Joe Clayton is crowned the new National champion


Joe Clayton was crowned 2018 National Champion in the concluding HOYS section C wildcard and International Stairway final on the final day at the British Showjumping National Championships.

It came down to a nail-biting nine horse jump-off and Joe outjumped them all to land victory aboard Jane Heerbeck’s Carolus K.

“It was a tricky first course, a lot of riders had one down at different fences and a couple had time faults too. It was difficult to get inside the time allowed and leave all the jumps up, I’m very pleased with my horse today,” said Joe.

The Indoctro/Gran Corrado 11-year-old Carolus meets Joe at shows.

“He’s mainly kept with his owner, Jane, I just ride him a couple of days before the shows. Jane brings him to all the shows and does all the hard work, so I owe a lot of this to her. I get on and he just loves to jump so he makes it so easy for me,” said Joe. “I’ve had a very good season so far but you can never come in too confident to a class like this. I’m really pleased with the result.”

The win and National title also came with a wildcard to compete in the International classes at the Horse of the Year Show.

“I love competing at HOYS – the atmosphere is just fantastic! We go every year and it is always a dream to jump there with the crowd cheering you on,” said Joe.

James Smith claimed second place on new ride Simply Splendid - formerly ridden by Sammie Coffin - and Robert Smith was third on Cimano E. Will Fletcher took fourth on Everytime Anywhere B with Robert Murphy fifth on Newbridges Chablis SW and Max Routledge eased Firkov Du Rouet into sixth.

Four HOYS wildcards were on offer on the final day with the chance of competing in the International classes at the NEC, Birmingham, for the week. Helen Tredwell topped the International Stairway league for the second year running on the home-bred Vangelis S/Larino 13-year-old Larksong and will again make an appearance at HOYS.

Robert Murphy – newly-crowned 1.40m champion with the Couleur Rubin 11-year-old Newbridges Chablis SW – was the winner of the National Championship show league, which ran across the three senior days, took another.

And Jess Dimmock took the final HOYS wildcard as winner of the under 25 rider on the 10-year-old Billy Congo/Jazz mare Billy Blue Bell.

Olli Fletcher followed in his brother Will’s footsteps to return to his Oxfordshire home with two young rider titles.

In 2017, Will won the under 18 championship on Persimmon and the under 21 title with Everytime Anywhere B. This year, Olli, 15, took the under 16 and under 21 championships.

Six riders tackled the under 21 jump-off with Olli, 15, maxing on his final draw to secure the title with the Temple Tamability/Polydor 11-year-old Temple Rebus.

“I’m extremely pleased with his performance today, he is simply incredible. We’ve owned him for nearly three years and after a bit of time off last year, he has come back better than ever,” said Olli.

Jodie Hall-Mcateer claimed second on Fantom with Jack Whitaker in third aboard Leonardo VI. Faye Adams was fourth on Fiva La Vida with Georgia Tame fifth on Z7 Caretina and Zoe Smith finished sixth with Que Sear III.

Olli was in invincible mode and claimed first and third in the under 16 championship, forging ahead on Dahar to take the win and easing Little Business into third.

“Dahar is a real winner and is so careful, in fact, she’s only had two poles down the entire season,” said Olli, who won the 1* grand prix at Chepstow earlier in the year with the 10-year-old mare.

Dahar has exceptional breeding – she shares her sire, Quasimodo Van De Molendreef, with Scott Brash’s superstar Hello Sanctos and is out of a Voltaire mare.

The home-bred 12-year-old Little Business – by It’s the Business – has grown with Olli.

“She took me to my first Children’s European when I was 12 and went double clear for the team silver medal. She’s a speedy little horse and Melanie Samuels has just bought her for her daughter,” said Olli.

Megan Li finished second on Eclips Van Erpekom and Connor Fletcher took fourth aboard Lovedown Holousa.

Faye Adams doubled up with the consistent Demograaf. Winners of the national speed title 24 hours earlier, the pair topped the national 1.30m championship.

