Douglas Duffin rounded off a successful show at the End of Season Bash at Weston Lawns, Warwickshire, with victory in the Equitop GLME Foxhunter second round on Endyana EH Z.
A field of 56 tackled the 13-fence track designed by David Cole but just five found all the right answers to qualify for the jump-off. And as qualification for Aintree’s British Showjumping Indoor Championships – which replaces HOYS for 2020 – Danielle Ryder wisely opted to withdraw Sam VD Tojopehoeve Z and take fifth; “He’s jumped well all week and I didn’t need to jump off,” she said.
Nigel Coupe set the standard with the opening round on Candice Reilly’s seven-year-old Creevyquinn Alice but left some room. It didn’t go according to plan for Leo Lamb and Ginadina PP but Douglas pulled off every turn on the Emerald nine-year-old mare Endyana to cut almost 10 sec off Nigel’s time. And his comfortably remained ahead as last to go James Shore on Manzana De Rigo dropped a pole at the penultimate vertical to take third.
Douglas bought Endyana from Ailsa Black at the end of last year.
“Ailsa’s done a great job producing her quietly; she’s a big mare and she needed time to grow but she’s uncomplicated and loves to jump, now she’s ready to move up and I’m so excited for her future – she promises to be a top grand prix horse,” said Douglas.
The fastest four-faulters in round one filled the lower places with Emma Crawford on Gina Gold finishing sixth ahead of Lorraine Lock’s Artisan I and Miles Pearson with Hi Handsome in seventh and eighth.
Jess Botham used her final draw to maximum effect to take the Lord and Lady Equestrian newcomers second round on Jayne Andrews’ Fairmont.
Seventeen from a start-list of 88 came forward to face a 12-fence track to make a competitive jump-off, but no-one was quicker than Jess as she edged ahead on Fairmont to beat long-time leader Charlie Dawson aboard the Untouched/Mr Blue seven-year-old Iloma by just 0.03 sec.
Jess originally found this Catoki/Calido six-year-old through Adolfo Pacheco – who was based with Michael Whitaker a few years ago – and sold her to Jayne in May.
“Jayne has done a super job with her, I just had her back at the end of July for Bolesworth and Hickstead and qualifying newcomers has always been the aim for this year,” said Jess. “This mare is so easy and has plenty of scope and stride – she really helped me out in that jump-off with her scope but the bigger, the better for her.”
Paul Barker guided Strides Maureen into third while Adam Botham will join his wife at the final with fourth on Ebanking. Keith Shore finished fifth aboard Mystic Magic and Danielle Ryder clinched another finalist place with the consistent Sam VD Tojopehoeve. David Coombs posted the steadiest of the double clears for seventh on Advocator CS and Chantelle Duggan claimed the final qualifying spot in eighth on Linton De La Chapelle.
Faye Adams set off at the gallop and didn’t take a pull to top the 48-strong Synovium accumulator with 0.71 sec to spare on the 12-year-old Demograaf. Paul Barker slotted GreenGrass into second with Annabel Shields just 0.01 sec in arrears for third aboard Wet Wet Wet. Ben Bick steered Galerius into fourth ahead of Keith on Djoel in fifth and Conor McMahon filled sixth spot on Fame VI.
Conor claimed the final 24-horse 1.40m on the 11-year-old El Wee Widge by 0.56 sec over Thursday’s 1.40m winner Louise Saywell riding Bacardi. Isaac Hall with Conrad and Carron Nicol’s Dutch Design dead-heated on time for equal third and Carron also picked up fifth with Diesel.
Chris Whinnett hit tremendous form over the four days, clocking up five wins. The Numero Uno/Animo 10-year-old Freak I won Thursday’s and Friday’s 1.30m classes and topped the final day’s 1.25m while the nine-year-old Scarthill Cruise (Cruisings Micky Finn/Moonax) headed the 1.20m on Friday and Saturday.
Holly Gair was also a multi-winner with four wins aboard Bowes Milky Way – three 1m classes and a 90cm – and LGS Survivor topped two 1.05m classes and was second in a 1m only to Milky Way.
Joss Williams claimed victory in a 1.10m on Jan Coomes' Zandor Z 18-year-old Zandokan while the Vleut 10-year-old Fraggle Rock III won a discovery, was second in another and third in a 1.05m. And Bethany Stainsby topped two 90cm classes and was second in a 1m on the 12-year-old mare BJ’s Dream.
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