Holly Smith gallops to a Liverpool win
Holly Smith posted a fast-paced, exciting round to head a thrilling jump-off on Denver for victory in the 4* 1.50m to conclude day two at the Theraplate Liverpool International Horse Show.
Ten of the 31 starters made it through to a race against the clock but Holly and the 11-year-old Denver (Memphis/Chico’s Boy) – a former eventer with Constance Copestake until joining Holly five months ago – proved a class apart. They landed the £7,200 top prize with more than a second in hand and provided further evidence of the horse’s top potential. The horse was still in Foxhunter grade at the beginning of 2019.
“He’s an absolute freak of a horse, he’s so game and athletic. I haven’t had him for long but I don’t know what we’d do without him – the sky’s the limit,” said Holly. “I’m hoping everything goes to plan and we both continue to enjoy our jumping and apart from that, we won’s get too upset or excited.”
British-based Irishman Richard Howley was 1.28 sec in arrears for second on the Dollar Dela Pierre nine-year-old Arlo De Blondel and just 0.01 sec ahead of William Whitaker in third aboard the 15-year-old RMF Echo. Max Routledge guided Ebriolita into fourth with Jack Whitaker in fifth on Scenletha and John Whitaker provided the steadiest of the double clears for seventh with Unick Du Francport.
Paul Sims was denied victory by just 0.06 sec on the Mermus R nine-year-old Second City in the eventing grand prix.
Three sec for each fence down over a mix of showjumping and cross-country fences in a course designed by Capt Mark Phillips. Paul posted a clear but Irish challengers almost made it a green isle whitewash with three of the top four places despite picking up three sec penalties; Padriag McCarthy just having the edge on Rosemaber Lancuest to take the £2,500 first prize. Emma Hyslop-Webb – based at Vale View EC in Leicestershire – finished fifth on Pennlands Douglas.
"It is a class that really captures the imagination. There was a great atmosphere, and the crowd love it. There was a great buzz,” said Padraig. “When you put showjumping fences into a cross-country course, there are always going to be questions. And everyone was tempted by the joker at the end.”
Text © Jumping Around/Photo TSM/LIHS