Shane is the star on Puissance night
Ireland dominated day two at the Equerry Bolesworth International.
Irish star Shane Breen was the sole rider to clear the big wall at 7ft 3in (2.20m) in the fifth and final round to be the outright winner in the Equitop Myoplast Puissance on Acorad.
All five in the final round hailed from the Emerald Isle, but Shane was the only one to clear the wall on the 18-year-old Puissance specialist Acorad.
“He’s an absolute pleasure to ride and an incredible horse. It was my first Puissance with him and he is a Puissance specialist, I’m the sixth Irish rider he has taken to victory in this type of competition,” said Shane.
“He’s jumped 2.20m before and a little bit higher as well. He was in my stable last year but I never got the chance to jump a Puissance with him. In his younger days, he jumped grands prix, he has extraordinary scope, a super brain and is beautiful to ride – he just loves jumping.”
The other four Irish riders all took a brick out of the wall to share second place – Anthony Condon (Cavalier Rusticana), Richard Howley (CMS Tallulah), Paul Kennedy (Luikan Q) and Mikey Pender (Hearton D Bois Halleux).
Shane had to settle for second in the 4* 1.50m as fellow Irishman Paul Kennedy eased ahead with Cartown Danger Mouse. Twenty of the 54 starters came forward to the jump-off with Paul taking the win on the home-bred Harlequin Du Carel 12-year-old Danger Mouse by the narrow margin of 0.06 sec.
“She’s a real battler and a trier, she just loves her job,” said Paul, who had watched the early round of the USA’s Michael Hughes.
“He has a fantastic round and I knew I had to do everything to beat that and the only place I could be quicker was to the last, so I chanced it on seven strides and it came off.”
Shane finished second on CSF Vendi Cruz with Michael third aboard Zerlin M. Tim Wilks rode Quelbora Merze into fifth with Joe Clayton seventh on Via VD Karmenhoek Z and Graham Babes steered Boucheron into eighth.
Lance Whitehouse landed the top spot in the 4* 1.35m with Giorgia Distefano’s 11-year-old Cartino III.
Forty-eight tackled this speed class with Lance and Cartino (Cartano/Topas) edging ahead by 0.83 sec to push Holly Smith and the Iroko/Cruising 11-year-old Claddagh Iroko into second.
“It was a very quick class, you had to set off from the start and stay in that rhythm, but he’s very good against the clock and so responsive he saves that little bit of time on corners,” said Lance. “He’s generally my speed horse but we do step him up to 2* grand prix level here and there. He can do a bit of everything and is a lovely horse to have and ride.”
Belgium’s Francois Mathy prevented a British whitewash with third on Falco Van De Clehoeve with Olli Fletcher in fourth aboard Disckoboy DN. Julie Andrews filled fifth on Wilando B ahead of David Simpson’s Chessy 17 in sixth.
Graham Lovegrove outpaced a bumper entry of 70 starters to top the 2* Gaskell Waste 1.45m two-phase with Alfie 192.
Paul Barker’s early lead with Sovereign Equestrian’s Kannan 11-year-old Happy Boy looked good enough but they dropped to an eventual fourth in this hotly-contended class. Nonetheless, the Brits were out in force to claim a top four finish, Graham proving the quickest of the lot to secure victory on the 13-year-old Alfie by 0.69 sec.
Namesake Graham Gillespie proved closest rival for second place on the Acodetto 12-year-old Andretti with Emma Stoker third aboard the Tabasco La Silla 13-year-old Townhead Tallulah V. Paul finished fourth, Annabel Shields guided Wet Wet Wet into sixth and James Smith took seventh on Flinstering.
Paul Barker gained a little recompense in the 2* 1.30m, the 13-year-old Sandors Legacy racing ahead under his expert guidance to take the win by 3.88 sec in the 64-strong speed class.
Annabel Shields jumped into second with the consistent Bacardi VDL seven-year-old Gerona VH and Angie Thompson – a winner the day before – settled for third on this occasion with the 12-year-old Cornet Obolensky Junior. Spencer Roe finished fifth on Gusto just ahead of Georgia Tame’s Z7 Diamond in sixth.
Sweden’s Alma Bjorklund found the quickest route in the 2* 1.40m accumulator to claim a 1.28 sec victory on Flecu. James Smith chased hard on Olivers Diamond for second in this 55-strong class with Paul Barker fifth on Dalton W and James Wilson slipped Eskola M into sixth spot.
Shaunie Greig maintained her recent winning form to convincingly claim the 148cm grand prix with her current HOYS champion and Chepstow grand prix winner Casino Royale VIII.
Five contended the jump-off with Shaunie racing ahead in do-or-dare style to take the title by a handsome 3.63 sec.
“He’s amazing and always tries his best and I knew the jump-off course would suit him,” said Shaunie.
Pace-setter Nicole Lockhead Anderson slotted the nine-year-old Gangnam Style into second with Claudia Moore in third and fourth on Elando Van De Roshoeve and Shamrock Du Gite. Faye Sutton claimed fifth place with Robe Ruadh.
Claudia raced ahead on the Irish-bred 16-year-old Tullineaskey Fear Deas to take the 138cm with 1.65 sec to spare. Iwan Carpenter jumped Follow Jazzy Lady into second ahead of Jake Myers on The Agent in third.
Tom Francis-Jones claimed fourth on Kiltormer Hero with Thomas Hooper fifth aboard Misty Bay and Elissa Hermann claimed sixth with the steadiest of the double clears on Never Last Spartacus. Four faults in round two denied Claudia a one-two, Sonas Barney dropping from a possible second to seventh spot.
Martha Hughes-Bravo topped the 128cm on Little Miss Big Time with the impressive margin of 4.52 sec over Izabella Rogers on Whinney Lass. Noora von Bulow rode Sparkel into third and Lucy Bowen Howard posted the steadiest of the double clears for fourth on Fynnonbach Sandman.
Second 24 hours earlier, Gabriella Spencer moved up to the winner’s spot in the amateur 1.25m two-phase on the nine-year-old Duke Of Tell with an impressive 5.84 sec in hand. South Africa’s Savannah Price netted second on Fanadwest Dancer with Emily Sage on the seven-year-old mare Coromiro II in third and Iwan Carpenter fourth aboard Merllyn’s Chacco B.
British-based Russian Sofia Abramovich was chased hard by a British contingent but no-one could catch the speedy 21-year-old and she topped the amateur 1.15m two-phase by 0.48 sec on the 12-year-old Sacree Du Rouet.
Bobbie Heath guided the 11-year-old Floretta into second with Jenna Cairns third on Wonderfull ahead of Megan Broadway with Capello II in fourth and fifth-placed Drew Coogan on F-Izibizzi.
Carmen Edwards took the five-year-old on Da Vinci Massuere by 0.35 sec from second-placed Lorraine Lock aboard the Cevin Z sired Artisan. Johnathan Bowman finished third on Arthriller with Emma Stoker fourth aboard Illonois.
Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy TSM/Bolesworth International