Ireland’s Shane Breen finished a superb Hickstead season in style when claiming today’s £6,000 All England Grand Prix with the nine-year-old stallion Clyde VA.
A total of 74 came forward for this feature grand prix but only eight managed to post first round clears. But no-one could match Shane – who has just received a late call-up to ride for Ireland at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon.
Shane won the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial and the British Speed Classic in June with Can Ya Makan – also third in the Hickstead Derby – and won the Hickstead Derby trophy with Clyde VA (Caretino/Quintero).
“You don’t think he’s very quick and he’s a bit lazy, but he’s got such a long stride,” said Shane of his winning ride. “When he won at the June show I didn’t think he had a chance and that surprised me, but having won that class I knew he could do it today.”
Quite a number of riders failed to complete the course in the Grand Prix, with Hickstead’s famous open water causing the majority of the issues.
“It was a good course, not overly big, fair but with plenty of little questions,” said Shane. “It was a good class and a good result!”
Already a double winner, Yazmin Pinchen chased hard on Van De Vivaldi to finish just 0.13 sec in arrears for second on this occasion. Cressy Neads took third on Chinta Van Geluut Z while Breen Equestrian rider Georgia Tame finished fourth with her opening round on Crispien.
Yazmin claimed 1.40m wins on the first two days with the consistent 15-year-old Vivaldi Van De Kempel stallion Van De Vivaldi. They headed the initial 109-strong 1.40m in a 19-horse jump-off with 1.21 sec to spare.
"It wasn’t my best jump-off to be honest, we could have gone quicker," she said. "I’m obviously delighted with him but I was worried the time could be beaten. At his best he's unbeatable against the clock, he can take a stride out so easily and he’s so careful."
Max Routledge took second on the nine-year-old Warrior stallion Warriors Glory just ahead of David Simpson on Jenson 55 and Tim Stockdale aboard Don Diego De Plata in third and fourth.
On day two, 113 contended the 1.40m speed but Yasmin again forged ahead to take another win, relegating Tom Whitaker on Eagle Eye VDP into second by 0.53 sec. Matt Sampson aboard Valse De Pepinvast took third and Mark Edwards finished fourth on Tinkers Tale.
Alfie Bradstock knows what it’s like to tackle the Hickstead Derby fences after finishing seventh on his debut in 2015. And he proved it in style by taking the Douglas Bunn 1.35m challenge with Helen West’s Eebay with more than eight sec in hand.
Several Derby fences set at a lower height featured in this class and Alfie had no problems with his three rides, also taking fifth on H D Or, but it was the Tadmus 11-year-old Eebay – a HOYS talentseekers finalist – who took the win.
“I’m definitely considering these two back next June,” he said. “"It's useful to go up and down the bank, jump through the Dyke, and the double of water ditches, to see if they're anywhere near ready for the Derby!"
Darren Wise steered the 11-year-old Midnight Time into second with Samantha Staples in third on Grange Komet.
Alfie doubled up with the All England 1.20m title, topping the six-horse decider with the seven-year-old Lord Castell/Berlin mare Grand Cru I 1.03 sec ahead of John Crippen’s Irish 17-year-old Loughnatousa OB in second place. Henry Turrell’s Barbados III finished third.
Matt Sampson scored an impressive hat-trick. Always a danger against the clock, Matt eased ahead to claim the All England 1.30m championship by 1.77 sec on Rachael Evison’s big-jumping Clinton/Heartbreaker nine-year-old mare Ebolensky. Paul Crago had to settle for second on the Belgian-bred nine-year-old June Hof Ter Zeedycke with Aimee Jones in third on Lilly IV.
Matt topped the six and seven-year-old title on Harry Whall’s Spartacus daughter Happy Fomia.
“She was second recently in the non British-bred six-year-old grand prix at the British Young Horse championships, Addington so it’s nice to go one better. Her next stop will be Zangersheide for the Young Horse championships so fingers crossed she’ll go well there, she’s a lovely horse,” he said.
They relegated Lucy Townley on the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve six-year-old Billy Spiral into second by almost three sec and William Rekert claimed third place with H Millfield Tobias.
Matt scored a third major victory in the final HOYS talentseekers qualifier in a 61-strong class. Riding the Eldorado Van De Zeshoek/Berlin seven-year-old Geneve R, Matt held off the challenges from Nicole Pavitt to win by 2.10 sec leaving Nicole to settle for second and third on the home-bred Don VHP Z eight-year-old mare Paris 16 and the Padinus seven-year-old Gianni HC. Jake Saywell claimed the fourth HOYS qualifying place on Galaxcy IX.
Ronnie Jones jumped to the top in the five-year-old championship on Interstar B (I’m Special De Muze/Ohorn), taking victory by 0.83 sec. Harry Whall finished second on the Kannan stallion Kings Borough Kasper with Eoin Gallagher in third aboard Ibesi Cooper.
Experience bested youth in the amateur 1.20m championship as Barry Drea raced to the top on the Billy Mexico nine-year-old Okehurst Miss Mexico to win by 0.45 sec. Children-on-horses European team member Atiya Bussey took second on the 12-year-old Chesterfield Z and Antonia Platt – in her first year on horses after a successful pony career – claimed third and fourth G Star Blue and MHS Patriot.
Sophie Ashton Rickardt seized the amateur 1.10m title with 1.33 sec to spare on the Sir Shutterfly/Carthago 10-year-old Masterfly. Rachel Horton guided the Canaletto/Quidame Du Revel 14-year-old Quidelle Du Reverdy into second ahead of third-placed Amaryllis III.
The Spidge Photography 1m championship drew huges entries – 158 and 221 – in the qualifiers, but it was Nick Edwards that topped the 31-strong 1m championship with the It’s the Business 13-year-old Its Showbusiness.
Joe Trunkfield forged ahead to take the All England novice title on the eight-year-old Fanella ahead of Bryony Ward on Nassini Z with Mark Edwards in third aboard Ede Peasy.
Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy All England Hickstead Championships