Bex Mason defeated the odds at Weston Lawns by winning the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter second round on Team Crows Nest’s Vancurtis – 12 months after the pair won the newcomers second round to qualify for HOYS.
Course-designer Steve Williams used a 13-fence track to whittle down the field of 86 to 22 for the second round but the raised track caused problems for several and just seven came forward to the final jump-off. And it was tense.
Will Fletcher was the only rider with two in the final barrage and took an early lead with his first ride, Tessa Bremner’s Memphis V/D Vaart. But Guy Williams – making a quick trip from Hickstead, where he claimed a winning double – wiped more than five sec from the time with Tom Williams’ ultra-careful and scopey Colestus seven-year-old mare Chilli.
It would seem Guy’s round would take the winning spot, but Chilli lost a little time in the air and Bex Mason found a quicker route with David Fudge’s seven-year-old home-bred mare Vancurtis (Vangelis S/William Curtis) to slice off an incredible three sec.
“I don’t know where I gained the time,” she said, after realising a long-term ambition of David’s to qualify a home-bred for the prestigious Foxhunter final. “This mare is incredible, she has the biggest heart.”
Will had to settle for third and just missed out on HOYS but takes a Foxhunter Masters ticket at the National Championships along with Danielle Cuomo, the only other treble clear on Quality Street III, and fifth-placed Caroline March aboard Postmaster.
Maisie Drea emerged triumphant form a field of a 130+ to take the top HOYS ticket in the Connollys Red Mills newcomers second round with the ultra-consistent Caro Z III.
Forty-four jumped initial clears but only 42 came forward and these were further reduced to a final 10 for the jump-off, seventh-drawn Maisie flying into an unbeatable lead to win by 1.58 sec.
“She’s always looking for the next fence and makes my job so easy,” said Maisie on the six-year-old Clintissimo/Renkum Valentino mare she bought in Lancashire two years ago.
Alex Thompson claimed the second qualifying spot with Wendy Hamilton’s Eldorado Van De Zeshoek nine-year-old Temple Bruer Amie.
“She’s careful, gaining confidence all the time and has come on quickly since Christmas,” said Alex.
Louise Whitaker rode Ivan into third with Chloe Gunning and Reenmore Chatterbox also providing a treble clear for fourth. Joe Fernyhough’s opener with Calcourt Particle took fifth to make up the five accessing the newcomers Masters at Stoneleigh in August and another qualifying chance.
Danielle Farnsworth claimed a convincing win in the summer 1.45m grand prix with Eline IX, but it was not without pressure. Danielle was the only one from 26 starters to jump clear in the first round, but under A9 rules five come forward to the jump-off carrying their faults, and as last to go, she had to jump a clear or a fast four to win.
“It took some jumping. I couldn’t go too steady in case I hit a fence, but she was amazing,” said Danielle, on the Numero Uno 10-year-old.
Mennell Watson jumped into second with Helen van Heyningen’s Whisper In The Wind with Yazmin Davis and Zanbowa Z in third. Eoin Gallagher rode Flugel M into fourth and Harry Bateman was fifth on Granby.
Three speedy ladies claimed the top two in the speed and power, Kerry Brennan and the ever-eager Wellington M flying into the top spot by 0.42 sec. Chloe Reynolds claimed second on Grenadier Volo and Faye Adams finished third on Demograaf in the 48-strong 1.40m competition. Harry Bateman guided Zuniek VD Tojopehoeve Z into fourth with Kate Ellison fifth on Bayjing and Dale Burnham slotted Doriena into sixth.
The girls held all the aces in day three’s 1.40m, Chloe and Grenadier Volo clinching the top spot by 0.23 sec over Kate and Bayjing in second while Faye filled third aboard Demograaf. Chelsea Skelton finished fourth on Caramba and Charlotte Ash was fifth on Ideal III.
Maisie also headed a 1.30m with Kinkeen Diamond with 1.73 sec to spare over Ashlea Silk-Jones and Valentina B. Georgia Lovett was third on What A Kaschin K ahead of Faye Adams aboard Jackpot VI and Ashlea on second ride Casarella Nobile.
Nonetheless, Ashlea came to the fore in day one’s 1.30m with the Valentino 10-year-old Valentina, winning by just 0.07 sec from Jake Elliott with Django Blue. Chelsea and Caramba finished third and Ben Clark’s Jancovica was fourth.
NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around