Faye Adams came to the fore on the speedy Demograaf to take the National speed title, also incorporating the second leg of the Horse of the Year Show wildcard, on the penultimate day of the British Showjumping National Championships.
Faye, 20, found the quickest route with the Quasimodo Z 10-year-old she acquired 12 months ago to win with 0.99 sec in hand.
“I went in there to go as fast as I could and execute the turns I know I’m capable of with the hope that I would still be able to jump clear. Demograaf is naturally fast, so I used his speed to my advantage,” said Faye. “It was a nerve-racking wait watching the clock as all the other competitors jumped – but it was the best outcome I could have hoped for.”
Miles O’Donnell slotted the 12-year-old Borsato into second ahead of Emily Ward in third on Remi Cavalleri. Fourth on day one, Robert Murphy again picked up fourth place on Newbridges Chablis SW with Jess Dimmock in fifth on Billy Blue Belle.
Jess currently tops the HOYS wildcard table on 25 points with Robert hot on her heels on 22 points as they head into the final day. Joseph Stockdale is on 17 points with Emily Ward on 15 and Christie Pritchard is on 12.
Tim Davies secured the top spot and HOYS qualification in the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter Masters on Barrett Watson’s Lionel Van De Markieslanden.
Twelve accessed the jump-off but Tim had set his sights on qualification and determinedly negotiated the turns on the Falco seven-year-old to win with over a sec in hand over Annabel Shields and Creevagh Carisma.
“I didn’t want to go crazy but I knew once I had got the turn back completed – which as my horse can be quite sharp he can struggle with - then I could just let him run and jump. He is really careful,” explained Tim.
Lionel was purchased two years ago.
“I loved him straight away when I tried him in Belgium. I always knew he would come on and while it has taken a little time to get to this point, he just keeps getting better and better. I think he is a really great horse – it is all experience, learning and consistency.”
Competing in the Talent Seekers series throughout the 2018 season, the two missed a couple of vital qualifying opportunities throughout the year. At Arena UK they were narrowly pipped to the post.
“I just thought it was going to be one of those years where we just weren’t going to be quite there, so to do this today is amazing. I didn’t expect to win today, I just really wanted to get into the top four.”
Qualifying for this esteemed championship carries great importance.
“For me it is just one of the classes at HOYS that everybody wants to qualify for. What Lionel is going to do when he gets there I don’t know – but I think they need to go there when they are young in order to experience it.”
Lucy Townley finished third on Billy Tennessee behind second-placed Annabel. Louise Saywell guided Billy Twomey’s scopey Cardino Z into fourth with Tracy Priest’s Daimants Aurora in fifth and Faye Adams was sixth on Fiva La Vida.
Nicole Pavitt is also off to HOYS after taking victory in the Speedi-Beet HOYS grade C qualifier on HC Cornet.
Sixteen of the 82 starters accessed the jump-off but the speedy Nicole negotiated all the shortcuts to take the win. Nicole had travelled up from Sussex for the day for specifically this class. Job done. Originally drawn last in the jump-off, it clashed with another class so she moved up to third draw.
“As I was moved up the jump off order, I knew I had nothing to lose and I was a little unprepared, so I just went for it. I am so pleased to have won and to have qualified him for HOYS; I had been aiming him at the Foxhunter but this just wasn’t his year for it,” she said.
Carron Nicol claimed second with the seven-year-old Diamant De Semilly/Sandro Boy stallion Galerius to claim another HOYS ticket – the pair will also contend the talentseekers final. Stephen Gee finished third on Djinn Wajoutie with Jay Halim in fourth aboard Gentleman VD Reithandei and Daniella Stapleton took fifth with Fire II.
Deja-vu? Emma-Jo Slater made a winning return to the National Championships and headed the KBIS British novice final for the fifth time, this time riding Kim Barzilay’s home-bred Kimba Uttah – a half brother to Billy Twomey’s 5* ride Kimba Flamenco. Both are out of the same Heartbreaker mare Uttah Van Het Indihof, Emma’s favourite mare.
Emma had won both British novice and discovery finals last year with Kings of Leon.
“We aim all our young horses at the national finals so to win this class for a second year in a row is fantastic,” said Kim, who had struggled to get home from Dublin after watching Kimba Flamenco compete with Billy due to cancelled and delayed flights to attend the National Championships.
