into sixth and seventh with Sovereign Equestrian's True Blue III and Darien and Charlotte Ash posted the steadiest of the double clears for eighth in Ideal S.
Mark Edwards jumped to the top in a competitive 17-horse jump-off to land the Graham Heath gents title on Tony Hill’s Quidde Du Buisson Z.
The pair only meet at shows.
“He’s got plenty of blood and is quite sharp, but he’s as good as gold to do,” said Mark, who is aiming the nine-year-old for the county show circuit this season.
Joe Trunkfield was hot on his heels for second with Kwantos Van Het Meierhof and Harry Charles filled third spot on Belle Fleur. Paul Crago slotted Valentino IX into fourth with George Whitaker taking fifth on Strides Hattons Treasure and Andre Williams claimed sixth aboard Bodieve Toyboy.
Matt Sampson repeated his results of last year’s Welsh Masters seven and eight-year-old to take the top two places. In 2017, Finnegan D and Obolensky were the one-two, on this occasion the highly-rated Cristo Beech took the win with Conlando 55 in second, 1.15 sec separating the two.
“He’s going to be fantastic, he’s quirky, but has scope to burn,” said Matt, on the It’s The Business seven-year-old Cristo bought from breeder Derek Morton.
It was Matt’s first show with Carron Nicol’s eight-year-old Conlando – “Carron thought he would suit me,” said Matt.
Miles Pearson jumped into third with his home-bred eight-year-old Castiel and Liz Forrester claimed fourth on Furst Bismark.
Olivia Gent claimed more than a second in hand to take the Welsh Masters Hazelden Saddlery six-year-old title in a 22-strong decider with Michael Barnard’s Chacco Star.
“I seem to end up with all big horses, but she’s very scopey,” said Olivia, on the 16.3hh Chacco Blue daughter.
Nathan Bull claimed second on Heavenly Blue with Joe Trunkfield on Armoon in third just ahead of fourth-placed Michael Potter and Haya Loma N.
Joe Trunkfield finally gained an Welsh Masters title in the five-year-old – and took first, third and fourth in the third and final round of 14 horses.
He claimed the top spot on Elizabeth Macklin’s Emerald Vant Ruytershof gelding Imeraldretto I by 0.72 sec.
“He’s big and green but tries all the way,” said Joe, who claimed the title with a risky gallop to angle the last.
Chloe Reynolds took second on Darkside Desir with Joe in third and fourth on Ivory and Neriske Van De Crunyeledon.
Rikki Gradley headed a competitive 29-strong jump-off to land the Sillett Ewuestrian 1.25m Welsh Masters title with Cassandra Z II.
“She was a late grower and very weak, she’s coming into her own now,” said Rikki on the eight-year-old mare by the Chellano Z stallion Cunning Devil Z.
Ben Clark galloped into second on Lanverdel with Mark Edwards on Greenvale Cara in third and Stevie Jenkins netted fourth aboard Ultra Lux.
Sian Edwards claimed another Welsh Masters title to add to her tally in the NAF 1.20m final, 15 years after she won the first ladies title on Rambo III. On this occasion, she rode the Super Trooper De Ness/Cornet Obolensky eight-year-old Troo Contest to victory with 1.80 sec in hand.
Mark Edwards jumped into second on Ragnars Orizzonte with Kathryn Ellison on Relentles I in third. Katie Griffiths took fourth on Alfie George with Jasmin Head’s opening round on Gandi in fifth and Tegan Jones claimed sixth aboard Ghana.
Samantha Kellett – winner in 2016 and second in 2017 – regained her Keith Price Garages 1.10m Welsh Masters title with the 15-year-old V Ramzes Z.
“He likes it here,” said Samantha on her horse of a lifetime bought six years ago.
Julian Mincher guided Louisana into second in the 14-horse decider with Frankie Penford in third on Ikea and Jessica Garner’s Pikachu in fourth spot.
Stevie Jenkins took time out from his busy career as a surveyor for the Welsh Government to land the Bailey Farm Feeds 1.15m title on his mother Kim’s Nolton Its Oscar.
“He’s 18 now and we’ve been together 10 years – he’ll just come out and do his job,” said Stevie.
Molly Chandler was 0.93 sec in arrears for second on Verona XI with Robert Skyrme’s The Silver Touch third just ahead of Freya Winter in fourth on Chloe IV.
Megan White galloped to victory in the Deebee Rosettes 1.05, Welsh Masters with new ride Crystal Cove, a Goldex 11-year-old she bought from Leesa Long just a month earlier.
“She pulled it out of the bag today and is definitely a keeper,” said Kent-based Megan.
Hugo Lennard was almost three sec in arrears for second on Reuben James III with Anna de Verteuil in third on victory and Ellie Sedgwick claimed fourth aboard Gitana Van Huize Ruisdael.
Photos © Jumping Around