Claudia Moore hit top form on the final day at South View’s 148cm pony premier, taking the top two places in the Charles Britton Equestrian Construction winter JA classic to qualify Elando Van De Roshoeve and Delflip for the final at this venue in April.
Quality was high and 13 of the 29 starters made light work of course-designer David Cole’s 12-fence track to come forward to round two, Claudia and Shaunie Greig claiming two rides apiece. But the raised and shortened track with a restrictive time reduced these to just three for the jump-off to fill the three qualifying places – Claudia claiming two of them. And she kept a cool head to post the winning round in the opening draw on her 2018 European individual bronze medallist Elando and bringing the super-scopey 12-year-old Flipper D'Elle daughter Delflip into second just 0.26 sec in arrears.
Last-to-go Holly Truelove was in contention until the final fence, the quicker time on the 14-year-old stallion Rexter D’Or marred when he tapped out the final vertical to drop to third.
Anouska Mauree picked up one annoying time fault on Miami Moonbeam in round two to finish fourth with Francesca Young’s four faults in fifth aboard Carnhill Luna and Red Morgan took sixth with Carrickaduff Pet on a total of five.
Elloise Smit jumped three super rounds to take victory in Saturday’s Charles Britton Equestrian Construction winter JA classic with Newtown Samson.
Thirty-one tackled a12-fence track with seven finding all the answers to access round two. Just one was lost on the way for six to chase the three qualifying places on offer, but in the event, three treble clears filled the top three, Elloise securing the win by half a sec.
“I knew I had to go treble clear as they were good ones behind me, but the early ones were fast so I had to up the speed,” said Elloise, 15, who will target European trials this year with the 17-year-old Samson.
Madison Heath steered nine-year-old Verdi/Heartbreaker mare Flavia into second and Tom Francis-Jones achieved rousing cheers for taking third on 138cm Kiltormer Hero. Cleo Loizzo opening round on Banner Girl finished fourth with Ava Vernon on Who’s Arco fifth and Claudia claimed sixth on Shamrock Du Gite.
Elloise also headed claimed first and third in Sunday’s JC/JA handicap, winning with the 11-year-old My Lady III with a 0.79 sec advantage over Eloise Burden on Saturday’s pony Foxhunter winner Coolatooder Liath, and taking third on Samson.
Jake Myers made the long journey from Devon worthwhile with victory in Sunday’s Royal International winter JC qualifier with ride of four weeks Macuta II.
The original 68 starters were initially reduced to 24 with an eventual eight tackling a tense jump-off over a now sizeable track and clears proved hard to come by. But Jake looked cool and confident with Macuta. What this seven-year-old German-bred pony by the Welsh stallion Machno Carwyn lacked in experience he made up for in scope and enthusiasm to return a copybook clear.
“This is the biggest track he’s jumped but he’s so athletic he made it feel easy – he loves to jump,” said Jake, who will also contend the SEIB winter novice after qualifying horse Calcourt Calvados at Addington before Christmas.
Tabitha Kyle secured the second and final qualifying spot with the only other treble clear on Nightgirl Van Het Sonnishof Z, a seven-year-old HOYS newcomers finalist with Nicole Lockhead Anderson before Tabitha took over the reins six weeks ago.
Shaunie Greig returned a fast four for third on the already-qualified Teagan Arla Rose and Alice Weightman finished fourth aboard Latinka TJ Van Overis.
Rachel Proudley topped Saturday’s winter JC to take the top Hickstead ticket with Family Affaer II. Seventy-two initially contended over a 10-fence track with 19 posting first round clears and an eventual 14 reaching the jump-off, an on-form Rachel claiming two of the rides. But clears proved more difficult to come by in round three and only four jumped treble clear, Rachel and Beth Stephenson’s 17-year-old former eventer Family Affaer storming into victory as the only pair to break the 40 sec barrier.
“She loves long runs in the jump-off and she’s seen so much eventing, nothing worries her,” said Rachel, 13, who also finished fourth on Jet III – also winner of the initial 1.10m – to take a second Royal International pass.
Shaunie – no stranger to the Hickstead arena as a former winner of the 138cm final – finished 0.28 sec in arrears for second place on the nine-year-old mare Teagan Arla Rose and Tatiane Mauree finished third with Horseabout Zibu – another already qualified after winning at Aintree two weeks ago.
Amy Morris claimed the top spot in the Blue Chip JC/JA Pro sparkle with Tobar King – repeating their win a fortnight earlier at Aintree.
“I’m still getting to know him but I’ve got three years left in ponies so I’m not rushing,” said Amy, who took over the ride on the 12-year-old three months ago from Sandy McLean, also the former rider of her HOYS 128cm winner Madonna.
Shaunie also finished second here, on this occasion with Lisa Holmes' Granouche, and Tabitha Kyle claimed third with Hietvelds Bjorn.
Madison Heath scored a one-two in the 1.10m, winning on Air Flow and taking second aboard Blidworths Fluffy Duckling, 2.75 sec separating the two, and Charlie Atkinson headed the 1.15m members cup on Seamus with 1.06 sec to spare.
Ellie Thomas headed the concluding Voltaire Design with the French-bred 12-year-old mare Tekila Du Bary ahead of Grace Sinclair on the 12-year-old Cregg Surprise in second and third-placed Daisy Williams aboard Bermudez BDA.
Photos © Jumping Around