Guy Williams claimed a “Brilliant finish to the end of week four,” on the Vilamoura Atlantic tour with victory in the 3* grand prix with Cicero II, winning by the tiniest of margins.
Only six of the original 42 competitors survived a tough, testing grand prix 1.50m track to go forward to the jump-off with the odds tipped in Britain’s favour with three in the final round. The legendary speedster Guy proved the quickest on the Cicero Z Paemel/Guidam 13-year-old but it was close! Fellow Brit Laura Renwick gave Guy a run for his money and had to settle for second just 0.01 sec in arrears with her home-bred nine-year-old Arkuga (Arko/Heartbreaker).
"It was a bit too close for comfort, Laura is very quick. I took out a stride from one to two and planned to do the same to the last but in the end took nine strides instead of eight and just got it," said Guy.
Four faults dropped British-based Irishman David Simpson with Foudre F and Will Fletcher on Perrsimmon down to fifth and sixth while Lily Attwood (Cor-Leon VD Vlierbeek Z) and James Smith (Simply Splendid) were the fastest four-faulters in round one to take eighth and ninth.
James steered Elmo Brown into third in the mammoth 106-strong 3* 1.35m. Just nine reached the jump-off here with James and the Quality/No Limit 11-year-old finishing just 0.08 sec off the pace. Olli Fletcher was also double clear on Webbswood True Blue for sixth while Perdi Digby (Trezanti) and Poppy Stronge (Cheek) were two of nine riders on one time fault in the first round to take 10th and 14th.
Poppy eased Lucky 3 into third in the 84-horse 3* 1.20m speed, the Con Sherry/Kolibri 12-year-old mare finishing 4.40 sec behind the pace. Izzi Ryder guided the Lupe/Libero H seven-year-old Lupin into fourth and Charlene Bastone took fifth on Misty Blue. Poppy also claimed 11th on Baskin Lady Lux with Robert Smith (Nonante) and Serena Rich-Jones (Epona G) in 16th and 17th.
Naomi Howard-Batts led a British one-two in the 57-strong 1* 1.10m two-phase, winning on the 14-year-old Little Business with just 0.07 sec in hand over Maisy Williams on Brendon Stud’s Warrior/Maestri Nativio 10-year-old Native Warrior. Naomi was also sixth on second ride Billy Starlet just ahead of Victoria Kuligowski on Hot Blue and Annabel Lomas claimed 12th with Vraiecocotte Berence. Sophie Evans slotted Happy-Fomia into 15th with Stacey Willsone on Alsager and Freya Lily Webb aboard Fun Time Cilla returning double clears for 17th and 18th.
Will Fletcher claimed second in the 3* 1.30m speed on the 12-year-old Tiger Bright 0.91 sec behind the winner. Laura Renwick finished third on Greta Garbo ahead of Sophie Fawcett’s Cedric in fourth, Louise Simpson was fifth on Carracasca B with Charlene Bastone (Avalon Du Carpont) and Adrian Whiteway (Dantee Van De Moskifarm) posting exactly the same time for equal sixth. Robert was ninth on Cassan, Joao Charlesworth netted 10th and 14th aboard Cupido II and Unicorns Rubberball), Libby Lutener was 14th on Fres Belles while Stacey (CSF Olympic Lady), John Whitaker (Storm), Olli Fletcher (Hello William) and Richard Jenkinson (Capri Sun) finished 16th, 18th, 19th and 20th.
Kayleigh Watts was denied grand prix victory by the narrowest of margins at the Spanish sunshine tour in Vejer de la Frontera in a hot, edge-of-your-seats jump-off with Ninkie De Vy Z.
Sixty riders tackled the 3* 1.50m grand prix track with 16 coming forward to the jump-off, Kayleigh setting an early fast target that looked to be unbeatable. Several tried and failed, including fellow Brits Matt Sampson, who beat the winning time by 0.88 sec on Geneve R only to hit the final fence and drop to an eventual 12th, and Joe Clayton who slotted Like A Diamond Van Het Schaek into third 0.55 sec behind Kayleigh. But late-drawn Gudrun Pateet for Belgium took every risk on Sea Coast Kashmira Z to secure the win by just 0.02 sec.
“I went as fast as possible at full pelt,” said Gudrun.
Kayleigh was still chuffed with the result.
“I didn’t think I would get this result today, there were a lot of clears in the first round but Ninkie jumped amazingly. She always gives her all in the ring so I was confident in taking risks and riding fast,” she said.
Emily Llewellyn opted for accuracy to leave all the fences intact second time out and finished ninth on Sue Evans’ Sieco.
Kayleigh also picked up fifth and seventh in the 112-horse medium 1.30m accumulator with the 13-year-old Harley 3.52 sec behind the winning time and Arko’s Girl Z. Samy Cotton (Gregor LV), Emily (Mr Bullseye), Ellie Guy (Ard Bluedo) and Charlie Jones (Captain Morgan) also returned maximum scores for ninth, 12th, 13th and 17th.
Max Routledge claimed second in the 3* medium tour grand prix with Chicago’s Boy. Sixteen of 49 starters claimed a place in the jump-off with Max and the Carrico/Caletto I 11-year-old finishing 0.74 sec behind the winner, Ireland’s Jennifer Kuehnle on Arlo De Blondel – recently the ride of Richard Howley.
Charlie Jones rode Dexter into sixth with Alison Barton on Roma IV and Daniella Stapleton with Fire posting double clears for eighth and 11th while four faults dropped Richard Barton and Donata down to 12th.
