Chloe Templeton out-jumped all her rivals to claim victory in the pony Foxhunter Masters with the consistent seven-year-old Still Got Me on the final day for the ponies at the British Showjumping National Championships.
Eight of the 30 starters reached the jump-off, but clears in round two proved scarce.
“I knew there weren’t any clears at all in the jump-off, so I thought if I kept it fast and tight I could try and go for the clear round and then even if I had a pole down I would still be up there – I just wanted to keep it as clean as possible,” said Dunfermline, Scotland-based Chloe, 15.
Placed fourth in the 2017 HOYS Foxhunter final, the pair had already qualified for this year’s Foxhunter final with third at Arena UK. They went on to win the pony newcomers second round at Northcote Stud in Lancashire and also topped the HOYS Foxhunter in Scotland.
“Star is amazing; we get on so well together and have an incredible bond. We have had him for three years now and we have never had anything like him before. He is just insane and he jumps clear rounds all the time - he just tries to please and do his best.”
Cleo Loizzo and the already qualified Banner Girl – winner at South View and Arena UK – finished second with Tatiane Mauree on the eight-year-old Horseabout Zibu and Holly Cooper’s nine-year-old Valentino Supreme – another two qualified for both newcomer and Foxhunter finals – in third and fourth.
Robyn Woodward is another with double qualification on Rudgeway Maestro and took fifth here with Molly Potts aboard Ginger T taking sixth.
Courtney Young sped to the top in the Silver League 148cm final with Neil 55.
Twelve of the 30 starters provided initial clears to access the jump-off with Scotland’s Charley Hamilton setting an early target in fourth draw with Castlebaldwin Golden Arrow, and many paid the price as they chased the time.
But Courtney and the British-bred Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve six-year-old Neil 55 rose to the occasion to land the top spot.
“I’ve only had Neil since just before Christmas. He was bred by Charlotte Platt and had basically no mileage so I started him off slowly and he has turned out to be very bold and just loves his job. I can’t thank Nicole Rogers enough for buying him for me,” said Courtney.
Courtney has already qualified Neil for Horse of the Year Show in the pony Foxhunter Championship and picked up another HOYS qualification yesterday after taking fifth place in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Masters with Bacardi III.
“I’m really excited for HOYS, it’s a great show and the atmosphere is amazing. I’ve actually got three ponies qualified in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship as well as Neil and Zucan V in the pony Foxhunter Championship.”
Courtney, 16, is based in Wickford, Essex, and is accompanied at the Championship by her multi-tasking mum.
“Mum is both my trainer and groom, she is amazing and I wouldn’t be doing all of this if it wasn’t for her. When I was little, I always wanted to get on the horse she was riding! I started doing gymkhanas and showing but was constantly begging my mum to let me do showjumping,” she added.
Charley settled for second Golden Arrow with Grace Shudall in third on Quincy V. Tatiane Mauree finished fourth on Horseabout Zibu with Ellie Todd in fifth aboard Lusmaugh Aviator and Charlotte Hollinshead took sixth with Crossword.
Jenna Good landed a championship title in the pony discovery final with Western King – just 24 hours after taking second in the pony British novice championship.
It was no mean feat. Only nine of the mammoth 94 starters produced a clear over a tough course by Jason Abbs, and only two riders jumped double clear, Jenna edging ahead on the Irish 10-year-old Western King.
“I just wanted to go for time in the jump off, I was even prepared to have a pole, so when I realised we had gone clear I was really pleased. Sometimes you just have to go for it and we were going so fast I nearly forgot where to go,” she said.
Jenna only took over the reins on King in October, the pony switching disciplines easily following an eventing career with Jenna’s sister.
“It was a perfect end to the season and I achieved what I set out to do so I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Jenna, who will be moving onto horses next season.
Elysia Heagren-Bond jumped into second place on the Irish-bred seven-year-old Attyrory Golden Lady with Kitty Wierenga in third aboard Carnaween Dawn. Alice Major rode Histy Lady into fourth ahead of Eloise Burden on Coolatooder Liath in fifth and sixth-placed Charlie Rea Nelson on Hoofprint Caleb.
Danielle Westlake was crowned Bronze League 148cm champion with the eye-catching dun mare Caramel Twist.
The pair had already shown form with an 80cm open victory the day before.
