Paul Barker made a successful trip to Scotland and dominated the classes at Muirmill Equestrian Centre, accumulating four wins including the HOYS Foxhunter.
The 30 starters tackling course-designer Jason Abbs’ 12 fence HOYS Foxhunter track, the initial 14 clears reduced to eight for the third and final jump-off. It was all about the clock with just 0.02 sec separating the top two HOYS qualifiers, Paul just having the edge on the consistent home-bred seven-year-old Luidam/Grandeur stallion Green Grass to win.
“He’s going to have a busy HOYS, he’s through to three finals now,” said Paul, who also picked up Talentseekers qualification here to add to their HOYS newcomers qualification at Richmond Equestrian Centre.
Aileen Craig netted the second direct qualifying spot on the Dutch-bred seven-year-old Hongkong (Zavall VDL/Chalan). Douglas Duffin was one whole second in arrears for third on Linares BG and Jodie Maher provided the only other treble clear for fourth on Grace Unlimited. Laura Robinson came home on four faults with Bagghera, their fifth place giving them a Foxhunter masters chance at the National Championships, Stoneleigh, in August.
Paul and Green Grass also featured in the HOYS talentseekers, beaten into second by 1.53 sec by winner Ailsa Black and Zara Zing.
The 60 starters were whittled down to 13 for the jump-off with Ailsa and the eight-year-old Zurich/Dutch Falco mare forging ahead to claim the top spot. Paul filled the seven-year-old qualifying place on Green Grass while Annabel Shields returns to HOYS to tackle the talentseekers final for the second consecutive year on the 12-year-old Capriole II (Sir Shutterfly/Mermus R) with third spot. Charley Hamilton is also HOYS-bound with fourth on the 11-year-old mare Amadora JX (Armitage/Toby). Nicholas Williams finished fifth on Glamour Boy H and Kelly Connor claimed sixth place with George XXX.
Paul claimed three other wins. The Lux 14-year-old Lux Fabulous headed both 1.25m classes for Paul, winning the initial speed by 1.99 sec over James Smith, in second on Olivers Diamond with Lucinda Stewart third aboard Glow UK. In the middle day’s 1.25m speed, Lux Fabulous again came to the fore with almost three sec to spare, Lucinda settling for second on Cancun II, her final day’s Foxhunter/1.20m winner.
Paul underscored his talent in the 1.40m with the top two places. Five of the 13 starters accessed the jump-off with Paul winning on Sovereign Equestrian’s Kannan/Kimball 12-year-old Happy Boy and taking second aboard Andrew Shaw’s 11-year-old Dalton W, 2.45 sec separating the two. James Smith filled third and fifth with Flinstering and The Black Flyer, sandwiching Charlotte Ash into fourth on Ideal III.
Emma Crawford topped the Scottish Branch South West championship on the Ustinov nine-year-old Ferragamo L over a 1.30m track, taking the three-way decider by more than nine sec. Louise Milne Holme provided the only other double clear for second on Harry DV and Moira Williams was third aboard Millabbey Du Carel.
Natasha McKee scored a double on the final day, taking the British novice with slightly less than three sec in hand and discovery with more than three sec to spare on the eight-year-old Scorpion II.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around/courtesy British Showjumping/Equiscot