Ellen Whitaker produced a fabulous double clear with AK Locarno 62 in the Carlsberg & Stad Mechelen Grand Prix in Belgium between Christmas and New Year to finish second in this competitive class.

Ellen was the sole British show jumper competing in Mechelen and finished half a second behind Peter Wylde of the USA. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor took third.

Germany’s Pia-Luise Aufrecht and Hofgut Liederbach’s Abrisca came out on top in the show’s World Cup qualifying class.

From a starting field of 36, just eight went through to the jump-off and while Aufrecht’s 37.45sec was beatable, only Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer and Unique matched the German partnership’s double clear performance to slot into runner-up spot.

The show also saw top-class dressage action with Anky van Grunsven (Pictured) reigning supreme once again. Keltec Salinero continues to grow in confidence and was hardly disturbed when a Christmas decoration fell to the floor during their 83% freestyle.

A delighted van Grunsven said: “It’s a very positive step, and while the canter pirouettes could be better, I was very satisfied with the walk and the zig-zag, which was better than in the grand prix.”

Fellow Dutch rider Edward Gal was pleased with Group 4 Securicor Lingh’s freestyle to finish second behind his trainer. Imke Schellekens-Bartels was third with her rising star, the 11-year-old mare Sunrise.


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