Max Routledge was in fine form to land the winter grand prix at Hartpury’s winter classic with Mandy Hall’s Ebriolita.
Forty-three competitors stepped up to tackle course-designer Krissy Spiller’s 1.40m grand prix track and 12 found all the right answers to access the jump-off. And Max made full use of the nippy Dutch-bred 10-year-old mare speedy style to jump into the top spot by 1.28 sec. Will Fletcher slotted the Salute 13-year-old Persimmon into second just 0.02 sec ahead of Julie Andrews in third on Ayrton IV. Emily Llewellyn on Sue Evan’s big-jumping Sieco produced the only other double clear for fourth. Ben Walker finished fifth on Zirko Ni Um Z with four faults.
Jessica Botham looks like she is gearing up for a busy Royal International Horse Show 2020 as she claimed a second victory in the winter B and C qualifier in three weeks. At Arena UK, Jess won with Guadelupe and here at Hartpury, she won with Herodes GPH.
The 51 starters were reduced to 24 for round two but Jess was in command, taking the win by 0.51 sec on the Andiamo/Concorde seven-year-old at their second show together.
Angie Thompson is also Hickstead-bound after steering the 17-year-old Viedor R (Hors La Loi II/Amaretto I) into second place. Just 0.35 sec denied John Crippen a qualifying place and he had to settle for third with Galant IV. Jess also picked up fourth on Fantastico C and Daisy McKinlay filled fifth on Darjeeling Desir just ahead of Gemma Ellison’s Cynthia Flint in sixth.
Youth ruled in the SEIB winter novice qualifier as Devon-based teenagers Oliver Tuff and Jake Myers filled the top two places to be guaranteed a Hickstead finalist appearance. Twenty-one of the original 41 competitors posted first round clears and it was all about the clock as they chased the two coveted Hickstead places. But no-one could match Oliver, 16, on Galacia II, a British-bred eight-year-old daughter of Spartacus he has ridden for just two weeks. Jake, 15, galloped into second just 0.14 sec in arrears on the Dutch-bred eight-year-old mare Gerlina Van De Linthorst. Jake Rose was a further 0.99 sec adrift for third on Elina V with Jessica Burke’s Iron Lady SRW and Mary-Jo Crawford on Elmside Daisybeach in fourth and fifth places.
Ben Walker got the show off to a flying start with two of the top three places in the winter 1.35m, winning on Fygo Von D’Ouwe Grint and taking third aboard Deezie-Katine Weering. Twenty-four of the 44 starters posted first round clears although only 20 opted to take part in the jump-off and it was hot with just 0.21 sec between the top three. Ben flew into the top spot by just 0.08 sec on the Indoctro/Pierrot nine-year-old Fygo and brought the Numero Uno 11-year-old Deezie into third, sandwiching Adrian Whiteway and the Nathos R 14-year-old Anytime II into second. Fourteen provided double clears with Chloe Reynolds taking fourth on Grenadier Volo and Emma Slater eased Ruxton Hullabalou into fifth.
Ben and Fygo almost made it a double but had to accept second place in the 1.40m as James Whitaker forged ahead to win on the Candello Z/Lord 11-year-old Caloro Ex Z with 1.60 sec in hand in the 11-horse decider. Millie Allen guided Quinu De Pravia into third ahead of fourth-placed William Funnell on Billy Diamo. Julie Welles was fifth on Constable II and Charlie Jones provided the steadiest of the double clears for sixth aboard Dexter XI.
James also topped the 29-strong NAF Superflex 1.20m single-phase on the 11-year-old Come Back Didi Des 4 AS with 1.28 sec in hand over Ben Bick in second on Marieke VDR with Poppy Stronge in third aboard Tullyreavy Its Me.
Keith Doyle jumped ahead in the 1.30m single-phase with the Ard VDL Douglas/Harlequin Du Carel 13-year-old Harlequin Dunraven to take the win by just 0.07 sec over Ben on Titan II. Brothers Olli on Horst Van De Mispelaere and Will Fletcher with Tiger Bright filled third and fourth spots.
The more experienced grade B horses filled the top four places in the Blue Chip Dynamic B and C with Danika Johnsey Plumley taking victory by 1.63 sec on the Canturo/Carnute 12-year-old TJ Hamira in the 25-horse jump-off. Jasmin Head rode Ma Cherie Z into second with Lila Bremner on Memphis V/D Vaart in third. Adrian Whiteway pushed Heathfield Merlin into fourth and Nicola Hill was fifth on MGH Bingo Boy.
Chloe Reynolds secured to the top spot of the 41-strong DDS Demolition 1.25m single-phase with 1.35 sec to spare on the 13-year-old Luidam daughter April IV. Olli Fletcher slotted Horst Van De Mispelaere into second and ahead of Ben Raistrick’s Benevita in fourth. Nici Wilson claimed fifth on Naomi 55 and Nathan Bull finished sixth with Milton Van Vrijhern.
Nathan and the Cupido seven-year-old Milton seized victory in the 12-horse jump-off of the winter grade C with 0.79 sec in hand. Ben Bick and Marieke VDR claimed second ahead of Emma Slater on CFS Roys Flamenco in third. Sammie Coffin slotted Bless VDH Z into fourth and Julie Andrews claimed fifth with the steadiest of the double clears on How Easy.
Angie Thompson scored a double on the final day and after winning the newcomers by 1.62 sec on the Armani nine-year-old With Flair, she claimed two of the top three places in the Blue Chip Karma performance, winning with Havanna. Seven of the 25 starters reached the jump-off with Angie and the Crespo VDL seven-year-old winning by just 0.01 of a sec. Jake Myers guided Calcourt Qualvados into second with Angie also taking third on Donna Sion. Andrew Williams was fourth aboard Holly Angel and the Milli Cornock provided the steadiest of the jump-off clears for fifth with Just Do It.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy British Showjumping/Sarah Radford