Di Lampard holds off challenge from Britain¨s best to win Leading Show Jumper of the Year title at the Horse of the Year Show

Di Lampard galloped to a famous victoryin the equestria.net Leading Show Jumper of the Year, the highlight of Friday’s programme at the Horse of the Year Show.

The lady from Leicestershire has been in terrific form recently, but she had to be at her very best to hold off challenges from all of Britain’s top riders.

Di was second to go in the six-horse jump-off and she really went for it, a storming gallop from one end of the ring to the other to the final fence, a huge vertical, seeing her through to the finish in a very quick time and with what was to prove the only double clear.

The other riders chased hard, but the greatest challenge came from last draw in the shape of the holders, Robert Smith and Mr Springfield. Robert went flat out, but the tightest of turns into the double proved too much even for this athletic horse and a pole fell to leave them in an honourable second place.

Di and Abbervail Dream have been enjoying great success against the clock recently, including wins in the national ladies’ championship and grand prix at the BSJA Festival of Show Jumping.

“I’ve always known that Irish-bred horses were slow to grow up, but I never thought that it would take ‘Mac” until he was 14 to be able to go against the clock!” said the Di, who missed her rivals’ rounds.

“Mac was so excited after the jump-off that I took him for a walk to the stables and by the time we got back, they were announcing the result.”

John Whitaker opened the day’s international classes with a superb jump-off victory on Liz Sargeant’s Hunter’s Level in the Horseware Rambo Cup, while the popular Yorkshireman almost made it a double when Ephesia came within a hair’s breadth of taking the Saffron Knockout honours, which went to Geoff Glazzard and Barry Bug.

Robert Smith and Kalusha scored their second international win in the Dengie Fibre Feeds two-phase and 21-year-old Grace Barton showed what a good producer of young horses she is when she rode the Russian-bred Macepark Velsk to victory in the AON Six-Year-Old Championship.