TWO riders took home £5,000 extra between them from Hickstead this weekend, by taking two of the three grand slam bonuses on offer at the Science Supplements All England September Tour.
The title sponsors had offered a total of £10,000 to any combination who could take the same class in both weeks of the tour (1-5 and 8-12 September).
Science Supplements offered £5,000 for winning both the 1.40m grands prix at the show; the Science Supplements Trophy on 5 September and the Science Supplements All England Grand Prix on 12 September. And to ensure there were prizes up for grabs for amateurs as well as pros, any combination who won both 1m championships took £2,000, with £3,000 for winning both Science Supplements 1.20m finals.
Trevor Breen, who won the first grand prix on Highland President, was ruled out of the second class by a late-falling pole. But Arianna Kuligowski and eight-year-old Ivascalle, whom she bought as an unbacked three-year-old, won both 1.20m amateur championships, and Jay Halim and Billy Cointreau took the 1m championship two weeks running, a title they also won last year.
“I did think I’d have a chance [of winning the grand slam], it was just whether I could do it or not!” Arianna said. “When I won the first week, I thought it was amazing, but the chance of winning again was slim. But when I jumped clear in the first round, I thought, ‘You know what? This might actually happen.’”
Last to go, Arianna knew exactly what she had to do, “and that’s what happened”, she said, thanking her “amazing” trainer Jude Burgess and father Roberto. “This mare’s a dream to ride and I don’t want to sell her; I love her too much.”
Science Supplements CEO David Mitson told H&H: “It was fantastic to see the bonus claimed by Arianna Kuligowski in the 1.20m amateur championship and Jay Halim in the 1m open at the Science Supplements All England September Tour.
“We firmly believe in the need to support and encourage the sport in the UK and we created the new grand slam concept to give both amateur riders and professionals the chance to aim for the double, and with that the added bonus prize money. This is especially significant for the amateur riders, as it creates a prize fund only usually seen for grand prix classes.”
Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn added that it was a tough ask to win any of the bonuses; riders had to win, qualify for the final the second week and then win again, all on the same horse.
“Massive congratulations to Jay and Arianna, who certainly made things exciting on Saturday and showed remarkable consistency and cool-headedness to win their respective bonuses,” she said. “Thanks also to Science Supplements for taking the initiative and putting up these bonus prizes.”
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