Horse & Hound's coverage of Ashford Farm CSI4* Bolesworth International (18-21 June) is brought to you in association with Equestrian.com
The Equi-Trek CSI4* 1.35m final produced one of the tightest jump-offs of the week so far and it was Scottish rider James Smith who dominated the class with a margin of just 0.08 seconds riding Leona Smith’s Cumina at Ashford Farm Bolesworth International (Sunday, 21 June).
The first round saw penalties strewn across the class with just 12 combinations battling it out in the jump-off from the 46 starters. James was drawn first to go and set a fast pace with his 36.5 second round.
“I didn’t think I’d done enough but she is a naturally quick horse, who turns well and I just tried to keep as tight as possible,” said James, who collected the £2,970 winner’s prize fund.
“I’ve had her for nine years since she was a five-year-old and she’s always been a winner for me – she always genuinely tries. She is quick everywhere and doesn’t waste time. She was a bit spooky the first time she went into the international arena but not today,” he added of the grey mare by Cumano who will now head to the British Masters with James.
Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, who scooped yesterday’s CSI2* grand prix, continued what has been a successful Bolesworth campaign – the 27-year-old put in a good challenge but had to settle for the runner-up spot with Ashford Farm’s eight-year-old mare Cavalia.
British leading lady rider Laura Renwick – yesterday’s CSI4* 1.35m speed class victor with Beluga – finished third with the seven-year-old mare Ulievka De Breve in a time of 37 seconds.
Keith Shore and Zegreanne Z finished behind Laura, while Robert Whitaker beat his father, John into sixth – claiming fifth riding Renkum Centre Star.
Jay Halim looked set to mean business going into the jump-off with Goodman For Fun II but an unlucky pole down in a speedy time of 35.70 seconds relegated them to seventh.