Laura Mantel hit a purple patch at Wales and West at the David Broome Event Centre with a super double victory, taking both Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter and Connollys Red Mills newcomers second rounds in fine style for two HOYS tickets.
“What a weekend, this is definitely my favourite showground,” said Laura, who now has Muna Van De Bisschop and new ride Whitesparke Pepper through to the NEC Birmingham finals in October.
Thirteen from 67 starters initially posted clears in the HOYS Foxhunter over course-designer Raf Suarez’s 13-fence track with just four surviving to reach the final jump-off – all ladies vying for the exclusive top two qualifying places.
First off Zoe Potter was quick but an early fence on the feisty Wings Z left her vulnerable. Sian Edwards chased on Elessar and a risky gallop to the final fence saw her chances fade as the front rail fell.
But Ruby Fryer held her nerve to provide a treble clear on Hallmark, a Contender/Heartbreaker seven-year-old bought from Jamie Wingrove three years ago.
“I usually get so nervous I cock it up,” said a delighted Ruby, who will now make her debut in the hallowed HOYS arena after taking a brief lead.
Already winner of the newcomers second round, Laura was on form and trusted Sally Jobson-Scott’s super-careful home-bred seven-year-old Cornet Oblensky daughter Muna to come home with that all-important clear, beating Ruby’s time by more than eight sec.
“It’s so much worse going last but I went in with a plan and stuck to it,” said Laura. “It was a lovely, flowing course and suited us, I could just keep rolling, and it was great to have Sally here to watch.”
Ruby took second on Hallmark with Zoe third and Sian in fourth while fastest four from round two, Tom Monaghan’s Luttoria, filled fifth and a National Championship place in the Foxhunter masters.
Laura’s early round in the final jump-off secured the top HOYS ticket in the Connollys Red Mills newcomers with brand-new ride Whitesparke Pepper at their very first show.
“I only picked her up three days before,” said Laura, on the Peppermill/ARD Ohio mare owned by Lady Bamford.
“I got the ride through John and Laura Renwick as Laura is too busy at International shows but I’m thrilled, this mare is so lovely and easy,” said Laura, on the eight-year-old bred by Lance Whitehouse.
The 118 starters were initially whittled down to 21 with 10 accessing the third and final round, third-drawn Laura setting the standard and remaining in front as challengers faulted chasing the clock.
Kate Ellison filled the second qualifying place with the Vleut eight-year-old Ge Palve.
“She’s feisty, the bigger the fences, the better,” said Kate, who has ridden Lucy Pinner’s mare for 12 months.
Joe Trunkfield was also treble clear but was 1.80 sec behind Kate for third on Flipper Darco UK Z. Harry Whall guided Kings Borough Kasper into fourth and Liz Forrester claimed the fifth and final newcomers masters place at the National championships on Halina.
Laura also headed the initial 1.30m on Liz Howes’ super-quick 12-year-old Glory B V (Caretino Glory/Animo). Yamin Davis netted second on Zanbowa Z with Kate Ellison in third on Hanleen Sultis.
An exciting round from Jay Halim on the eight-year-old Aragon Z claimed the area trial.
Six of the original 28 reached the jump-off with fourth to go Jay hitting the accelerator to win by more than two sec on Duncan and Barbara Arthurs’ Belgian-bred grey gelding bought from Graham and Tina Fletcher two years ago.
“We’ve only just up-graded him to grade B but he finds it so easy and learnt so much on the Spanish sunshine tour – he’s a real trier,” said Jay.
Richard Barton’s final round effort earned second place on Donata with Adrian Speight in third aboard Millfield Baloney with the only other double clear. Danielle Farnsworth eased Inglenook Eline into fourth ahead of Mark Edwards in fifth on Montreuxs Tale and Alison Barton took sixth with Roma VI.
Adrian Whiteway claimed a competitive 50-strong 1.40m grand prix with Anytime II, flying to the top on the Nathos R/Rubert R 14-year-old and holding off the late challenge by Ollie Tuff’s HOYS Foxhunter champion Darino B.
“The jump-off was fast and I really thought Ollie was going to beat me as last to go,” said Adrian, who is pleased to have his main man back in competition. “He’s had 12 months off due to injury; it’s great to be able to get him off the lorry and have a spin.”
Ollie claimed second on Darino with Tim Davies in third aboard Lionel Van De Markieslanden. Faye Adams was fourth and Ollie also picked up fifth with Idocus VD Bisschop.
Ollie topped two 1.30m classes with the Warrant 10-year-old Esgracia, heading day two’s 66-horse class by 0.44 sec over Liz Forrester’s Elivander Emaire and taking day three’s 56-strong class with 0.63 sec to spare over Tony Pearson in second on Captain Morgan III and Kate Ellison’s Hanleen Sultis in third.
Tim secured victory in the concluding 1.35m grand prix on the consistent Lionel – through to the HOYS talentseekers after winning the qualifier at Weston Lawns last month.
“He’s naturally quick, I didn’t have to go crazy, just keep him in his matural rhythm,” said Tim, who rates this “quirky but talented” Falco/Apollo Van Het Lindebos eight-year-old.
Sian Edwards claimed second 0.28 sec in arrears on Adriarna with early leader Abi Walters and Miretta Mena in third in the 15-horse decider. Carmen Edwards slotted Geodina HS into fourth just ahead of Faye Adams – celebrating her 21st birthday at the Welsh showground – in fifth on Jackpot VI.
Alfie Bradstock raced to the top in the 1.25m speed on the Lord Castell/Berelin eight-year-old Grand Cru I with 1.41 sec sec over Carmen Edwards on the seven-year-old Magic Chanti. Maggie Dunkley finished third on Ivonneke Chaud.
Helen Rees clocked up five wins over the four days, heading three Foxhunter classes on the consistent Statinus/Balou Du Rouet six-year-old Bianca Du Rouet. The Silvio I five-year-old Smirnoff AP Silvio topped a newcomers and the Rosire 17-year-old Maximo Des Forets triumphed in the 1.10m to round off Helen’s winning tally while the 13-year-old Bart VI claimed two thirds and a fourth in the 1.30m classes.
Several other riders posted multiple wins – Natalie McQuiggan claimed four wins – two 1.05m classes and two 1m classes – on Kilshanny Gold; Ellen Churchill was another four-time winner, taking two 1.10m classes on Drewmain Dark Star, a 1.20m with Revendale Rile and a 1.15m aboard St Anne’s Ranger. Tara Yate also topped four classes – Sannanvalley Promise headed two 95cm classes and a 90cm while Sannanvalley Kingdom won a 90cm with Promise in second.
Claire Membury clocked up three wins, a 1.10m on Mini Business, a discovery on Rainbow Dior and a British novice aboard Rockman V.
Double winners were plentiful – Emma King took two amateur 85cm on Clacourt Quicksilva; Shannon Snow headed two amateur 75cm classes on Talwern Rachel; Liane Harris topped took two British novice wins on Independence VII; Rachel Vicary topped a 1.20m speed and a 1.15m members cup with Sparkling Indulgence and Lauren Ross claimed two newcomers wins with Irena G.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around