It was no fluke. Twenty riders contended the jump-off with Faye and the Demograaf racing ahead to take the class by 0.82 sec, holding off challenges from Carron Nicol and Robert Smith in second and third.

“He’s been incredible here this week and has answered every question, I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Faye.

Carron Nicol claimed second on the talented seven-year-old stallion Galerius and Robert Smith eased El Capone into third. Helen Tredwell finished fourth on Funnycan with Louise Whitaker fifth on Special Warrior and Sarah Lewis in sixth aboard Doonaveeragh Emma.

Michael Potter landed the prestigious Big Star six-year-old final with Haya Loma N in a hard-fought jump-off.

“My parents were looking for a well-bred mare to become a broodmare and spotted Haya Loma N on HorseQuest. She was very good on video and after seeing her loose jumping, I told them she was too good not to ride!” explained a delighted Michael. “Haya was second in the National 5 year old Championship here last year and the Big Star Championship was her main goal for this year; winning something as prestigious as this is just incredible!”

After two rounds at 1.30m, eight competitors came forward to the jump-off and three provided treble clears, but they couldn’t catch Michael, although his wife Zoe had a very good try.

“My wife is a very fast rider, in fact I thought she was going to beat me today,” said Nottingham-based Michael.

Zoe produced the fastest time of the class on the Eurocommerce Washington daughter Wings Z but at the expense of a lowered rail to drop to fourth. Laura Mantel finished second on Muna VD Bisschop (Cornet Obolensky/Nabab De Reve) with Lucy Struthers and the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Berlin stallion History in third.

“We’ve only had Wings Z for eight months after buying her in Holland. Both horses are fantastic and have a very big future ahead of them,” said Michael. “We decided to up the quality of our horses and it has really paid off. Steven Smith has been a massive part of this success, he’s a good friend and has helped improve the way we ride by coming to help us with the horses several times during the year.”

Claire Shepherd-Bramham topped a strong and close 28-horse decider to take the Nupafeed Supplements discovery title on Priestown Echo.

“As one of the last to go in the in the jump off I knew I had my work cut out to beat Zoe Potter’s fast time. He’s a quick horse but I wanted to make sure he went clear,” explained Claire.

The six-year-old Rocco was bought by Kelly Roberts two years ago and Claire has been producing him for the past 12 months.

“This is our biggest win together so far, I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s now going to have two days of rest in the field before we head off to Addington for the six year olds next week,” said Claire.

Zoe Potter finished second on Marvin The Fifth with Anna Peruzzi-Smith on Empire Power-N in third. Emma Sargeant guided Gerdelia into fourth ahead of Anna Beck in fifth on Miss Tangelo and sixth-placed Paula Johnson on Pauldarys Gabana.

Chloe Reynolds regained the ride on Darjeeling Desir three weeks ago and promptly claimed the National five-year-old title.

Ten of the 22 starters contended the jump-off with last-to-go Chloe forging ahead on the Mozart Des Hayettes gelding to win.

“I first rode Darjeeling when he was a four year old,” said Chloe, who then handed the reins to Daisy McKinlay. “It’s nice to be back riding him.”

Joe Trunkfield claimed second on Imeraldretto ahead of Caroline Barnes and Sunseeker in third. Georgia Tame finished fourth on BE Reverent with Katie Rose in fifth aboard I Love Des Charmes and Nick Edwards took sixth on Idodinus PP.

Clea Phillipps was crowned National senior rider champions with the Marius Claudius 11-year-old Skerne Scipio after taking the top spot in a 10-horse decider.

“We have had such a fantastic season this year with Skippy, he has either won or been placed nearly every time out. He loves the atmosphere at big shows and for me it’s all about enjoying what you do,” said Clea.

Rosemary Tillson jumped into second on Ballinteskin Laughtons Flight ahead of Clea on second ride Way Okay in third and her husband Vere Phillipps netted fifth on Rockingham I.

Photos © 1st Class Images

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