Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick launched Ladies Day at Equerry Bolesworth International with a sensational win in the opening 4* class on Sharon Whiteway’s VDL Groep Alitta.
Laura made light work of the Bob Ellis 1.35m two-phase track in an early draw on the 13-year-old Karandasj/Indoctro mare, and no other combination seriously threatened her. The pair claimed victory with 3.77 sec in hand.
“She’s naturally fast and I was early to go and ended up winning by quite a margin, so the course proved more difficult than I thought,” said Laura. “She won a few ranking classes in Vilamoura [Portugal] at the beginning of the year – she’s one of those horses that doesn’t feel like you’re going fast, but you are.”
Ireland’s Anthony Condon eased the 10-year-old Dublin V into second with Holly Smith third on the Zambesi eight-year-old Fruselli. Ireland's Peter Moloney took fourth on Polinska Des Isles with Louise Saywell fifth aboard Sultanah and Alexandra Thornton was sixth on Caballero 84.
Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr made a winning return to Bolesworth with victory in the 1.45m, denying Britain’s Robert Smith a win by a narrow margin.
Robert had set a scorching early standard in the 54-strong speed class on the Dulf Van Den Bisscop 10-year-old Ilton, but Francois found a slightly quicker route to clinch the win on Casanova De L’Herse by 0.17 sec.
“He’s very competitive and I kept tight at the beginning. It wasn’t a course where you could really open up, the time had to be made up on turns,” said Francois.
The top four combinations were separated by just 0.44 sec in this hotly contended class, British-based Irishman Billy Twomey steering the Gypsy Duke 14-year-old Ardcolum Duke into third with Graham Gillespie on the home-bred Calvaros Up To Date (Calvaro FCS/Up To Date) taking fourth. Nigel Coupe jumped into fifth on Jubilee III and Graham Babes claimed sixth with Boucheron.
The USA’s Julie Welles overcame a rainstorm of tropical proportions to claim the 2* grand prix with British-based American Olympian Laura Kraut’s Solitair 14-year-old Nouvelle.
“She’s a very experienced horse and has jumped Nations Cups and some of the biggest grands prix, Laura has let me show her and get her back going again,” said Julie. “It’s nice to be able to ride horses like this, they know what they are doing and you can just point and shoot.”
A 15 minute deluge temporarily delayed play before 17 combinations – eight clears, four on time faults only and five on four faults, returned for round two with Julie delivering a second clear to win by 0.26 sec.
Britain’s Will Edwards, 18, was the only other double clear for second on the eight-year-old Chacco Blue/Heartbreaker mare SHW Candies B. Ireland’s Max O’Reilly Hyland finished third on one time fault from round one with Ahmed Du Calvaire and Harry Wainwright aboard Pinheiro Beech claimed fourth on two time faults.
Clear in round one, Emma Stoker hit a rail in the jump-off to drop to fifth on Townhead Tallulah V and Paul Barker – on four from round one – returned a clear second time out to take seventh on Sovereign Equestrian’s Happy Boy.
Sienna Charles was best Brit in the 52-strong 2* 1.40m with third spot on the Cartani 11-year-old Chaitanya 2. Twelve went forward into round two with the United Arab Emirates’ Hamed Ali Al Kirbi taking the win on Uxmal D’Ysieux by 1.32 over Ireland’s Matt Garrigan on Contino 56 in second place.
Brits filled the next five places with Sienna third, Paul Barker slotted Dalton W into fourth spot, James Wilson finished in fifth on Eskola W, Louise Whitaker returned to competition after the birth of her second child Sienna to finish in sixth place on Ruby VIII and Ben Walker eased Native Warrior into seventh.
It was horsepower of two very different kinds as a pair of speedsters revved up to claim victory in the Ride and Drive - in a Bentley!
Always a danger against the clock, Matt Sampson delivered a blistering showjumping round before leaping from his horse and sprinting into the back seat of the £135,000 Bentley Benteyga. Reece was in the driving seat and steered his way to victory around a coned course to win by almost four sec despite a three sec penalty.
Laura Renwick teamed up with driver Robert Bevis to take second, both providing penalty-free rounds and the Irish pair of Richard Howley (rider) and Anthony Condon (driver) finished third.
Ellie Hall-McAteer and the fabulous 20-year-old Tixylix clinched victory in the 148cm championship to deny Friday’s winner Shaunie Greig and Casino Royale VIII a second win by 1.04 sec.
Hannah Barker claimed third on Sannanvalley Santino and Perdi Digby finished fourth with the steadiest of the double clears aboard Kayleighs Star. Lily Freeman-Attwood was the quickest of the class by one and half sec but tapped out a pole on Capabilty Brown for fifth and Harry Wood finished sixth on Sligo Furisto Flight in the seven-pony decider.
Poppy Deakin raced ahead in the 128cm championship five-pony decider to take victory by more than five sec on Munsboro Plunkett.
Noora von Vulow clinched second spot with the only other double clear on Sparkel and the other three all returned on four faults - Izabella Rogers aboard Whinney Lass finished third, Madelaine Archibald rode My Little Sweetheart into fourth and Noora picked up fifth place on second ride Pippino Il Grande.
Second 24 hours earlier, Bobbie Heath went one better in the amateur 1.15m two-phase on Floretta, the 11-year-old mare taking the win by 2.14 sec. Megan Broadway guided the Corland 16-year-old Capello II into second with Julie Slade on Billy Gogo third and Tony Pearson – a winner earlier in the week – settled for fourth on this occasion with Boombastic. Iwan Carpenter rode Jordanta Van De Eyckenhoeve into fifth and Caroline Breen finished sixth on Kilmastulla Douglas.
Photos © Jumping Around/courtesy TSM/Bolesworth International