Flair, style, daring and speed – the concluding Bolesworth 2* grand prix had it all as Annabel Shields landed the title with panache on Creevagh Carisma with a red-hot jumping round which couldn’t be beaten.
“She has really stepped up to the bigger classes and just gets better and better,” said Annabel.
Thirteen of the 50 starters accessed the jump-off with the 10 first round clears joined by two on time faults only and the fastest of the four-faulters. But clears were the order of the day and six provided double clears to take the top prizes.
Despite a very new partnership of two weeks, Louise Simpson set a competitive target with Charlotte Platt’s home-bred 11-year-old Verdi stallion Jenson 55 but two horses later Annabel took the class by storm.
Making full use of Carisma’s huge stride, Annabel easily took out a stride down the first distance of one to two and kept moving, slicing corners without breaking stride.
“She has a big stride which really helped on saving time as there was quite a bit of galloping between the fences, and I trust her,” said Annabel, who has ridden the Irish-bred Camiro De Haar Z nine-year-old for the past 15 months but only recently purchased her from Victoria Gibson.
Anthony Condon put in a serious challenge with the Hales family’s Zurich 10-year-old Zira VH Kapelhof Z but could only come within half a sec to slot into second spot ahead of Louise.
Jake Saywell claimed fourth on Havinia Van De Roshoeve with Jackson Reed-Stephenson in fifth on Exception and Angelie von Essen claimed sixth with Esprinesch.
Adrian Whiteway riding “The best young horse I have ever had’ landed the seven-year-old title with the big-jumping Cooley Network.
Twenty of the 53 starters contended the jump-off but none were a match for Adrian as he claimed the class with almost two sec in hand on Selina Milnes’ Irish-bred Boswell Mr Heartbreaker/Coronado gelding.
“He’s been clear all week and is very talented, we think a lot of him, although he can be difficult but I know if he’s fresh he’s probably at his best,” said Adrian, who has ‘Scooby’ qualified for the HOYS grade C and is hoping for a Lanaken wildcard.
“The course took some jumping and when I turned back to fence three I was a bit off but he just picked up and found it easy.”
Ireland’s Ian Fives took second on Horinde H with Simon Crippen aboard Premier Titanium in third. Ben Walker was fourth on Heidiemorka ahead of fifth-placed James Smith’s HBF-Delmar and Jess Dimmock in sixth with Haitske. Laura Mantel beat the winning time with more than two sec in hand but a rail down dropped Muna VD Bisschop into seventh while William Rekert took the Lanaken place at the world breeding championships for the best British-bred on Hot Bluebird (Plot Blue/Heartbreaker) with clear and four for 11th place.
Only four out of the possible 83 entries jumped clear every day to take a share of the £4,000 bonus – Adrian and Cooley Network, Ben and Heidiemorka (Baltic VDL/Indoctro), James on HBF-Delmar (Double Up 2/Indoctro) and Jess with Haitske (Glasgow/Flower).
Matt Sampson was in flying form for a victory double on the final day with 2* 1.35m and six-year-old wins.
Matt jumped into the spotlight with the scopey British-bred Ivory to take the prestigious Windmill Farm Estate six-year-old title.
Twenty-nine of the 55 starters jumped initial clears to make it all about the clock over the Raf Suarez designed track, but Matt had no worries on the ultra-careful Don VHP Z/Cartogran mare Ivory, winning with 0.29 sec in hand from a late draw.
She’s and out-and-out winner and just keeps getting better,” said Matt, on the mare who won the Welsh Masters six-year-old and has topped several age classes on the continent.
Owned by racehorse trainer Sean Conway, Ivory was purchased for his partner Helen Ray as a four-year-old and she soon recognised Ivory was ‘far too talented’ for her. He mare qualified for Lanaken’s world breeding championships as a five-year-old with Joe Trunkfield with Matt taking over the reins in March.
“The class was of a very high standard which gave the course-builder plenty to think about,” said Matt. “We’ll keep her ticking over before Lanaken with smaller classes without any pressure. She really is one for the future and never disappoints.”
Pippa Funnell had to settle for second and third with the home-breds Billy Marmite (Billy Mexico/Vechta) and Billy Serafina (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Billy Congo) and Alex Hempleman rode Jammy Dodger (Vagabond De La Pomme/Heartbreaker) into fourth. Charlotte Ash took fifth with Irma Riende with James Shore taking sixth and a Lanaken ticket on MEC Look At Me. Phillip Miller took seventh and ninth on Klaris Yee-Hah and Don Royale, sandwiching Ruby Fryer into eighth on Boss Z and Declan Irvine provided the steadiest of the double clears for 10th on Iggy XX.
Six horses jumped clear every day to claim £666 as their share of the bonus – Matt and Ivory, Pippa with Billy Marmite and Billy Serafina, Alex with Jammy Dodger and Phillip on Brendon Stud’s home-breds Klaris Yee-Hah (Don VHP Z/Caretino Glory) and Don Royale (Don VHP Z/Orville).
Matt flew into the top spot of the 87-strong John Whitaker International 2* 1.35m two-phase with the aptly-named nine-year-old Firefly W (Nabab De Reve/Voltaire) with 0.68 sec to spare.
“It was a fast class and took some winning, he’s a great horse,” he said.
A delighted Amanda Bywater guided the British-bred nine-year-old mare Triple Twist into second with Zak Beesley and Sharon Whiteway’s Ultima in third. The clears came thick and fast with Louise Saywell in fourth on PLS Halo Diamond, Jackson Reed-Stephenson netted fifth on Casparow and Allana Clutterbuck picked up sixth with Urlevent Du Bary.
Jasmin Clark headed a two-way decider on new ride of six weeks Bellelulu D’Aubigny with more than two sec in hand to take the children-on-horses under 16 title.
“We’re a new partnership and she’s still in newcomers and green but she really gives me confidence – she helped me out at the second last fence when we went in a bit deep,” said Jasmin, 12, on the eight-year-old mare.
A winner earlier this week, Matilda Lanni had to settle for second on Dream Du Toultia Z.
Annabel Shields also topped the 20-horse seven-year-old consolation aboard Cartender (Cartoon/Nintender) by almost five sec. Dee Anderson took second on Harvey and Harriet Nuttall slotted Black Storm OL into third with the steadiest of the double clears.
Ben Clark claimed the 24-strong six-year-old consolation on Alvescot Expressive (Alvescot Excellence/Ouchka III) with 1.18 sec in hand over Chris Smith on Imoto II (Dexter R/Ircolando) in second with Abbie Bevan’s No Limit in third.
Text © Jumping Around/Photos courtest TSM & Spidge Event Photography