Harriet Nuttall found the shortest route to take victory in the unusual Take Your Own Line jump-off with Galway Bay Jed.
Twelve competitors provided first round clears and, as the title suggests, riders had to devise their own route over seven fences including one double and playing to their own and their horse’s strengths for the jump-off. Different routes emerged with Harriet – drawn last after producing the fastest round from round one – deciding to take a completely different line from early leader Robert Whitaker with Catwalk.
And Harriet finished to a roar of applause as she crossed the line 0.10 sec quicker than Robert on the Romanov/Lux 11-year-old Jed.
“I’m absolutely speechless!” exclaimed Harriet. “It’s my first time competing in the international classes here at HOYS and to come here and win is just incredible. Jed seems to like jumping indoors. I thought that going last would be a good thing, but instead I got quite confused watching the other riders’ lines and was contemplating taking the same route as Robert. In the end I decided to stick to my guns and if it worked it worked, and if it didn’t it didn’t. Luckily it did! It’s surreal to be honest; I’ve watched Horse of the Year Show since I was tiny and I’ve competed here fairly unsuccessfully on ponies, so this year is certainly going a lot better. I’m going to be saving him [Jed] now for the Grand Prix on Sunday night.”
Robert finished second ahead of The Netherlands’ Hendrik-Jan Schuttert on Balboa HS. Loise Saywell eased Jalellah OL into fourth with Georgia Tame fifth on Jeff Ten Halven and Michael Duffy filled sixth spot aboard Casis.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around