Portia Howard and Graham Lovegrove took the first tickets to the Permanent Show Organisers Association Championship at next April’s British Open in the opening qualifier at Unex Towerlands (12-14 October).

This new easibed-sponsored series gives grade B horses and those upgraded to A since March 2006 the chance to compete in a lucrative final — and with £1,000 on offer to the winner of each qualifier, there are considerable potential earnings along the way. The top two in each of nine classes go through to the final, with the remaining six contenders decided on points throughout the series.

In the third and final round of the class Portia Howard got Kartonne De L’Abbaye into a superb rhythm and they never touched a pole en route to a terrific time. With the pressure on, none of Portia’s rivals could get near her. Graham Lovegrove came closest after Angel faulted at a big vertical following a daring turn, while Ellen Whitaker had to be content with third place when Caya Z stroked off the top pole on the final stile in a slightly slower time.

Read this report in full, plus reports from other top show jumping shows around the country, in today’s Horse & Hound (25 October, ’07)