‘A night to remember’: puissance first-timers clear 2.19m to win in spectacular red wall debut

  • Puissance first-timers Mark Edwards and the homebred Montreuxs Tale took top honours in a spectacular red wall debut at the 2022 Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show (2 July).

    The pair were the sole combination to clear the 2.19m wall in the fifth and final round of the 2022 puissance, sponsored by eVet Drug. They landed to a huge cheer from the crowds lining the banks of Bolesworth’s amphitheatre in the evening sun. Wimbledon has Henman Hill and in Cheshire tonight, there was Montreuxs’ Mound.

    “Dad told me ‘don’t go too early’ so I was just thinking ‘wait, wait, wait’ as long as I dared,” Mark told H&H.

    “Once you take off, that feeling is just mega – everything slows down. Originally I was just planning to do two or three rounds, but he loved it so much I thought ‘I can’t give up now’.

    “He just cantered down to it and the higher it went, the higher he went.”

    It sounds so simple, really. But then that’s the beauty of top athletes is they make the extraordinary appear seamless – and what makes this horse so special is his exceptional versatility in being able to do that across all kinds of classes.

    Mark and the “level-headed” 12-year-old Tinkers Tale son, owned by Martyn Edwards, count the Queen’s Cup at Hickstead, speed classes and international grands prix among their successes.

    “His brain is so good. He’s so scopey and just has a great attitude to life,” said Mark.

    “He’s an amazing horse with a real good attitude. We are lucky that we bred him. He’s a big softy, just easy to have about and loves his job. He’s never sick or sorry, he just comes out and gets on with his job.”

    He added: “It was a great buzz, to do it in front of the crowds adds to it all – it’s what we do it for, really. It’s definitely a night to remember.”

    This was also among the biggest – and was touted by the commentators as the largest ever – wall in Bolesworth’s history. Shane Breen and Acorad 3 cleared 2.20m in 2018 to take the glory in that record-setting year.

    Prolific puissance winners Guy Williams and Mr Blue Sky UK, owned by Caroline Phillips, were the only other combination to make the fifth round this year. The debutants taking on the kings of the red wall in a poetic ending to the sporting showdown.

    Mark and Montreuxs Tale jumped first, meaning Guy and the 13-year-old Chacco-Blue gelding Mr Blue Sky UK had to jump clear if they were to tie for first place. The bricks fell, putting Guy and the grey crowd favourite into second behind Mark.

    Irish rider Daniel McAlinden and The Stallion Company’s 12-year-old Chapristi were third, knocking the 2.13m wall in the fourth round.

    France’s Daniel Delsart and the powerful British-bred 16-year-old gelding Granby, owned by Derek Meeds, and Ireland’s David Simpson with nine-year-old catch ride Senators Rhondaigo, owned by Deborah Lax, both also went out in the fourth round, to take equal fourth place.

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