An on-form Tabitha Kyle scored a fantastic double in the 128cm and 138cm titles at the Theraplate Liverpool International Horse Show – repeating her HOYS feat in October.
The statistics are staggering for anyone let alone a 12-year-old with more than 150 wins to her credit and they underpin an outstanding talent.
Winner of the 138cm for the past two years with Lissduff Royal, Tabitha was out for her third win and retain her title – and she did it in style on the Belgian-bred eight-year-old Playboy Van De Zoetewei.
Nine of the 21 starters – Tabitha and Poppy Deakin claiming two apieice – accessed round two against the clock with initial clears but it came down to a battle between Tabitha and Rachel Proudley – friends and rivals throughout 2019.
Tabitha – already with the 128cm title under her belt – left no turn to chance in her advantageous final draw position and fired into the top spot with her HOYS winner Playboy claiming a handsome 2.27 sec in hand.
“I hit the wing pretty hard on my first pony [Lissduff Royal] and that pushed me back in confidence a bit, but as soon as they opened the gate, I just concentrated on my round with my second ride,” said Tabitha. “It’s an amazing feeling – I’m just thrilled to be invited back here again and it has been such a great experience.”
Rachel settled for second on Buttons Two with Lauren Caroline in third on The Jacaloupe. Poppy Deakin steered Astral Ruben into fourth and Ruby Barrs provided the steadiest of the double clears for fifth on Quest Du Buhot.
Tabitha, 12, finished her 128cm career on a high with victory in the Wicks Group 128cm championship with Nicky Creasey’s Living The Dream.
Tabitha has been a major player in the 128cm and 138cm classes throughout 2019 and recently finished second with the 12-year-old Living The Dream at Olympia. This time they went one better.
Five of the 19 starters contended the jump-off with Tabitha – again last to go – providing a stylish but devastatingly fast round to claim victory by 1.61 sec. It is the first time she has claimed the 128cm championship.
“It’s a dream come true, I’ve been trying to win this for the past two years. The course really suited us today and it’s great to win here again,” said Tabitha, who has ridden Living The Dream since February 2018.
Lucy Bowen-Howard eased Toorboy Tommy into second with Emily Irvine providing the only other double clear for third on Bunbury Conquest. Abigail Gladstone finished fourth on Remote Controlled and Isabelle Harris was fifth on Jim.
Melissa Garry raced ahead in the amateur 1.25m speed to take the top spot by 0.29 sec in the 25-strong class on the Lord Z 12-year-old Hotesse. Tracy Holder slotted the Corofino nine-year-old Crispina Z into second with Ireland’s Carol Gee in third aboard Fernhill Clooney. Ellie Hall-Mcateer claimed fourth on Crisanta just ahead of Grace Wallace in fifth aboard Eau Claire V.
Grace was in the running for her second victory of the week in the 25-strong amateur 1.15m speed but had to settle for second on Ecarentina as Elah Conway produced a flying round to take the win by more than two sec on the Careful/Jus De Pomme 11-year-old Acapella. Elizabeth Cunningham jumped into third on Fabienne C with Nadia Affi on Damiro VD Dresseling and Samantha Baker with Mullaghdrins Star Class in fourth and fifth.
Text © Jumping Around/Photos courtesy TSM/LIHS