‘Abnormally careful and super competitive’: Foxhunter runner-up scoops newcomers crown *H&H Plus*

  • Find out more about the 2020 newcomers champions Sam VD Tojopehoeve Z and Danielle Ryder, who topped their runner-up spot in Saturday’s Foxhunter final to claim a crown on the final day of the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals...

    Foxhunter runners up Danielle Ryder and Sam VD Tojopehoeve Z went one better on the final day (11 October) of the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals at Aintree International Equestrian Centre to win the Lord & Lady Equestrian senior newcomers title.

    The talented eight-year-old, whom Danielle co-owns with Willem van Hoof and Harrie Smolders, sped across Mark McGowan’s championship jump-off course with a ground-eating stride to bag victory with close to two seconds to spare .

    The dark bay never looked at risk of touching a pole and made short work of the last tricky line from the double to the final oxer, which caught out a number of competitors, stopping the clock in 36.61 seconds.

    “He is abnormally careful and super competitive,” said Danielle, who found the horse through a clinic she organised at Aintree in January.

    “He has an interesting personality — he is super careful and when you have a horse as careful as he is, they tend to be sensitive with everything. He is very competitive and doesn’t take a lot of encouragement to be competitive as he wants to win.

    “I think the courses have been very good — there were more clears today than other days — and I knew the jump-off was going to be fast before we started, so there was only one way to go!”

    Charlie Dawson (Iloma) and talent seekers winners Chantelle Duggan (Linton De La Chapelle) both caught Danielle on time, but a rail for Charlie at the lamppost oxer and the final fence for Chantelle dropped them into fourth and fifth respectively.

    A smart clear from James Smith and Joyride CMS was rewarded with the runner-up spot, while third went to Gemma Chapman and I Luna L.

    Danielle and “Sam’s” success this week is even more impressive given the fact that a year ago she was in hospital with a serious back injury.

    “This time last year I was in hospital as I had broken my back in six places, so it is a different story here today,” said Danielle.

    “I had a really simple fall from a four-year-old and broke my T12 and L1,2,3,4 and 5. At the beginning it looked a disaster, but now I’m good.

    “I spent two weeks in hospital; the first week I couldn’t move and slowly I started walking and came home with a zimmer frame.

    “We don’t tend to have any ‘gangsters’ or ones who would do you harm, but unfortunately you can fall off nice ones as well.”