Isaac Hall claimed victory in a tense head-to-head versus Madiy Jamison to take the winter B&C title to conclude day two at the British Showjumping Indoor Championships, Aintree.
Madiy drew the short straw as first to go on At First D’Authuit and tried to set a competitive standard but the second element of the double hit the floor to leave the door open for Isaac.
Isaac opted for accuracy and employed smooth, flowing lines on Conrad VI and left all the fences intact. But there were gasps as the commentator announced time faults – and a mightily relieved Isaac when he realised there were only three and he had won the class.
“It was very nerve-wracking with a lot of pressure to go clear, much more than in a competitive, much faster jump-off with a lot of riders, and I played it too safe,” said Isaac, 23, who moved back to Britain 12 months ago after spending four years in Belgium.
The Vittorio/Concorde 13-year-old was purchased in Holland by Isaac’s uncle Tim Davies but was badly injured in the field as a three coming four-year-old and was put on box rest for 12 months.
“He had a big cut 3 – 4 inches long on a joint. We don’t know how he did it, either got kicked or cut on a fence, but luckily he has a good brain and coped with being stabled for such a long time playing with a football and cheekily pinching his headcollar from outside the door and throwing it through the window,” said Isaac. “We opted for the longer recovery time and instead of being stitched allowed the wound to heal from the inside out, and as both my parents are doctors, they helped with changing the bandages every day.”
Isaac, 23, and Conrad have been with each other all the way as they both stepped up through the levels.
“He was my only horse at one time and every time I moved up a level, he was stepping up as well – I can really trust him.”
Only five came forward in this championship with the other three all making just one mistake each to complete the first round on four faults. Ben Walker finished third on Creevy Taylor, Abbie Bevan was fourth on Fabiola Fairy V and Michaela Webb took fifth with Stellar Skylight.
Kerry Brennan topped the 37-strong 1.40m qualifier over a single-phase track with the irrepressible Wellington M, the Quidam De Revel/Cash 17-year-old claiming a handsome 4.39 sec in hand. Phillip Miller guided Noble Warrior into second with Tim Davies on Lionel Van De Markieslanden in third. Eve Staveley eased Shadow IV into fifth and Molly Andrews filled sixth spot on Ayrton IV.
Text © Jumping Around/Photos courtesy Impact Media/Majestic Photography