Emma-Jo Slater seizes another Scope Festival championship

An on-form Emma-Jo Slater claimed her second championship of the show with a flying round on Kim Barzilay’s Up To Date/Clinton nine-year-old Code Breaker. 

It was no mean feat as 21 competitors contended a hot jump-off.  Emma-Jo had taken an early lead with the talented 2019 British novice and discovery double champion Kimba Castello but riders dared with tighter lines and they ended up an eventual fifth. 

Nevertheless, Emma-Jo returned to push the more experienced Code Breaker to break the 30 second barrier to take victory.

“She is so lovely, an angel, anyone could ride her and she’s such a trier,” said Emma-Jo, on the mare bought from Brightwells Sales as a four-year-old.

It was a great class for Team Kimba Stud as Jassy Pyke – who bought Wood Field Clover from Kim two years ago, liveries at Kim’s stables and travelled together in the same lorry, was just 0.12 sec in arrears for second.  The pair had already been in the limelight with victory in the minor veterans championship.

Jessica Hewitt finished third on JJ’s Impressive with Sinead Cox taking fourth aboard Valtaire.

Elsi Jacques was another to double up and after taking the pony 1.20m title on Trevoulter Ladies Man, she claimed the Graham Heath Equestrian under 16 championship with Da Vinci V.

Eight contended the jump-off with Elsi using her final draw to win the class.  The Carthino Z/Indoctro 11-year-old Da Vinci was purchased for Elsi’s mother Danielle Piecha but she suffered from a broken back and is now expecting a baby so handed the reins to Elsi.

“I’m allowed to ride him now but mum will soon have him back,” said Elsi.  “He’s amazing on flying strides and is so springy.  The jump-off suited us as there were no tight turns and I could trust him to gallop and he has such a big stride for a little horse.”

Alice Weightman was more than two sec in arrears for second on Cindy VI with Iwan Carpenter and Merllyns Chacco B in third.  Elsi also finished fourth with Sir Nunn Diamond Lad, Alex Attwood took fifth on Zilanto and Ellie Burrell-Squibb was sixth aboard Zaronda II.

Sienna White scooped the POYS 1.10m Elite Debut title with a late round on Sky Bonita I, an 18-year-old mare with Spanish bloodlines originally bred as a dressage horse.

“She didn’t grow and is only 144cm,” said Sienna, 16, who inherited the ride from elder sister Caterina this year.  “She struggles sometimes with distances and I can’t go on a long stride, I have to set her up but she’s the nicest pony.”

Henry Squibb provided the only other double clear to take second on Kilcurry Dawn.  Alice Darcis claimed third on Ruby Trevelyan of Lyonnesse with Ella Cook in fourth aboard Lucky To Be and Tabitha Kyle took fifth on Lickaun Lady.

Henry’s tactics in the pony 1.15m championship with the 13-year-old Sultan Du Bary paid off as he set a competitive standard in the three-way jump-off and drew the others into making mistakes.

“I did all the turns but made sure I didn’t gallop too fast to the last vertical,” said Henry, 13, who finds Sultan is “Really kind and loves moving on to the fences.  He lights up in the ring.”

Tabitha Kyle was up on the clock but hit the last to drop to second on Nightgirl Van Het Sonnoshof Z for second and an early vertical fell for Elsi Jacques with Westward Sunshine to put them third.

Eloise Burden secured the PK Equestrian pony progressive championship with the ultra-consistent five-year-old mare Happy Hero in an eight-pony jump-off.

“She never stops trying and always gives 110%, I can’t fault her,” said Eloise, who won both pony British novice and bronze league finals at the British Showjumping National Championships two weeks earlier.

Poppy Deakin provided the only other double clear with the promising Icaris W for second with Lila Hill and her newly-crowned Swn Y Mor novice champion Oreo Patches in third.  Louise McDonald took fourth on Maily 17 with Elysia Heagren Bond on Beach Lady in fifth. 


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