Harriet Nuttall and her home-produced star Galway Bay Jed were popular winners of the CSI4* 1.50m jump-off class on the second day of the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show (29 December).
The 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Cup-winning combination jumped two foot-perfect rounds to win the fiercely competitive class, sponsored by Voltaire Design.
A total of 12 out of the 31 starters jumped clear over the first round of Alan Wade’s technical track, including seven Brits.
Drawn third-last to go against the clock, Harriet knew she had to beat Tobias Meyer and Queentina’s time of 35.65 seconds, which she did comfortably by a margin of 1.25 seconds. In third was Sweden’s Angelie Von Essen and Cochella.
This was Galway Bay Jed’s “first proper show back” after a four-month break over the summer.
“I got halfway round the jump-off and I think my competitiveness took over as I started off slow and I got quicker and quicker,” said Harriet.
“He was amazing, when I ask him to go, he really can go.
“He is quite hard to turn, but he covers so much ground that when I turn I know that if I put my leg on he is away again, and he can also jump from quite a slow pace — he is an amazing horse to have, he is so clever, careful and scopey.”
Harriet added the horse’s break was due to some troubles with protein in his diet, which affected his front feet.
“We are happy with him now and he feels so good, it has actually done him good to have a bit of a break — he has really grown up and really muscled out and feels really good,” she said.
Harriet added it “means the world” to have produced the horse from a five-year-old.
“My family and everyone at home works so hard, we’ve always produced our own horses,” she said, adding they are “chuffed and proud” to have him.
“It takes a long time to get here, but once you do it is so worth it.”
Harriet followed-up her trophy with a third place in the Conway Land Rover ride & drive, riding her 2016 Hickstead Speed Derby winner Silver Lift.
The fun class was won by Paul Barker riding Dalton W, with professional driver Phil House behind the wheel.
“It was very good fun, it was a good class and Phil did a good job,” said Paul. “I qualified for the class this afternoon and Phil is a professional, so straight away I thought ‘there’s my man’.”
Phil added he was “over the moon” when Paul called him earlier today.
“I’m here with my missus, who is doing the amateur classes, but to do this was mega.”
The class was not without drama — the bridle slid off one of Sameh El Dahan’s rides, startling the horse and resulting in Sameh bailing out the side. Thankfully the horse was quickly caught and both were none the worse for the mishap.
However Sameh’s luck was in earlier in the day when the Egyptian showjumper piloted new ride Miss G Tracy into first place in the Pullman Hotel CSI4* 1.45m speed class.
The Northern Ireland-based rider was drawn midway through the 34-strong field, knocking provisional leaders Tobias Meyer and Coer De Lion 22 into second by 0.02 seconds.
“I’m very pleased as this is a new horse for us, for [my wife] Joanne and I, we decided to buy her a few months ago so this is a major win for us with her,” said Sameh, who bought the 13-year-old chestnut mare from Ireland’s Michael Kearins earlier this year.
“You have to be as competitive as you can — when you see the start list there are so many really good riders and really good horses, fast as well.
“I was in the middle of the class so I had to take every risk there was and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but it worked out today so I’m really pleased.”
The Irish sport horse stumbled after the second fence, but quickly recovered her balance to jump clear.
“The third jump comes really quick, but she’s a brave horse and I just had to keep my cool — my reins were a little bit longer than I would have liked for the whole course, but it worked out.
“She’s a naturally quick horse, she has a lot of thoroughbred in her breeding and she acts like it — she’s a quick horse and has a lot of quality, you don’t have to chase her, you just stay in your rhythm and she is quick by nature.
“It’s always lucky when you are sat on a horse like this in a speed class as it makes that difference which obviously worked in our favour today.”
Nineteen-year-old Harry Charles was the best of the Brits with a beautiful round aboard Doulita to finish in third.
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Catch up on all the action from the opening day of the Liverpool International Horse Show
The 27-year-old Hickstead favourite claimed today's feature class at the Royal International Horse Show
Pony European 2018 team gold and individual bronze medallist Claudia Moore topped the 148cm class for a second year running with two flawless clear rounds.
Claudia (pictured, above), who was riding Katrina Moore’s Delflip (“Flipper”), was drawn second to go in the six-strong jump-off.
A well-calculated round of crisp turns and sharp angles paid off and the pair stopped the clock on 31.49 seconds, putting pressure on those left to jump.
Anoushka Mauree and Miami Moonbeam were the next fastest, but tipped the planks, dropping them into third.
Lila Bremner and the eight-year-old Lapislazuli were last to go, jumping the only other double-clear of the class to take the runner-up spot.
“I was very nervous, but I knew my pony was capable of beating the others and it was the most amazing feeling to be able to go up [on the podium] for a second time as a second-time winner,” said Claudia, who won the 2017 class on her 2018 pony European medal-winning partner Elando van de Roshoeve.
She added she has had “the most magical year” and credited her success to her owners, grooms, helpers and parents.
Claudia has been riding Flipper since she was 12 and the pony was a green seven-year-old.
“I was bucked off the first time I rode her, but I kept working and I’ve had so much help from my mum and dad as well as all those who support me that she’s become this amazing pony who tries her best and has the biggest heart,” she added.
Meanwhile, Polly Shaw and Tony Pearson proved unstoppable in the amateur classes.
Hertfordshire-based Polly won the first class of the day, the John Deere at Turner Groundscare CSI amateur two-phase 1.15m, aboard her 2017 Liverpool-winning grey mare Golden Grove Alt A.
The combination pipped Tony and Bombastic to victory by 0.08 seconds, before a reversal of fortunes in the Horse & Country TV 1.25m two-phase.
In the second class, Tony was victorious with new ride Berlin and Polly finished second on Galano Ter Klomp.
“Myself and Polly sort of do the same shows,” said Tony. “We are both quite competitive, and we both know if we are in a class, it is going to be quick.”
Don’t miss the 10 January issue of Horse & Hound for more from the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show