Jay Halim took every risk to claim the £2,000 to the winner 1.40m grand prix in spectacular style in a hotly-contended, edge-of-your-seats jump-off with Aragon Z.
Sixty-nine initially started over course-designer Raf Suarez’s track with 19 posting first round clears to make for an exciting jump-off. Simon Buckley set the standard on Elia but was immediately relegated by James Smith aboard Elmo Brown. But his lead was short-lived as Holly Smith wiped almost two sec from his time on Fruselli.
“I was told James was fast but Holly was quicker. We had been winding each other up before the grand prix and she thought she’d done it – I had to pull something special out of the bag but Aragon Z is careful, you can put a gun to his head and he’ll come out and try every time. He’s relatively young at nine but he can run and jump and gives you his heart,” said Jay, who didn’t take a pull anywhere on the Asca Z gelding to edge ahead by 0.23 sec and secure the win.
“The course was big enough for a world ranking class, it is such a shame that it wasn’t an International show – we are the only country in Europe not to run an International show this year and it’s a pity the prize money didn’t match but Nina [Barbour, proprietor] has done an amazing job to put this show on in the current climate.”
Holly and the 10-year-old Zambesi stallion finished second with Graham Gillespie slotting Fashion Prince into third ahead of James and Elmo Brown in fourth and Carron Nicol in fifth on Finnegan D.
A smooth yet deceptively quick round from Danielle Farnsworth secured the seven-year-old title, best British-bred award and a share of the clear round bonus with the careful jumping Ivory.
Fourteen of the 53 starters survived round one to contend the jump-off with Danielle taking advantage of her late draw to claim victory by 1.33 sec on Sean Conway and Helen Ray’s Don VHP Z/Cartogran mare. Ivory has a great record at this show having finished second in the five-year-old final with Joe Trunkfield and won the six-year-old last year with Matt Sampson.
“I’ve only ridden her for seven weeks and this was our fourth show. She’s pretty amazing, not very big but with plenty of stride and loves her job – she just wants to jump,” said Danielle.
Laura Robinson finished second on Millfield Colette (Cornet Obolensky/Clearway) with Adrian Whiteway in third aboard Chacco Volo (Chacco-Blue/Carthago). Nigel Coupe guided Creevyquinn Alice into fourth with Jessica Burke on Namamia in fifth while Phillip Miller (Don Royale), Ben Walker (Creevy Taylor) and Chris Smith (Imoto II) also posted double clears for sixth, seventh and eighth.
In an unusual result, the six-year-old saw two riders dead-heat on time. Twenty of the 54 starters reached the jump-off with Laura Mantel on John and Laura Renwick’s home-bred Aurora (Typhoon S/For Pleasure) – also taking the best British-bred award – at first leading the way until William Funnell posted exactly the same time with Chacco Bay.
“William took out strides everywhere whereas I galloped and was quicker across the ground,” said Laura, who was full of praise for her mare – “She jumped her heart out for me, she wants to win and always tries her hardest.”
William was riding the German-bred Chaccato/Heops stallion Chacco Bay for the first time at this show.
“He has improved every day here and is a future grand prix horse in the making – we’ve already used him on several mares for the Billy Stud this year,” said William, on the stallion who finished second at in the five-year-old Lanaken’s world breeding championships last year.
Ellen Whitaker claimed third on J Superstar, a Chaman/No Limit gelding bought from Sovereign Equestrian, and James Smith guided Johnnie Walker VDL into fourth. Jake Saywell finished fifth on Jorisco with Cressy Neads taking sixth place aboard Bisquetta Squalls Estate Z.
Faye Adams and the consistent Demograaf claimed a 0.60 sec victory in the 1.35m final. Seventeen of the 65 starters tackled the jump-off with Faye and the Quasimodo Z 12-year-old pushing nearest rival Keith Shore on Djoel into second. Joe Clayton clinched third on Urlevent Du Bary with Phillip Miller aboard Saturday night’s Puissance joint winner Noble Warrior in fourth. James Smith guided Twix De La Roque into fifth ahead of Jake Myers in sixth with Sam W.
Jo McGlory outpaced all rivals to take the 1.30m final on Triomphe Kervec. Sixteen of the 72 starters reached the jump-off with Jo and the Kannan/Darco 13-year-old flying into the top spot to win by 2.89 sec. Leo Lamb rode Ginadina PP, a Cabrio Van De Heffinck/Winningmood nine-year-old bought from Sovereign Equestrian, into second ahead of Ryleigh Kendle in third aboard Kinnegads Lightning. William Whitaker rode Helen Tredwell’s former ride Galtur into fourth and Gemma Wright returned the steadiest of the double clears for fifth on Hessel.
Tabitha Kyle, 12, had a long day on the final day, winning the 7.15am start 138cm grand prix before also lifting the 148cm grand prix at the end of the day.
Only two of the 23 starters managed to jump clear – although a further six made just one mistake each for faults, including two of Tabitha’s other rides – with Tabitha going head-to-head with Jennifer Billington.
First off Jennifer set a competitive target on the Breitling LS 10-year-old Faith X but Tabitha smoothly cut more than two sec off the time to return triumphant on the 14-year-old mare Orchids Vienna. Elsi Jacques provided the fastest four in round one for third on Trevoulter Ladies Man with Aimee Jones aboard Wots Up Dot, Henry Squibb on Kilcurry Dawn and Tabitha with second ride Gangnam Style II in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Tabitha secured victory in the 138cm grand prix with the Irish-bred 17-year-old Lissduff Royal. Nine of the 16 starters reached the jump-off with Tabitha claiming three of the rides. A winner already earlier in the week, Tabitha naturally set out as favourite and didn’t disappoint although it was tight, and she edged ahead by just 0.07 sec to take the title over Evie McCoy in second on Misty Bay. Tabitha also picked up third on Mister Proper with Alice Crowley aboard The Agent in fourth. Poppy Deakin jumped the steadiest of the clears for fifth on Icaris W and Tabitha narrowly missed out on a one-two when Playboy Van De Zoetewei came within 0.01 of her winning time but dropped a rail en route. Poppy also finished seventh with Astral Ruben.
Emily Irvine galloped to the top in the 128cm grand prix with Bunbury Conquest. Seven of the original 17 reached the jump-off with Emily and the eager 19-year-old ‘Questie’ flying into the top spot by 2.63 sec. Isabelle Harris slotted Jim into second with McKenzie Snowden on Just Dandy producing the steadiest of the double clears for third. Katie Bradburne netted fourth aboard Runaway Dolly and Ella Spencer also returned on four faults for fifth with Murphy Spartacus. Katie also picked up sixth on Carrowvila Izzy and Thomas Hogan finished seventh riding Darth Moll.
Thomas Bradburne topped the young pony 1m with the Irish-bred Derryinver Rocky in a seven-pony decider with almost two sec in hand. Lauren Caroline took second with The Beast of the East, Bella Wild steered Llwynheywel Brave Dancer into third and Poppy Deakin jumped the steadiest clear for fourth on Orchid’s Arisha.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around/Beth Mantel & British Showjumping/Bolesworth 1st Class Images