Richard Howley outpaced them all to take victory in the 3* 1.50m with Seahorse Z in Lanaken, Belgium.
A mammoth 93 competitors initially contended this class with 19 providing first round clears although only 18 came forward in the jump-off. But no-one could catch the on-form Richard and he swept into the lead on the flying Scendix/Chellano Z 10-year-old mare to win with almost four sec in hand over France’s Titouan Schumacher and Atome Z.
Alice Palmer stepped up with Essenar Crixus and left all the fences intact but one time fault denied them a jump-off chance and they finished 21st.
Anna Wilks jumped into eighth in the 91-strong 3* 1.35m speed with Mijnheer Van De Lentamel, the Emerald Van’t Ruytershof/Toulon seven-year-old stallion finishing 6.42 sec off the pace.
Vicky Laing jumped an easy clear in the 91-entry 1* 1.25m speed to take 16th with the Harlequin Du Carel 12-year-old Harleys Comet nine sec behind the pace.
Harrison Hattea slotted the Harley VDL/Indoctro mare Ivory into 16th in the 73-horse six-year-old 1.25m two-phase.
One frustrating time fault in round one of the 51-horse under 25 1.40m denied Chloe Winchester a chance in the nine-strong jump-off and she had to settle for 10th with the Corrado I/Contender nine-year-old Corcon. Four faults put Isaac Hall and Conrad into 18th.
Brits dominated the 1* 1.35m grand prix in Opglabbeek, Belgium, with three of the top four places but were denied a win.
Only eight of the 62 original starters made their way to the jump-off with Maja Burnell producing the best of the Brits for second on Carlosspri, the Espri nine-year-old finishing 3.27 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Lio Lamers on Charming Edition. Camilla Bingham slotted the Zirocco Blue VDL nine-year-old Feliano B into third with Joe Clayton bringing the Spartacus/Grandilot seven-year-old Harley D home with the steadiest of the double clears for fourth. James Billington was one of three riders on a round one score of one time fault for 11th aboard Harwich VDL.
Caroline Breen secured seventh spot in the 76-horse 1* 1.25m with the Ard VDL Douglas 14-year-old Kilmastulla Douglas 3.60 sec behind the winner.
Grace Hooper rode Lord Lenitas into fifth in the 2* 1.35m two-phase, the Limbus 14-year-old finishing 1.45 sec off the pace. Olivia Howe claimed 12th on Evita and 15th with El Capone and Claire Salem was also double clear for 18th on Diablo.
Madeleine Kellett came home penalty-free with both the Warrant six-year-old I-Bless and the Cartier Van De Heffinck 12-year-old Castello for seventh and eighth in the 12-strong jump-off of the 1* 1.10m.
Chris Franks eased Coeur De Lion into 11th in the six-year-old speed, the Don VHP Z/Carnaval Drum gelding more than five sec behind the pace. Grace was also clear on Ivy League for 16th spot.
Easy double clears from Ashlee Harrison on Atout Des Trambles and Joe Davison with Vilenco earned 17th and 19th places in the 76-entry 2* 1.40m two-phase.
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