Fresh from their team gold medal at the Veteran European championships two weeks ago, Derek Morton and KBS High Quality secured a coveted HOYS place with victory in the Equitop Myoplast second round at South View Equestrian Centre.
The clock was secondary as only two posted treble clears for the two HOYS places on offer. Course-designer Raf Suarez got 18 clears from 34 starters over his 12-fence track, but the second round sorted the men from the boys and just six came forward to contend round three.
Derek was the first to post a jump-off clear on Zoe Snedker’s OBOS Quality 004/High Roller seven-year-old – originally viewed to purchase as a potential working hunter.
“He was too sharp to be a worker, but he’s definitely a jumper,” said Derek, who remained comfortably ahead.
The pair are also qualified for the HOYS grade C final.
Nicole opted for accuracy in the final draw and achieved the only other treble clear for second and a HOYS place 6.51 sec in arrears with Carol Littlehay’s Edinburgh.
The Canturano nine-year-old, previously ridden by Louise Whitaker and John Popely, came to Nicole at the beginning of the year.
“I started to get to know him but he hasn’t done much in the last couple of months because I damaged my shoulder,” she said.
Alex Bishop heartbreakingly hit the last after posting the fastest time on Thomascourt Atlantis for third place with Tony French on Finnisk Castor in fourth. Nicole also picked up fifth on Gianni HC to fill the Foxhunter Masters places and gain another chance at HOYS qualification.
Nicole has won the newcomers, grade C and young rider finals at HOYS in previous years but the Foxhunter has always eluded her.
“I want it so much, I try to hard,” said Nicole, who is hoping this will be her year. She has SES Goldstar and Edinburgh in the Foxhunter final and Goldstar and Renkum Rock & Roll contend the newcomers final.
Nicola Barry seized victory in the Connolly’s Red Mills newcomer second round with Sovereign Equestrian's Be Caprivi with one of only two treble clears.
The initial 72 starters were reduced to 18 over course-designer Raf Suarez’s 12-fence track for round two with nine reaching the third round against the clock. But it was about the jumping as early riders upped the pace and ultimately made mistakes, Nicola providing the first jump-off clear in the seventh draw.
“He’s super-easy, bold, not at all spooky and ultra-careful,” said Nicola who bought the Balloon/World Way six-year-old from breeder Shane Breen last September.
The partnership claimed the six-year-old title at Bonheiden’s Spring tour and have since jumped a couple of 1.30m tracks – “But this was a lot bigger, so we over some bigger oxers at Weston Lawns,” added Nicola.
Liz Forrester maxed on her final draw to slot the eight-year-old Canturo I/Cornet Obolensky stallion Furst Bismark into the second qualifying spot.
“He’s phenomenal and has the best temperament – he covered naturally four times yesterday – and then came here quite happily,” said Liz, who bought the stallion five years ago.
“He’s always had a textbook technique but he’s a late starter as he was weak and little as a four-year-old.”
William Bayes Jones was more than five sec faster than the winning time but four faults dropped Arianna into third. Ailsa Black finished fourth on Endyana EH Z and James Taylor – also on four faults – took the fifth spot on Gubeon Annie to take the newcomer Masters qualifying places at the National Championships and another crack at qualifying for HOYS.
Emily Ward notched up a double. She headed the concluding 1.40m with the Ard VDL Douglas 11-year-old Millioninmind with just 0.08 sec in hand over Millie Allen on Newton Tigra with Geoff Billington in third on Conman JX.
Emily's second win came in the Foxhunter with almost five sec in hand on the Kannan/Epilot 12-year-old No Regrets II. Thomas Reilly finished second on Cushlas Reviro and Keith Shore guided Manzana De Rigo into third
Millie topped Saturday’s 1.30m with the Swedish eight-year-old mare Chantal V with more than two sec in hand over John Ellis in second on Ashdale Luison. Ailsa claimed third on Zara Zing.
Geoff landed victory in Sunday’s 1.30m on the El Bundy 13-year-old ELO with 0.98 sec over Charlotte Flack in second on Ashdale Senica and Paul Sims slotted Papillon Motinerie into third.
Georgia Cabb claimed a 1.07 sec advantage to top the 1.25m speed with Uragan over John Garton Pope in second on Eldorado Velvet and Zoe Potter finished third aboard Wings Z.
Christina Richardson Kenyon headed the initial 1.20m with the 11-year-old Temple Calypso stallion Calypso’s Rampant Million 4.41 sec in hand. Adam Ellery jumped into second aboard Jeres De Verdem and Sophie Edenborough eased Quick Liberty into third.
Emily Ward triumphed in the Foxhunter with almost five sec in hand on the Kannan/Epilot 12-year-old No Regrets II. Thomas Reilly finished second on Cushlas Reviro and Keith Shore guided Manzana De Rigo into third.
Photos © Jumping Around