Ben Walker is on his way to HOYS with victory at Keysoe


Ben Walker is off to HOYS to contend the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter final after commandingly taking the Foxhunter second round at The College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe, with the only treble clear on Brendon Stud’s Genius Contender.

The fifty-two starters in this mid-week qualifier were initially reduced to 14 by David Conway’s 13-fence, 15-effort track with round two further whittling these down to five for the third and final round. And Ben secured the top spot with an early, quick round on the Brainpower/Corland seven-year-old Genius Contender, a grade B that has recently started jumping area trials.

Jess Dimmock hit the second fence and immediately speeded up to slot the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Billy Mexico seven-year-old Billy Fleance into the second qualifying HOYS spot.

Two fences down put Ben and second ride, the Warrior eight-year-old Native Warrior, into third, just missing out on HOYS, but the pair get another qualification shot at the National Championships, Stoneleigh, alongside Sophie Fawcett and Diamino Blue and Jack Whitaker on Leonardo VI in fourth and fifth places.

Michael Whitaker claimed two of the top three places in the 1.40m, winning with Valmy De La Lande. Only 15 contended this class with six posting first round clears, although two withdrew to leave four in the jump-off. This class was also won with the only jump-off clear, Michael claiming the £250 first prize on the Mylord Carthago nine-year-old Valmy.

Michael also picked up third with four faults on new ride Herold N, a Heartbreaker 11-year-old previoiusly ridden by Italy’s Luca Maria Moneta, three sec behind Beth Vernon in second on Fenix. Harry Wainwright took fourth on Pinheiro Beech.

Isabelle Casgrain topped the initial 20-strong 1.25m single-phase on the Dutch-bred 12-year-old Lord Quidam, the claiming victory by 1.79 sec in hand. Harry Wainwright guided Muckno Princess into second with Joss Williams providing the only other double clear for third aboard Think It Over.

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy British Showjumping

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