After being placed every time she has jumped in the class, Ellen Whitaker at last won Hickstead’s Bunn Leisure Speed Derby.

The 21-year-old golden girl of British show jumping rode a fantastic round on the little French-bred Henri De Herne to reduce the leading time by Alex Duffy and Iris Du Bateau by more than 6sec.

The main challenge looked as though it would come from Ellen’s younger brother Joe, who set off like a rocket on Tinity. But when the bay said no at the bottom of the Derby Bank, the £4,500 prize was his sister’s.

This was Ellen’s first show with Henri for some time.

“My brother Thomas has been jumping him in 1.30m classes and getting on very well with him. I shall probably take him to Aachen for the speed Derby, then he’ll go back to Thomas,” said Ellen, who thinks it unlikely that she will attempt tomorrow’s Derby on top ride Locarno.

“With Aachen coming up next week, I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” she explained.

www.hickstead.co.uk