The Blue Chip winter showjumping championships at Hartpury College (3–7 April) delivered thrills and spills, joyous laps of honour and an entertaining gala night, across five days.
The Friday night audience were amused and informed by Tim Stockdale’s masterclass before settling to watch the feature class, the grand prix. It proved to be ladies’ night as the top three places were filled by the fairer sex, headed by Tracy Priest and Calle.
“I usually come second and honestly thought I’d be beaten” said Tracy (pictured top).
Sammie-Jo Coffin topped the Blue Chip pro challenge with daring, ultra-tight turns on Willem De Lux. “We trust each other” she said.
Holly Gillott and Dougie Douglas, current HOYS seven-year-old champion, deservedly headed the Blue Chip dynamic B and C. And Chloe Winchester, 18, registered her biggest win in the Halsall Electrical 1.25m on Zandokan H.
Tabitha Sleap took time off from A level studies to take the Blue Chip karma performance on the nine-year-old Zeitgeist M2S.
Ian Wynne won his first Blue Chip championship in the Tri-Zone star with season campaigner Don Douglas, and a delighted Claire Shepherd headed the Joshua Jones discovery on the five-year-old El Diablo Grande.
Emma-Jo Slater landed the power on the British-bred Lizziemary, and her Buckinghamshire neighbour Anna de Verteuil took the Horsequest novice aboard Amadeus.
Emily Ward headed both warm-up and Blue Chip pro sparkle JC/JA with Wizard.
“She’s so talented, she deserves her time in the spotlight,” she said.
Lucy Farrington gained her first sash of honour and winning rug with the Horsequest coral on the homebred six-year-old TGF Puzzle, while Charlie O’Conor made a winning return by taking the Horsequest sapphire on her 2012 novice champion Aughnacliff Boy.
Kellie Taylor claimed the Animo pony discovery from the front with the Welsh Section D Taffechan Dylan, and Windsor-based Olivia Skinner recorded her first championship win in the Animo pony novice on Pene Grimster’s homebred Colours Of Romeo.
For a full report on the Blue Chip championships, don’t miss this Thursday’s magazine. Coming soon: online gallery featuring all the Blue Chip champions