Twenty-eight contended the jump-off with Emma-Jo winning from the front on the five-year-old by Akoniente.
“I went in to go clear and definitely left room for people to go faster than me. There were other riders who had a faster time by the end of the class but they paid the price by having a fence. I was quite surprised to have won but I am obviously delighted,” she said.
Kimba Uttah – aka Todi – is currently jumping Foxhunter classes and the aim for 2019 is to jump the Newcomers and Foxhunter second rounds.
“For Todi’s large size he is incredibly obedient and knows where his legs are. We are able to do all the twists and turns which we practice a lot at home. He’s only a five-year-old so we try to keep things fun to avoid him getting bored,” said Kim.
Emma Sargeant finished in second place on Claire Davies’ Gerdelia ahead of Richard Nichol in third aboard Avalon V. Laura Whitfield was fourth on Tatiana II, Natalie Moore took fifth on Sunshine Spirit and Sixth went to Milli Cornock aboard Floor III.
Rachel Vicary sparkled in the National restricted rider 1.25m title with first and third places on Sparkling Indulgence and the Animo/Billy Congo eight-year-old Billy Spirit.
Fourteen came forward to the jump-off but no-one could match Rachel, 18, on the 17-year-old Sparkling Indulgence – aka Steel – described as ‘a horse in a million’ who will never be sold.
“I went into the jump off and was just going to play it by ear and see how he felt, I certainly didn’t think that we were going to win against all of the grade A’s in the class. To take first and third is just incredible. Steel has just taken me to the next level, I was only jumping 90cm before I got him and now look at us.”
Orla Morrin was sandwiched into second on Adonis, John Ellis took fourth with Ashdale Luison, Natasha Dawson was fifth with Blackcat and Vicky Lovegrove claimed sixth on Codean.
Tara Byrtt secured the National 1.15m members cup final with Valerie B – a title the consistent pair last won in 2016 and finished third last year.
Twenty-two riders went to battle in the jump-off with Tara outpacing all.
“The competition was very strong and that jump-off was very quick. Valerie is 16-years-old but she loves her job just as much now as she did when she was a youngster. Every time she goes into the ring she tries her hardest, she gives it her all in every single round,” said Tara, who will now give Valerie a well-derserved break after a busy summer.
Lucinda Stewart had set a competitive early target but had to settle for second on Cancun II, a Caretino/Contender nine-year-old who is off to HOYS in the North silver league final after winning the semi-final at Bishop Burton last weekend.
Katie Shaw rode her sister Emma Sargeant’s home-bred It’s the Business 16-year-old Fools Business into third with Rebecca Thomas in fourth on Zorba IV and 1.25m winners Rachel Vicary aboard Sparkling Indulgence took fifth ahead of sixth-placed Francesca Johnson on F.Makita.
Two mares impressed to share the Horse First Supplements four-year-old title under the expert eyes of judges Mark Williams and Liz Edgar.
Thirty-three initially came forward in this style and performance class and 21 were invited back to jump a further six fences in round two.
After much deliberation, Jessica Botham’s Miss Marcolas and Ben Carus aboard Danielle Ryder and Willem van Hoof’s Skylandria Z were declared joint winners.
Miss Marcolas was bred by Sharon Barnes out of the Ramiexico mare Miss Ramexico – a former grade A ride of Jessica’s husband Adam – and is by Simon Nicholson’s Marcolas G, winner of the 2007 HOYS Foxhunter final.
“She was only broken in five months ago but from her very first jump, her technique was so correct so we immediately said we’d enter this type of class,” said Jess, who also has Miss Marcolas’ three-year-old sister Silent Whisper at home.
The Super Trooper De Ness/Indoctro four-year-old Skylandria has proved a quick learner.
“She has only been ridden for two months so to be able to have learnt so much that she goes in and wins this just shows she is one of a kind and I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said Ben.
Jake Elliott finished third on the Sandro Boy/Pilot stallion Jupiter TN with Laura Mantel on Sally Jobson-Scott’s Obelia VD Bisschop (Nabab De Reve/Baloubet Du Rouet) in fourth.
Photos © 1st Class Images