Stacey Cook maxed on her final draw to take the British Showjumping Silver League championship with Gigant.
Eight of 13 came forward to the jump-off and made an exciting finale as times became progressively faster as riders dared. But Stacey stormed down to the final fence on the Indoctro 12-year-old to win by 0.69 sec.
“We’ve had such a good season,” said Stacey, who returned to competition earlier this year after having her first baby. “I couldn’t believe it when I qualified both my horses for HOYS in the same year. I decided to let Gigant have the limelight because Ninola won the Winter Silver League championship.”
Gigant was purchased by Cambridgeshire-based Stacey eight years ago.
“He’s so consistent and a lovely mover and I’ve produced him myself so its rewarding he keeps on giving,” added Stacey, who fits in training her horses round her day job as an equestrian instructor.
“I hadn’t seen anyone else’s round or even heard how they had got on so I went in a bit blind, but I just wanted to do the best we could and was quite surprised when they said we had won. Next we’ll try some 1.40m classes and see how we get on.”
Amy Carnet guided the 10-year-old Banderas into second with Steph Gunn providing the only other double clear for third on Quastor Du Buisson Z.
Surrey-based teenager Serena Kullich claimed the British Showjumping Bronze League title with Cooley River.
The pressure was on as Serena, 19, was the final rider of just three who made it to the jump-off and a fast clear was required. But cool-headed Serena flew down to the final fence to win by an impressive 3.94 sec on the Creevagh Grey Rebel 11-year-old.
“He jumped so well in there. It’s been a difficult year juggling my A-levels and keeping up with training and there were only two qualifiers left after my exams,” said Serena. Luckily, we made it to Wales and West in June just one week after my final exam and that’s where we picked up our HOYS ticket.”
Serena started riding aged three on a Shetland pony and this wasn’t her first visit to HOYS – she finished sixth in the pony Foxhunter final in 2016.
Last time I was here, I wanted to go for a clear and finished sixth; this year I wanted to ride for the time as well and I can’t believe we did it!” she added.
Cooley River is Serena’s first horse following her pony years and she has more ambitions for 2020. – “I can’t wait to aim for the Silver League next year.”
Holly Johnstone’s standard-setting clear with the Crespo VDL eight-year-old Gogo Bantos finished second and four faults dropped Vicky Mitson and Science Supplements Royal Gent down to third. Julia Nelson was the fastest of the four-faulters from round one to take fourth on Gin.