Rider claims one-two in Big Star six-year-old championship at Stoneleigh

  • Kaleche continued her brilliant track record in young horse classes for Ronnie Lee Jones as she headed the Prestige Italia Big Star six-year-old final at the British Showjumping national championships (3-10 August).

    The F-One USA x Nassau mare, who has been owned by Runningwell Sportshorses since she was a three-year-old, delivered the quickest of six treble clears to land the prestigious title, finishing 0.26 sec ahead of her stablemate, the stallion Key West RSH.

    In an incredibly close jump off, Lucy Townley collected third place with Billy Marionette, trailing just 0.03sec behind Ronnie’s two rides.

    “There were quite a few good six-year-olds in the class, so it was really nice to have two in it,” said Ronnie, one of the most successful young horse riders on the circuit, who also won this title with Interstar B two years ago.

    “I had an early draw and it was hard to know what to do. Luckily I had horses at the beginning and the end so I could see how it went and make a better plan on the last one if I needed to.”

    Ronnie, 27, has been Runningwell’s stable jockey for the past six years and has produced these horses from the start.

    Kaleche is a previous winner of the four and five-year-old championship at Bolesworth and this year she won the coveted Walwyn novice title at Royal Windsor, as well as heading the newcomers second round at Pyecombe.

    Key West RSH particularly shone out at Hickstead where he took the Al Shira’aa six-year-old championship at the national show in June.

    “I think Kaleche is probably one of the best young horses that [Runningwell] own. She has been fantastic as a four and five-year-old and she is proving herself even more as a six-year-old, there is no limit to her career,” said Ronnie, who now hopes to take both horses to Bolesworth to qualify for the world horse breeding championships at Lanaken.

    “I had my sights set on that when I started off the year with Kaleche, but I thought Key West might not be ready but he’s really stepped up to the mark. He is really enjoying the bigger rings and as a six-year-old they have to deal with quite a step up in [fence] height and I think that has really suited him,” he added.

    Both horses, as with most of the horses owned by Ruth and Ian Dowie at Runningwell, were sourced from Roelof Bril.

    “They are very different horses with their own their strengths and weaknesses, but they are both really competitive — when you put pressure on them and ask a lot from them, they both dig deep and deliver,” Ronnie said.

    “They are nicely bred horses and while management and how you produce them matters, good breeding definitely helps with how they perform.”

    Kaleche has already had embryos taken from her and now has two two-year-olds on the ground, one by Runningwell’s eight-year-old stallion Invictus and the other by Key West.

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