Laura Renwick claimed victory in the six-bar with the only clear in the fifth and final round on Top Dollar VI to round off Saturday evening in Valence, France.
Fourteen – 11 men pitted against three ladies – initially tackled this class with these cut down to four for the fifth and final round. But Girl Power ruled with Laura – who is 1.70m (5ft 7in) tall – and the Dollar Du Murier 10-year-old Top Dollar (also 1.70m or 16.3hh), the only pair to jump clear over 2.05m. The three other competitors all returned on four faults apiece.
“It’s incredible, he jumped perfectly tonight. He’s extraordinary and the atmosphere and audience were exceptional,” said Laura.
John Whitaker on Sharid, his nephew Jack with Elucar VE and William Funnell aboard Billy Angelette finished on four faults in the fourth round to share fifth place.
Shane Breen jumped to the top in the 4* 1.50m in fine style with Golden Hawk.
Fifty-one contended this world ranking speed class but in typical smooth, deceptively fast style, British-based Irishman Shane eased the Vigo D’Arsouilles 14-year-old stallion into a 0.86 sec win. Laura and the Vigaro 11-year-old Dublin V were almost two sec behind the pace for fourth. A steady round from Anthony Condon on SFS Vincomte picked up one time fault and they finished 13th just ahead of fellow British-based Irishman Michael Duffy in 14th on Egalini.
Jess Mendoza was in contention all the way in the world ranking 3* 1.45m but Dublin tapped out the last to drop them down the order. Twelve of the 44 starters accessed the jump-off with Jess looking for a win on the Cobra 18/Calido I 12-year-old and they were up on the clock by half a sec but the top rail of the final fence fell to put them down to sixth.
Amelie Gachoud jumped into second in the 3* 1.30m speed with The Precious One in a 27-strong class, the Master Imp 13-year-old finishing two sec behind the pace. Four faults dropped Laura Renwick and Maverick down to 12th and Jess also made one mistake on Quidams Rubenbos S Z to take 16th.
Brits claimed two of the top three places in the 1* 1.25m grand prix, Christina Gachoud in second just ahead of Red Morgan. Eight of the 20 starters reached the jump-off with Christina slotting the Diarado 10-year-old Dacquar CC 1236 into the runner-up spot 1.88 sec behind the winner. Red was also double clear on the nine-year-old mare Kwikly for third.
Jemma Kirk jumped to victory in the 2* 1.45m at the Stephex Masters in Brussels with Quelisto.
Forty-two initially contended this class but only two jumped clear over the challenging track with Jemma going head-to-head with Belgium’s Jan Vermeiren on Le Blue Diamond V’T Ruytershof and both returned four faults second time out. But Jemma was slightly quicker, speeding up after hitting the vertical going into the double and easing ahead and into the top spot by just 0.16 sec.
Germany’s Daniel Deusser retired top ride Cornet D’Amour in an emotional ceremony and went on to win the 5* 1.50m with Calisto Blue.
William Whitaker claimed his second win in a week at Sentower Park, Opglabbeek in Belgium.
A 1.40m winner 24 hours earlier with RMF Echo, this time he guided RMF Hortensia into the top spot of the 2* 1.40m two-phase. Sixty-five tackled this class with the on-form William outpacing them all, holding off all challenges to take the class by 1.47 sec on the 10-year-old Heartbeat mare.
William jumped into third in the 2* 1.45m with RMF Chacco Top. Eighty-two contended this world ranking grand prix qualifier with 14 participating in the jump-off, William and the Chacco-Blue/Graf Top 10-year-old crossing the line 0.66 sec behind the winner. Eight faults dropped Peter Moloney and Compelling Z down to 14th.
Emily Mason jumped an easy clear to take ninth on Fabulous in the 45-strong 1* 1.25m speed more than 10 sec off the pace. And Emily jumped a steady double clear in the 73-horse 2* 1.35m two-phase for 16th on Fiolita.
One time fault denied Tamarin Christie a jump-off chance in the 26-strong 1* 1.15m and she finished ninth on King Kannan Z.
Morgan Carpenter guided the six-year-old Izacalve into a steady clear in the five-year-old 1.15m/six-year-old 1.25m for 16th more than seven sec behind the winning time.
Jodie Hall-McAteer featured in the big class of the day in Gijon, Spain, as one of a tiny elite to reach the jump-off of the 5* 1.60m.
She was one of only five from 67 starters to jump a first round clear and access the jump-off but four faults in round two dropped Jodie and the Stozenberg 10-year-old Salt’N Peppa down to fourth place. Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar took the win on Seringat.
Helen Tredwell rode Ann and Colin Garratt’s Sebastian VII into third in the 5* 1.40m accumulator. Fifty started in this class with Helen and the Unbelievable Darco/Animo 13-year-old finishing almost two sec behind the winner, Sweden’s Marcus Westergren on Faya Sao Miguel.
Ellen Whitaker claimed victory in the seven-year-old grand prix and the leading young horse title with Jess Crane and the Bullock family’s Hulahupe JR.
Eight of the 27 starters contended the jump-off with Ellen and the VDL Bubalu/Indoctro seven-year-old clinching the top spot with 1.25 sec to spare. Jodie Hall-McAteer also reached the jump-off but eight faults dropped Mademoiselle-A down to seventh.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around/Sportfot