Emma-Jo Slater makes a winning return to the Scope Festival


Emma-Jo Slater - a winner of several championship titles in the 21 year history of this show - was on form in the championship arena at the Scope Festival and was close to claiming two winning sashes.

She claimed the two two places in the Scope 1.05m final, winning with a final round flyer on Freule TN and taking second aboard Ferndale Special K, 0.57 sec separating the two.

“I was already in the lead so thought I may as well go for it and she’s like a pony, nippy, quick and a real winner,” said Emma-Jo, on the Baloubet Du Rouet/Clinton eight-year-old.

Georgina Beeson finished third on Vermillion II with Jasmine Cain in third on Fihilithya.

Emma-Jo and Freule almost made it two in the 1.15m final but they were pipped at the post by Kerry Grimster and the Dutch-bred 12-year-old Bombastic by just 0.22 sec.

“He turns well and he’s so careful you can get away with getting a bit close to fence knowing he’ll jump it,” said Kerry, after taking her second championship in as many days - she won the 1m novice title with Diamond Cruising Control 24 hourse earlier.

Rebecca Seidl finished third on Quality Star ahead of fourth-placed Abbie Bevan’s Hallicantjo R and Phil Morris in fifth on Balouet Le Mans.

Just three of 30 starters jumped round one clears to reach the jump-off in the PK Equestrian pony 1m progressive championship, and first to go Gemma Thorley returned the only double clear on Red Shelley to post her biggest win.

“I planned to go double clear and she was foot-perfect,” said Gemma, 15, who got the ride on Amy Foster’s 10-year-old 12 months ago. “She’s a proper chestnut mare but she kept me focused today.”

Newly-crowned pony novice masters champions Alysia Heagren Bond was up on the clock but tapped out the final upright on Attrory Golden Lady to drop to second with Charlotte Hollinshead and Korado II in third.

Danielle Saunders, 10, scored her biggest win with the Cats & Pipes 128cm title in a hotly-competitive 16-pony decider with the 17-year-old Newtown Mighty Max.

“He loves to buck and gallop but I feel safe on him, he helps me out when I get a wrong stride,” said Danielle.

First-drawn Abigail Wicks claimed second spot on Little Poppet 2.79 sec in arrears with Isabelle Harris in third and fourth on Mellview Dublin Dave and Whistletwon Blue Belle. Katie Bradburne finished fifth on Jack XX just ahead of Deeleigh Ramsey in sixth on Mini Meg II.

Dafydd Watkin Jones celebrated victory in the Cats & Pipes Debut 138cm championship on Mr Bojangles XI in a 13-strong jump-off.

“I need a bit of leg with him but he’s easy,” said Dafydd, 12, who exercises this 13-year-old on the beach once a week.

Shauna Ross used her final draw to slot Miss Darcy into second with Danielle Saunders taking third on Miss Scarlett. Holly Williams guided Lots of Dots into fourth with Bethany Garwood claiming fifth with the steadiest of the double clears Tynan Sandy Lane.

Ellie Todd posted the only treble clear to take the POYS Elite Debut title with Lusmagh Aviator in a five-pony decider.

“He’s quirky but tries his heart out,” said Ellie, who has also achieved success in working hunter pony classes with the handsome 11-year-old Connemara – “But showjumping is my first love.”

Tabitha Kyle posted the fastest time but four faults dropped Orchids Vienna to second. Lila Hill picked up third on Lissroe Melody ahead of Elysia and Attyrory Golden Lady and Claudia Harding’s Where’s My Colour in fourth and fifth.

Photos © Jumping Around

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