In the penultimate draw of the nine-pony decider, Danielle stormed into an unbeatable lead on the 21-year-old, a risky tight turn to a midway fence paying handsomely.
“It’s just amazing! To think that we nearly didn’t come because it is such a long journey, but it has definitely been worth it,” said Danielle.
It was almost a fairytale ending for Belle Garrigan – who was celebrating her 14th birthday – but she had to settle for second with Icaris W.
“I did think that we had done it but I am still happy with second place. ‘Herby’ is only a five-year-old so he’s still quite young and this is a big Championship for him. I’ve only been riding him since January but I just love him,” she said.
Darcy Foss claimed third on Ilston Brave Dancer with Bronny Wilson in fourth on Chapelmill Choirboy. Katie Woods-Young finished fifth on Apache Joe and Molly Potts was sixth aboard Indimilla.
Katie Bradburne made a winning return to take the Bronze League 128cm final for the second consecutive year. Last year she won it on the now retired Cappagh Misty, this time the 17-year-old Runaway Dolly stepped up to the plate.
“Dolly is actually my brother Thomas’s pony but a few years ago he broke his arm so I started riding her and now I make him share her! I do the Olympia qualifiers and he does the HOYS ones, but since it’s his last year on ponies, I get to steal her full time! She’s quite prone to going really fast in the jump off and making us feel like we have it in the bag and then taking the final fence down, so I am so happy she didn’t do it today,” said Katie.
Katie also picked up fourth on Jack XX, a tiny 11.1hh gelding.
“Jack usually does 70cm classes so this was a big track for him. I had an unlucky four faults in the Stepping Stones 128cm when we had the second fastest time, so I am glad we did better today,” added Old Berks pony club member Katie, who was also awarded the Pony Club sash for the highest Pony Club member.
Marni McMyn claimed second place on the 10-year-old Tynebank Royal Jester with Sula von Bulow in third with Bellfield Benjamin. Isabella Saunders-Cook finished fifth on Tamanso with Sienna Palin sixth on Kip Kip Hooray and Isabelle Harris took seventh aboard Whistletown Blue Belle.
The Daisy duo of Daisy Lewis and Grallagh Daisy made their National Championships debut a winning one with the Bronze League 138cm final.
Fourteen riders went all out in the jump-off for a thrilling decider, but a difficult line of a double of verticals followed by an oxer dashed many championship dreams and only four managed to post a double clear. Daisy made no mistake with her namesake and used her penultimate drawo to race to take victory by 0.75 sec, relegating Sarah Proudley and Real Cool Dude down to second.
The consistent coloured mare Daisy had qualified for four finals here.
“We’re both called Daisy, but oddly her stable name is Tulip and we’re both 12 years old so we are the perfect match,” laughed Daisy. “We’ve had her for 15 months now but during that time, Tulip has qualified for four classes here; the Pony Discovery, the Stepping Stones 138cm Final, the Pony British Novice and this class!”
Kent-based Daisy – whose next aim is the Mini Major at Olympia – was also awarded the Pony Club sash as the highest placed pony club rider and credited her pony.
“She’s a lot of fun and I can do a bit of everything with her. Sometimes showjumping ponies are too hot and have to stick to jumping, but I can take Tulip hacking and do lots of fun things with her. Everyone says she is lovely and not your typical mare at all,” beamed Daisy. “I got eight faults in the Pony Discovery but I’ve never jumped that high before with her so I was very happy!”
Sarah settled for second on the 21-year-old Real Cool Dude with George Nelson third aboard Freddie The Star and Xanthe Marriott finished fourth with Printers Dragon. Ruth Buckley finished fifth on Baronsdown Honey with Joshua Hefferman sixth riding Spider Pig and Cameron Cobb took seventh on My Pal Al.
Talia Da’Prato stood top of the podium by winning the pony restricted rider 1.10m championship on Right Proper Charlie.
Just five riders reached the jump-off with Talia and the 18-year-old Charlie flying ahead to take the win.
“I was confident going in to the jump off as he is really nimble so we can make good time as well as picking up good speed. We’ve been competing together for four years now so we know each other inside out,” explains Talia.
Charlotte Hollinshead guided the 18-year-old Cross Word into second ahead of Will Field in third on Sprite II and Jenna Good in fourth place aboard Moscombe Sirius.
Photos © 1st Class Images/courtesy Grandstand Media