Eloise Squibb was crowned pony newcomers masters champion on day two of the British Showjumping National Championships with Rudgeway Maestro.
Eloise only got together with the 13-year-old Maestro two months ago but they have quickly developed a rapport and secured HOYS qualification in both pony newcomer and Foxhunter finals. Drawn early in the jump-off, Eloise knew speed was of the essence.
“There were fast competitors behind me, I knew I had to be quick,” said Eloise.
Glain Watkin Jones claimed second on Trevor H with Darcey Foss on Ilston Brave Dancer in third. Daisy Williams slotted Bermudez BDA into fourth with Tegan Rowlands taking fifth on Brooklyn IV and Sophie Huckvale finished sixth aboard Melrose Mist.
If your name was Eloise, the odds shortened considerably for a win. Eloise Burden kept her cool to emerge triumphant in the large 94-entry pony British novice final to take victory by the narrowest of margins with Happy Hero.
The jump-off was tense and hard fought with Bicester-based Eloise edging ahead to win by just 0.01 sec on the five-year-old mare Happy Hero – a winner earlier in the year at Pony of the Year Show.
“I thought my time was beatable and it was extremely close,” said Eloise, who is in her final pony year.
Ellise Souter guided Carraun Phaidin into second with Evie Tighe’s Orchids Mila in third ahead of fourth-placed Amy Morris and RS Cassini. Sam Hitchen eased Bearwood Barney into fifth and Jessica Cunnington filled sixth place with Crossowen Papanui.
Lucy Gilbertson improved on her second place in the National 138cm final 24 hours earlier to go one better and take victory in the silver league 138cm final with Airbourne Freddie.
Six from a start-list of 26 contended the jump-off but Lucy was quick from the off, executing a risky turn after the first and picking up speed as she progressed on the 16-year-old Freddie. And she remained ahead despite the challenges with nearest rival Alice Crowley settling for second on The Agent 1.64 sec in arrears.
Lucy and Freddie have posted consistent results throughout the season recording 10 wins in Graham Heath Equestrian 128/138cm qualifiers to reach the National Championships at Stoneleigh and compete in the silver league final.
“The other classes we entered are just for fun, this is what we came here for,” said Lucy’s father Steve.
Alice finished second on The Agent with Anouska Loveridge in third on Arrowhead Quiver. Poppy Deakin eased Icaris W into fourth ahead of Sophie Paxton’s Chapelmill Choirboy and Izzy Doyle with Bobby Sox in fifth and sixth.
Ted Holt outjumped all rivals to take the silver league 128cm final on Ashurst Quicksilver III. Many riders found difficulty in the strong track set by course-designer Jason Abbs but Ted rode a confident round on the 13-year-old mare to supply the sole clear round and take the title.
Ted, 12, who started showjumping two years ago, was delighted.
“I’ve been waiting to win a rug ever since I started in British Showjumping, I’m over the moon to have won today,” he said.
Oosha Moondi claimed second spot on Oliver Twist VI and Hollie Gerken was third aboard Black Jack III.
Mia Clegg-Ingram jumped to the top in the stepping stones 138cm final with Parc Rob to ensure her seven hour journey from West Yorkshire was worthwhile.
Only 10 of the 57 starters delivered first round clears to access the jump-off but as riders risked all in round two, their hopes faded as poles fell and just three provided a double clear. But Mia, 12, had no problem with the ever-reliable Parc Rob to take the title by half a sec.
“I thought the course looked quite big and very technical, but Rob is such a keen jumper and never touches a pole that I was confident in our chances in winning the class,” she said.
Ruby Birchenough had to settle for second place with her opening round on Glenwood Stud Dark Emerald and Emily Flockett finished third on Sponge Bob. Phoeve Green took fourth aboard Annandale Royal Warrant with Lauren Wilkins in fifth on Stormin Norman and Rory Macfadyen was sixth on We Are On Our Way.
Hollie Gerken’s efforts in a hotly-contended jump-off had spectators gasping as she raced to the top spot of the stepping stone 128cm final on the 19-year-old mare Dimples Dilema.
Thirty of the 75 starters returned initial clears to make for a strong jump-off but Hollie, 9, breezed through the tight turns to win in style.
“If I miss a turn she makes up for it with how fast she goes between fences,” said Hollie on her “awesome pony.”
Bella Wild took second place on Pegaz with Alfie Diaper on Euro Magic in third. Persia Calderbank was fourth on Bylands Music Man ahead of Brooke Harland’s Farchynys Sienna and Lily Watchman on Ardlea Star in fifth and sixth.
Text © Jumping Around/Photos courtesy 1st Class Images