Guy Williams and his prolific winner Mr Blue Sky UK completed their full house of major British puissance titles with joint victory over the red wall at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show (10 July).
Three combinations cleared the 2.16m wall in the fifth round of the puissance, sponsored by Equitop GLME, to share the spoils.
Elliott Smith and the aptly named Flamboyant III, puissance winners at Bolesworth in 2019 and 2020, and Derek Morton with KBS High Quality, who scored a puissance win during the 2020 young horse championships at Bolesworth, also added their names to the 2021 Bolesworth puissance roll of honour.
“He jumped it very easily. He’s actually better the last round when you can just let him run off a bit. If you let him run off too early, then he gets too strong. The last round is almost the easiest for him, to be honest,” said Guy, who won the Windsor puissance just last week with the exceptional gelding.
The eye-catching grey (Chacco-Blue x Cento), owned by Caroline Phillips, is arguably the greatest puissance horse of this generation and Guy added he is “definitely” among the best he has ever had.
“I’ve had a few good ones– Richi Rich III, Una II – and he jumps it very easily, every time,” he said. “It was lovely to win that in front of everybody.”
Guy and Mr Blue Sky UK have won them all – Olympia, Horse of the Year Show, Liverpool, Windsor, plus puissance crowns abroad. The Bolesworth crown was the missing piece of the brick jigsaw for the pair, and it seemed fitting that this fan favourite should take the title in front of the first crowd at the Cheshire venue for three years.
Such was the quality of the seven-strong field that a full-house made it through to the third round, although Irish challenger Jack Ryan (KBS Major Player) chose to call it a day after clearing the 1.85m wall in round two.
Jay Halim (Gentleman Vd Riethandel) and Jack Whitaker (Flinstering), who were both on horses jumping their first pussiance class, were unlucky to nudge out the top bricks with a hind-leg. William Whitaker and last-minute catch-ride Top Dollar VI, owned by Laura Renwick, had a miscommunication and took a tumble. Both were quickly up and were not injured.
This left three to go forward to the fourth round. A quick rendition of Three Lions by the crowd, as a nod to Sunday’s Euros 2020 final, while the wall was built to an imposing 2.08m, heightened the atmosphere.
Flawless jumps from all three horses, and up went the wall again for the fifth and final round (2.16m). Three more clears meant the win was shared by the trio.
“He loves the venue,” said Elliott, of his now three-time Bolesworth puissance winner. “We’ve had him since he was three and we always knew he could jump big as he jumped out of the field! He’s just a big jumper.
“He’s jumped at Olympia, HOYS and we’ve just been a bit unlucky, but we’ve managed to be more lucky here. He loved the crowd and he loves the attention.”
Derek was equally delighted to win. The 10-year-old OBOS Quality gelding maintained his 100% puissance strike-rate over the Bolesworth wall, having also won on his last attempt in 2020.
“It’s always good to win, whether it’s a British novice or a puissance!” added Derek.
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