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Helen Tredwell achieved every rider’s ambition when the 24-year-old from the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire borders won the Horse & Hound Foxhunter final on Opportunity B. She is the first lady rider to take the title since Horse & Hound began to sponsor the competition 10 years ago.

A packed house at HOYS watched a terrific 10-horse jump-off where less than 1sec covered the first four home. Henry Turrell held the lead on another chestnut mare, Duncan Inglis’s home-bred Sunkist, before Stuart Harvey cut 0.03sec off the time with the flamboyant stallion, Peppermill.

Steven Franks then came agonisingly close on the attractive grey stallion Cevin Z, but Helen was not to be denied and produced some superb turns to take Britain’s most prestigious novice title by 0.34sec.

Opportunity B, a Scottish-bred daughter of Jurius, who finished third for Sophie Heaven in the previous night’s young riders championship, stands barely 16hh but belied her small size as she ballooned every fence on her way to the win.

“This is like living a dream. I’m sure I’m going to wake up any moment,” said Helen, whose mother, Jane, a former international rider, competed in this final many years ago.

Rexton Speed and Power

Paul Barker rode a tremendous round on Blue Chip Quinton to take the £3,000
top prize in Thursday’s Rexton Speed and Power Championship.

This unique competition was devised to take the place of the Daewoo Grand Prix series and consists of a speed section followed by a four upright fences at heights up to 1.60m.

Paul rode the round of his life from eighth draw and, although he was
overtaken by Nick Skelton and Pandur towards the end of the class, it was
later discovered that Nick had not qualified for this final leaving Paul the victor.

Second spot went to the in-form Di Lampard and William’s Spirit, while
pre-class favourites Keith Shore and Pakko were third.

“I’m delighted with Quinton. He hasn’t been going his best for a couple of
weeks, but he felt really good tonight,” said Yorkshire-based Paul.