Ireland’s Billy Twomey (pictured) underscored his reputation as a consummate horseman when he took the top two places in the feature grand prix at the increasingly popular Blue Chip BSJA Winter Championships.

Entries exceeded those of previous years and with more than 50 grand prix contenders, course-designer Bob Ellis had to draw on all his skill and experience. He came up trumps with a technical track that tested the ability of horse and rider, and just 12 combinations reached the jump-off.

“The course was bang-on and the numberof clears meant that it wasn’t a race against the clock,” said Billy Twomey, who had all three of his rides through.

The classy mare Anastasia produced a polished clear to take an early lead for Billy, although Guy Williams came close on the Beaumont-Hopes’ Loro Pians Hamlet.

Billy then returned to take a winning lead on Sue Davies’s talented 10-year-old stallion, Luidam.

“This was my first big win with Luidam and he’s more than living up to expectations. Anastasia is almost his equal; she has the ability but not so much experience, so I have the choice of which to ride in big classes,” said Billy, who was runner-up in the 2002 HOYS grand prix on this lovely mare.

Winter show jumping champions

  • Equiline Horseboxes Novice: Emma Wright (Buchanan’s Boy)
  • Equiline Horseboxes Discovery: James Taylor (Darraks Mario)
  • BEIB Star: Michaela Russell (Zerro)
  • Blue Chip Power: Angela Bell (Blofeld)
  • Blue Chip Performance: Tracey Newman (Millennium)
  • Blue Chip Winter Classic: John Renwick (Brookend Fuehrer)
  • Blue Chip Pro A&B: Corinne Collins (Halifax II)
  • Blue Chip Dynamic B&C: Mennell Watson (Tripoli)
  • Blue Chip Grand Prix: Billy Twomey (Luidam)
  • Blue Chip Pro Sparkle JC/JA: Charlotte Graham (Major Angel)
  • Kitt Junior Novice: Louise Saywell (Silver King)
  • Kitt Junior Discovery: Charlotte Graham (Irish Squibb’s Dream)
  • Kitt Junior Sapphire: Alex Evans (The Harrier)
  • Kitt Junior Coral: Laura Mantel (Custom Cruiser)

Read the full in-depth report on the Blue Chip Championships in this week’s Horse & Hound (17 April), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.