A marathon 134-horse medium tour 1.35 two-phase had to be split into two sections. Jessica Hewitt topped group 1 with Tom Williams’ Hot Bluebird, the Plot Blue/Heartbreaker eight-year-old flying to a 1.20 sec win. A steady double clear put William Funnell and Billy Jaffa into 17th. Simon Crippen headed group 2 with the Clarimo 11-year-old Casparow by 0.60 sec. Charlie Jones netted sixth on Crocus La Sillardiere and Emma Stoker finished 11th on Nazarine VD Axlehoeve.
Alice Watson clinched victory in the 45-entry big tour 1.30m two-phase with the nine-year-old mare Gift of Mr Blue by just 0.11 sec. Anna Wilks steered the Amadeus 10-year-old French Kiss into third with James Wilson in sixth on Gainesboro, Jude Burgess netted ninth on Dreams of Don and Ryan Lockwood took 15th with Valento.
Kyle Bedford has enjoyed a terrific show and claimed yet another win with almost three sec in hand on the ultra-consistent the Aldatus Z 13-year-old Princess of Monaco. Ethan Bracken jumped Lislan Flamenco into fifth with Kathryn Fanshawe in 10th on Raphaela Van Berkenbroeck, Adrienne Howells taking 13th on Billy Fagin and Charlie Jones (Coronado Beach) and Abbie Crippen (Shirsheen Spring Venture) filled 15th and 16th.
Jake Saywell was 0.58 sec behind the pace in the 71-strong big tour 1.45m speed to take fifth on the Cicero Z 13-year-old Havinia Van De Roshoeve with Joe Clayton in sixth aboard Chacco’s Lady 2. William Funnell eased Billy McCain into ninth and Jane Annett produced a steady clear for 19th on Billy Tudor.
Sophie Holliday rode Westerhof Limit into fourth in the 68-strong small 1.20m speed 3.31 sec off the pace. Adam Taylor finished sixth on Annabel Z with Arianna Kuligowski in 13th and 15th on Coco G 2 and JCR Cartucho.
A double clear in the 13-strong jump-off of the small 1.35m earned Kate Rocher-Smith and the Contendro 11-year-old McQueen fifth spot almost six sec behind the pace. Jess Dimmock picked up one time fault with Haitske for ninth and four faults dropped Adam Taylor (Gangster) and alice Palmer (Super Charged) down to 11th and 13th.
Robert Whitaker eased Cirrus into fourth in the Volvo 1.45m speed on the final day in Gothenburg 5*, Sweden.
Twenty-nine tackled this class with Robert and the Casall 11-year-old finishing three sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir on Gentiane De La Pomme. Louise Saywell slotted Keeley Durham’s Arakan into 10th with a steadier clear.
Four faults in the first round of the seven-year-old 1.40m put Louise and Kingsborough Kasper into 11th.
Norway’s Geir Gulliksen recorded his first ever Longines FEI world cup win aged 60 in a five-horse decider on VDL Groep Quatro by 0.70 sec.
Flo Norris claimed two of the top six places in the medium junior 1.35m jumper classic at WEF in Wellington, USA.
Twelve of the 40 starters reached the jump-off with Flo slotting Kadence Van’t Lozerhof into second 1.24 sec off the pace and posted the steadiest of the double clears with Donatella L’Espoir for sixth.
Abbe Burchmore Eames claimed another win on the Valencia tour in Spain with the consistent Casti Aneira.
Thirty-three contended the 2* 1.35m speed with outpacing them all on the Lupicor/Casco 13-year-old by 1.09 sec. Tania Moody was almost five sec behind for fifth on Reine Du Very.
Only four of 56 riders came forward to the 1* 1.35m grand prix with Bethanie Knight taking second 0.56 sec in arrears of the winner on Confident of Victory a Cornet Obolensky 15-year-old ridden until recently by Chad Fellows. Seven riders were caught out by time faults in round one including Scott Smith (Firefly VII) and Chloe Winchester (Silvertops Chacco Old) to finish sixth and seventh.
Chloe claimed third and seventh in the seven-year-old 11-horse decider with double clears on Icaterma (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof/Lux) and Daigo De La Dhuys (Kapitol d’Argonne/Le Tot de Semilly). Amy Inglis provided the steadiest jump-off clear for eighth on Applause and four faults dropped Jay Buxton and Strides Josie to 10th.
Amy was the only Brit in the 12-strong jump-off of the 2* 1.45m grand prix but an uncharacteristic 21 faults second time out put Wishes into 12th. Oliva on Evita and David Wingrove with Grandeur III were two of nine riders on one time fault in the 63-horse first round to finish 17th and 19th.
Eleanor Simpson eased My Lucky Day into sixth in the 73-strong 1* 1.20m speed 2.15 sec behind the winner. A steadier clear from Olivia Howe on Black Label finished 11th.
A steady clear almost 15 sec off the pace in the 25-horse 1* 1.10m speed handed Sasha Woodhouse and Ike – A eighth place.
In Oliva Nova, Spain, Ashley Ray came home penalty-free in the 12-strong jump-off of the bronze 1.40m final for fifth on Apart P 4.26 sec behind the winning time.
Tess Carmichael jumped into seventh in the bronze 1.30 two-phase with Berlin’s Kojak six sec off the pace.
Lucinda Roche netted eighth on Izar LB in the 88-strong gold 1.40m speed 1.64 sec behind the pace.
Eoin Gallagher posted the steadiest of the double clears in the 25-horse jump-off of the world ranking 1.45m grand prix to take 12th on Di Caprio more than nine sec off the pace.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy Vilamoura Atlantic tour