Adam Botham’s year continued to go exactly to plan with the exciting seven-year-old stallion Ebanking, as they claimed their first ever 2* win at the London Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT).
They started the season with some key boxes to tick — winning seven-year-old classes at Hickstead and Bolesworth and qualifying for the Foxhunter final — with a win in London the final aim before the pair prepare for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
“He is a fantastic horse, I brought him here for experience but at the same time it’s the London LGCT — you don’t come here and not try and win,” Adam said. “The plan was always to come to London and try to win a class, then slow down and aim for the Foxhunter final. He won’t be asked to win a class until then, though we will aim for the bonus (three clears) at Bolesworth.”
It was a determined Joe Clayton, already second twice this week, who set a blistering target from first draw with Tim Gredley’s Jenson QR. A bid from Sienna Charles and Havanna M slotted into second place but there had been 11 riders and no successful challenges when Adam entered the ring third from last.
A scything angled line to the double, and a round that went right to plan, left him 0.63sec up on the clock.
“I watched Joe go and he looked like he didn’t have the stride he wanted to back to the red oxer after the double, he went on seven. I don’t know if that was his plan but my plan was to go on six there,” Adam said. “He also had one more to the last. I thought if he is still in the lead when I go in, I’ll do one less to red, then six, then one less to the last.
“Afterwards, I said to him ‘sorry, the draw got you. I saw your round.’ If we had been drawn the other way round, my round would have been a lot slower.”
Adam has long touted this stallion, who is owned by Barbara Hester, and this year he has really rewarded his faith.
“I told everyone last year he was a super horse — this year they keep racing up to me saying ‘I should have listened to you’,” he said.
“Jenson has jumped World Cups and nations cups and Joe Clayton is one of the best riders in the world — he’s beaten them and the horse is only a seven-year-old.
“I was fourth on the first day and then I jumped him in the big class yesterday for experience, as I didn’t want to keep going fast. He jumped that unbelievably as well.”
The combination will now be headed to the young horse show at Bolesworth next week.
“He’ll spend two days in the field and he will come out and jump the same after going that fast here. He is incredible for his age,” Adam said.
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