It was almost a clean sweep for the Brits in the three classes on offer on Sunday at the Vilamoura Champions Tour in Portugal, but in the end they registered two wins and a second.
John Whitaker netted second place in the feature 3* grand prix with Sharid. Twelve of the original 60 competitors jumped initial clears to return for the jump-off with The Netherlands’ Kim Emmen setting a speedy target mid-drawn on Jack Van Het Dennehof. But penultimate drawn John and the Toulon 11-year-old Sharid gave great chase, setting off a determined gallop and showing a 65-year-old still has a great eye for a stride. Angling oxers and verticals alike, John was in touch but took a pull to the final tall vertical to drop into second 1.55 sec behind the pace.
Last to go David Simpson fell victim to the tall vertical at three to drop Foudre F down to 10th while Douglas Duffin and Linares BG tapped out the front bar of a midway oxer to come home on four and take 11th spot.
Laura Renwick was the fastest of the round one four-faulters to take 15th on Arkuga closely followed by Shane Breen with Z7 Ipswich in 16th. Jack Whitaker (Elucar VE) and Tim Gredley (Jimmy Mack V Berkenbroeck) also made one mistake each for 20th and 21st.
A flying round from Jack Nicklin earned victory in the 3* 1.20m with Cwiebus KK. A big entry of 78 came forward in this speed class but Jack outpaced them all with the 13-year-old gelding Cwiebus, forging ahead to win by 2.80 sec. Rosie Gunn slotted the Arezzo VDL nine-year-old Jagerbomb into third with Angie Thompson fifth on the eight-year-old KI Grifter ahead of George Whitaker in sixth aboard Hopscotch. Arianna Kuligowski jumped Gimona into seventh with Amy Stewart eighth on Cluedo II, Ava Vernon claimed ninth riding Here I’m Be, George brought second ride Special Warrior into 12th, Arianna was 13th on JCR Cartucho and Sophie Evans was also clear on Happy-Fomia for 14th.
Tess Williams took her second win in as many days with the 45-strong 1* 1.10m speed on Codean R, the Upgrade 13-year-old edging ahead by 0.17 sec. Leo Lamb guided the Odermus 11-year-old Emma into third with Madison Seedhouse in fifth on Emara Giguellerie Z just ahead of Carron Nicol in sixth with Cinderella JVH Z and seventh-placed Ellie Evans aboard Cristallo Boy. Sanda Nicol claimed ninth on Cobra Van Het Legitahof Z with Madison and second ride Carlotta CE in 10th.
Stacey Willsone has been on fire on the MET tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, and just 24 hours after marking a top two places victory, she repeated the feat in the 16-entry bronze 1.30m speed final.
On this occasion, the 10-year-old CSF Olympic Lady (Luidam/Cruising) stepped up to the plate for Stacey with 2.33 sec to spare to beat Saturday’s winner Newton Nickel. Alan Thomas made it a British top three with third place on the seven-year-old Cadeau’s Son De Muze Z.
“It is the dream end to the most amazing three weeks; 10 wins and nine seconds, the ponies have been incredible and I’m not sure I’ll ever match this amazing tour,” said Stacey.
Ronnie Jones scored a victory double. He topped the bronze 1.20m speed with Billy U2, the Otangelo/Wellington six-year-old outpacing his 16 rivals to win by 4.26 sec. Stacey claimed second on the 10-year-old Flora By Gucci and Kirsty Pearce was also clear for fifth aboard Margaret Dwerse Hagen.
And Ronnie proved unbeatable in the bronze 1.10m. Eight of the 10 starters reached the jump-off but Ronnie was on form and lifted the top two places, winning on Ruth and Ian Dowie’s Berlin eight-year-old Bonaparte Z and taking second with the six-year-old mare Calcourt Capri, 3.70 sec separating the two. Osha Grech guided Foxtrot Van Den Aard into third. Stacey beat the winning time but a rail down dropped Alsager to fifth while Eden Blake (Gilanalinde) and Osha on second ride Quito Du Buisson Z also returned on four to take sixth and seventh.
Will Edwards successfully took over the reins on Magic Chanti from brother Carmen and topped the gold 1.30m speed in fine style. Twenty-four came forward with Will and the eight-year-old easing into the top spot with a 0.59 sec advantage over fellow Brit Louise Saywell on the Calvados Z 11-year-old Sharp Image. Chloe Winchester guided Don Corleone 111 Z into sixth place and Chad Fellows was also clear to take eighth on Arthur Excalibur.
Richard Howley with Arlo De Blondel and Chad Fellows aboard Eindhoven GH reached the 12-horse jump-off of the 58-strong 2* 1.45m grand prix but both came home on eight faults second time out to finish ninth and 11th respectively.
Kirsty was the only Brit to reach the five-horse decider of the 17-strong bronze tour final over a 1.40m track but came home on seven faults second time out to put Hadrianus WB into third. Four faults in round one put Vicky Lovegrove (Exsultate Des Hayettes) and Alan Thomas (Art Premier) into ninth and 10th.
Tess Carmichael left the best until last with a win in the 1* grand prix at Hubside Jumping in St Tropez, France on Bangle SR.
The pair had been placed throughout the week with consistent rounds but moved up a gear on the final day. Seven of the 24 starters jumped first round clears over a 1.25/1.30m track and accessed the jump-off with Tess and the 11-year-old Chin Chin daughter flying into the top spot to win by 1.30 sec.
Scott Brash joined the nine-horse jump-off of the 49-strong 2* 1.45m grand prix on Hello Senator but four faults second time out dropped the pair to seventh. The USA’s Laura Kraut claimed victory on Goldwin.
Both Scott with Hello Jefferson and Alexandra Thornton riding Cornetto K came home on four faults in round one of the 4* 1.50m grand prix to be out of the running and in 22nd and 23rd places. Germany’s Daniel Deusser claimed victory by 0.76 sec on Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.
Emily Ward was in the money at Thunderbird Park in Canada – the country’s first International show since lockdown.
A winner earlier in the week, Emily had to settle for second in the $10,000 under 25 1.40m final with Evita DKG. Canada’s Carly Stevens was pathfinder on VIP Des Majuros with Emily supplying the only other double clear just 0.29 sec in arrears for second place. The result also placed Emily second in the under 25 series championship.
Emily finished fourth in the 2* 1.45m grand prix with Millioninmind. Ten contended the jump-off but a rail down second time out put Emily into fourth just behind her boss, Canada’s Tiffany Foster on Brighton. Canada’s Brian Morton claimed the win as one of only two double clears with Cadillac by 0.33 sec.
In Lier, Belgium, Trevor Breen netted third in the 60-strong 2* 1.35m two-phase with Germaine W 1.10 sec behind the winner. Elizabeth Baker also provided a double clear for 21st on Uno Du Thot.
Caroline Breen steered Kilmastulla Douglas into third in the 26-horse 1* 1.20m speed almost six sec off the pace.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around/GCL Valkenswaard