Louise Whitaker claims the 1* grand prix in Valencia
Louise Whitaker claimed victory in the 1* grand prix with Ivan in Valencia, Spain.
Nineteen initially tackled the 1.35m track with just five returning for the jump-off, Louise and the Namelus R/Damiro six-year-old taking a commanding win with the only double clear. Lauren Edwards was the fastest four-faulter in round one to take sixth on Kesara.
Georgia Tame continued with her flying form to head the 2* 1.35m on Z7 Canya Dance. Only 12 contended this speed class but there was no catching Georgia and she topped the class on the Can Ya Makan eight-year-old mare with 2.45 sec in hand. David McPherson slotted Kurly V/D Gorten into third almost seven sec in arrears.
Brits filled four of the top five places in the 23-entry seven-year-old 1.35m with Jane Annett claiming two of them. Jane headed the seven-horse decider on Quissini LS (Quidam De Revel/Cassini II) with just 0.09 sec to spare over Lauren Edwards and the Breitling LS/Sir Corland mare Breit Star. John Whitaker posted the steadiest of the double clears for third on Arge (Argento/Chellano) and Jane filled fifth spot with four faults aboard Cliasira BH.
David on Carl-Heinz B and Louise with Special Warrior were best Brits in the 58-strong world ranking 2* 1.45m grand prix, the pair posting double clears in the 16-horse decider to finish eighth and ninth. Four faults knocked Georgia on Quintella and Remy Ellis aboard Flinton CN to 12th and 14th.
Bumble Thomas raced to the top in the 1* 1.20m speed with Quantum Treat in Peelbergen in Kronenberg, The Netherlands.
Forty-three contended this class but Bumble outpaced them all to win by 2.01 sec on the Canto/Quantum 13-year-old.
Bumble also picked up eighth in the 55-horse 2* 1.35/1.40m two-phase with the Indoctro 14-year-old Aramis 1.21 sec behind the pace. Tim Gredley was also double clear on Unex Garcon De Lui for 14th spot.
Brits filled the top two places of the 15-horse 1* 1.10m speed with Nathan Bull leading the way on Janice, the Kannan/Epilot nine-year-old winning by 0.55 sec. Meredith Wilson steered the nine-year-old Conteur mare Casaretta into second spot.
Spencer Roe and Louise Saywell featured in the concluding 2* 1.45m grand prix final stages. Only nine of the 61 starters accessed the jump-off with Spencer on the 10-year-old Baloubet Du Rouet stallion Eclips and Louise aboard the 11-year-old Jalellah OL (Chacco-Blue/Baloubet Du Rouet) posting double clears for third and fourth respectively, finishing more than three sec behind the winner, Brazil’s Thiago Ribas da Costa on Kassandra Van’t Heike.
Ellen Whitaker claimed victory in the Equiline youngster cup in Munchen, Germany, with Hulahupe JR. Fifteen contended the seven-year-old two-phase class over a 1.40m track with Ellen and VDL Bubalu/Indoctro gelding flying to the top to win by 0.75 sec.
Jason Smith slotted Galaya Van Hof into second in the 47-strong 1.35m speed in Vermezzo, Italy, the 12-year-old mare finishing 0.90 sec behind the winner, Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher on Belcanto.
Jason guided the Obos Quality nine-year-old Queensway Royal into seventh in the 1.45m grand prix, recording a double clear in the 13-horse jump-off 5.41 sec behind the winning time.
And Jason picked up third in the 28-horse 1.20m speed on Cagno, the Casall eight-year-old 2.88 sec off the pace.
Jay Halim jumped into third by a tiny fraction in the 2* 1.35m two-phase with Gentle in Lier Belgium.
Forty-eight contended this class with Jay and the Libero H/Lord Calando seven-year-old finishing just 0.11 sec behind the winning time. Romilly Simmons posted the steadiest of the double clears for 19th on In The Air.
Holly Haig eased Royz into fourth in the 20-strong 1* 1.10m speed, the Last Man’s Hope six-year-old finishing 10 sec off the pace. Claire Salem was also clear on Hennessey De Eros for sixth spot.
Four faults in the first round of the concluding 2* 1.45m grand prix denied Emma Stoker (Kontador VDM), Eoin Gallagher (Davinci VD Bosrand Z) and Jay (Aragon Z) a jump-off chance and they finished 20th, 22nd and 24th. Ireland’s on-form Allen brothers claimed a one-two in the eight-horse decider, younger sibling Harry taking the win on Izzy By Picobello with just 0.03 sec over older brother Harry with Go To Fortuna.
In Prague, Czech Republic, an easy clear in the 40-strong 2* 1.35m speed handed Lucinda Roche and the Boss eight-year-old Gangsters Paradise seventh place 5.60 sec off the pace.
The Shanghai Swans team wrote their names into the history books - soaring to the GCL Super Cup win in a dramatic €6.4 million six-team Final. They added eight faults in round two to their initial four in round one to finish on a team total of 12 faults and claim a commanding nine faults in hand.
Daniel Deusser with Jasmien vd Bisschop, Peder Fredricson with H&M Christian K and Pius Schwizer with Cortney Cox delivered an epic two rounds of action amid pressure-cooker tension in Prague’s packed O2 arena.
Daniel Deusser of the Swans spoke of what the prestigious victory meant to the team and how they had been planning throughout 2019 to take the prestigious trophy: “It was a goal of the season - it’s as simple as that. The whole year you’re planning to qualify for this event and every day there is pressure. The crowd, the whole arena, everything together here is fantastic organisation.”
Teammate Peder Fredricson said: “I didn’t believe it. The pressure was on. It was really exciting competition. Three riders in each team with no drop score, so much could happen. The best horses are here with the best riders, and it was two big courses. It was hard work but we’re finally in the spot we wanted.”
Pius Schwizer said: “We have a good team - Peder and Daniel are two of the best riders so it’s a great result.” The team paid tribute to their team mates Shane Sweetnam, Alexandra Thornton and Kim Emmen.
The Monaco Aces took second place and last year’s winners Madrid in Motion made a phenomenal comeback to finish third.
Luck wasn’t on the side of the Brits on the last day in Rouen, France. Harriet Nuttall and Galway Bay Jed returned on four faults in the first round of the 50-strong 4* 1.60m grand prix to take 19th place. France’s Max Thourin headed the 12-horse jump-off with 0.70 sec in hand on Utopie Villelongue.
And Joe Stockdale on Cacharel, Guy Williams with Cupido and Jack Whitaker aboard Elucar VE each picked up one frustrating time fault alongside six others, nine riders in total, in round one of the 67-entry 1.45m to finish 19th, 22nd and 24th.
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