Belgium’s Rik Hemeryck and the coloured stallion Ulyss Morinda were the eye-catching winners of the top-class Equerry Horse Feeds Bolesworth CSI4* grand prix.
This was the biggest win of the 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion’s career, which came as a result of two quality rounds over Kelvin Bywater’s huge 1.60m track.
“I’m really happy as this is his first grand prix win at a big show,” said Rik, adding he was especially pleased for the owner who was here to witness her horse’s major achievement.
“I’ve been riding him since he was seven and I know him really well — I know not to jump him in a big class on the first day of a show as he can be a bit spooky, the last day [tends to be] the best day for him, certainly today!”
Those watching from the sidelines held their breath as last to jump off Laura Kraut and her new ride Vvaramog De Breve landed over the final oxer following a rapid round. But the clock stopped 0.3 seconds short of Rik’s winning time, putting the US rider into second.
Ellen Whitaker and Arena UK Winston’s two super rounds pinged them into third place and best of the Brits.
Kelvin’s masterful course building resulted in 10 jumping clears coming forwards to the jump-off. Nine of these were on a score of zero, with Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and her 2018 World Equestrian Games ride Luibanta BH carrying a single time fault.
Running in reverse order, Amanda was first to go against the clock and the pair produced a beautiful steady clear to finish sixth.
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Ireland’s David Simpson (Jennon 55) and Britain’s Alison Barton (Roma IV) finished fourth and fifth respectively, both jumping classy double clears.
Holly Smith and her superstar British team stalwart Hearts Destiny, who had a win earlier in the week, barely breathed on the oxer at fence 15 for an unlucky pole, which cost them the grand prix title and dropped them to seventh.
Former Bolewsorth grand prix winner Anthony Condon finished on the exact same time as Ellen, but clipped an upright to finish eighth.
In ninth was Sweden’s Angelie Con Essen (Daniel) and 10th went to Patrick Lemmen (Ideaal) from the Netherlands.
Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound for the 11-page showjumping report from Bolewsorth, plus the full report of all the dressage action, as well as expert analysis, features, news and more.