Brits dominated the 2* 1.35m speed with three of the top four places in Valencia, Spain, led by Georgia Tame.
Only 14 contended this class with Georgia taking victory on the Canya Makan eight-year-old Z7 Canya Dance by 1.93 sec. Lauren Edwards steered the seven-year-old Breit Star (Breitling LS/Sir Corland) into second and David McPherson finished fourth on Carl-Heinz B.
John Whitaker eased Unick Du Francport into fifth in the world ranking 2* 1.45m grand prix. Twelve of the 52 starters reached the jump-off with John and the Zandor 11-year-old finishing 4.69 sec behind the winner. Olli Fletcher posted the steadiest of the double clears to take seventh on Temple Rebus.
Will Fletcher steered Quidde Du Buisson Z into second in the 16-strong 2* 1.40m two-phase, the Quartz II Adelheide Z/Zandor Z 10-year-old finishing 2.56 sec behind the pace.
Twelve of the 23 contenders accessed the jump-off of the 1* grand prix over a 1.35m track with Tania Moody easing Reine Du Very into third 2.47 sec behind the winner, Ireland’s Harriet Cooper on Tuilleadh Uisce Beatha.
Nathan Bull scored a double on the final day at Peelbergen in Kronenberg, The Netherlands.
Thirty-seven contended the 1* 1.20m speed but no-one could catch Nathan and he edged ahead on the Cupido/Utrillo Van De Heffinck seven-year-old Milton Van Vrijhern to win by just 0.03 sec. Bumble Thomas settled for second on the 13-year-old Quantum Treat (Canto/Quantum).
Nathan jumped to the top in the 21-horse 1* 1.10m speed with nine-year-old Janice (Kannan/Epilot) with 0.24 sec to spare. Meredith Wilson was more than three sec in arrears for third on the Conteur 11-year-old Casaretta and Tess Carmichael was also clear for ninth on Chisinau W Z.
Louise Saywell joined the 20-strong jump-off of the 62-horse 2* 1.45m grand prix and posted another clear second time out to take fourth on Golden Wave OL, the Nartago/Limbo 11-year-old mare finishing 2.59 sec behind the winner, The USA’s Wilton Porter on Delinquent JX.
An easy double clear in the 65-strong 2* 1.35/1.40m two-phase handed Bumble Thomas and Ciandro 14th place three sec off the pace.
Scott Brash jumped into third in the Stuttgart leg of the Longines FEI world cup in Germany with Hello Senator.
As always, German course designer Christa Jung didn’t make it easy for the 39 starters in the first round, but the quality of the field ensured an 11-horse jump-off against the clock that had the crowd sitting on the edges of their seats.
Ireland’s Richard Howley and Chinook led the way in the jump-off with a fast round in 45.56 seconds but leaving a fence on the floor to finish an eventual seventh. Third into the ring, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat was clear but a little slower when breaking the beam but nonetheless took an early lead, and Scott challenged that with a strong run with Hello Senator but was a little off the pace when crossing the line 0.18 sec in arrears.
It was clear Guerdat’s leading time could be beaten when Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot galloped through the finish 0.67 sec faster, however leaving an element of the double on the floor. But as Belgium’s Pieter Devos set off on Apart he wasn’t convinced he would be the man to do it, and when Apart lost his footing on the turn after the wall three from home, he reckoned his chance was definitely gone.
“I watched Steve on the screen and thought this wouldn’t be my day as he was very fast. Then after my slip after the wall I though I wouldn’t be quick enough, but when I rode over the finish line I was – so I’m very, very happy,” said Pieter, after wiping 0.52 sec from the time and recording his second consecutive win in the world cup qualifier here.
World No. 1 and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup champion, Steve Guerdat still leads the Western European League table going into the sixth of the 14 qualifiers in Madrid, Spain, in two weeks’ time, with Pieter Devos in second and Scott in third. Scott has now accumulated 35 points, and with something in the region of 40 normally sufficient to secure one of the top-18 places that will make the cut to the Final, also looks well on the road to the bright lights of the Las Vegas where the 2020 champion will be crowned.
Brits were in contention for the junior grand prix over a 1.40m track and just missed out on Victory at Sentower Park in Opglabbeek, Belgium.
Fourteen of the 50 starters accessed the jump-off with Nicole Lockhead Anderson steering the Flipper D’Elle/Darco eight-year-old Flipper Darco UK Z into second 1.96 sec behind the winner, France’s Rose de Balanda on Imke 111. Antonia Platt was a fraction behind for third on the Canturano eight-year-old Amigo and the jump-off didn’t go to plan for Ella Quigley and she finished 14th with Adermie 52.
Alena Hughes claimed second in the children grand prix with Grannuschka. Ten of the 24 starters reached the jump-off with Alena guiding the eight-year-old Con Chello mare into the runner-up spot 1.24 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Louise Ameeuw on Lover Boy Z. Eight faults in the jump-off dropped Amelie Gachoud and The Precious One down to 10th.
There was no splitting Jake Myers and Tabitha Kyle in the pony 1.15m two-phase as they crossed the finish line in precisely the same time to share the honours.
Forty-two contended this class with Jake on the seven-year-old Macuta and Tabitha aboard Claire Lockhead’s 10-year-old Gangnam Style II in equal first 0.99 sec quicker than their nearest rival. Jodie Burchmore Eames netted fourth on the seven-year-old mare Mighty Mouse W Van Dauwhoeve with Tallulah Plum Mackenzie Smith (Mellerary Bells) and Charlie Rea Nelson (Hoofprint Caleb) posting double clears for ninth and 10th. Laila Carline’s Airflow and Sophie Wicks on Zodianne Van De Doevenbree returned four faults in the second phase to take 13th and 15th.
Amelie returned the steadiest of the clears in the 14-strong children 1.15m speed to take fifth on the seven-year-old mare Coquette Chapotiere almost nine sec off the pace.
The Brits were out of luck in the concluding 45-strong under 25 grand prix and denied a chance in the 11-horse jump-off, Lily Freeman-Attwood on Cor-Leone VD Vlierbeek Z and Chloe Winchester’s BO coming home on four faults in round one for 19th and 20th.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around/Valencia EC & Andreas Pantel