British home-bred horses claimed the lion’s share of the prizes in the Joshua Jones UK discovery championship in a shout out for British breeding during the second day of action at Hartpury’s Blue Chip championships.
Bex Mason riding Rarity for Niki Caine and Suzanne Beddoes claimed the title ahead of Emma-Jo Slater aboard Kim Barzilay’s Kimba Time, who is by Time Out M out of a mare by Heartbreaker.
A mammoth entry of 107 competitors initially bid for glory in this championship over course-designer Paul Connors’ 12-fence track with 27 returning to battle it out in the jump-off.
Emma-Jo set a sizzling target from second draw with the eager Kimba Time and held on to the lead despite several challenges. But Bex gave it her all and found slighter tighter lines with the seven-year-old Rarity to ease ahead by 0.84 sec and snatch the title.
“There was a tight inside turn and Niki said, ‘You can’t do that turn,’ but I told her I was doing it! I didn’t think I’d beat Emma-Jo, she was fast and there didn’t look any room for improvement but this mare is very quick even if she doesn’t look like it,” said a delighted Bex, who was making a winning return to this show. “I won the Blue Chip Karma performance championship with Van Curtis in 2019, the last time this show was held. You win once, you think it is a fluke, to win a second time in amazing.”
The Argento seven-year-old out of an Abdullah mare was previously with Mike Winter for eventing, but switched disciplines to showjumping and joined Bex in March 2021.
“She’s quite buzzy and fussy in the mouth – dressage wasn’t her forte, she wanted to be a jumper,” said Bex, who would like to focus on newcomer second rounds in the summer.
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