Arena UK showjumping report: Dawson’s double success *H&H Plus*

  • Charlie Dawson and Iloma add to their tally, while Yazmin Pinchen is in the money with a veteran stallion

    Arena UK September Second Round Show, Lincs

    Charlie Dawson’s decision to carefully select classes for Iloma paid off with a double whammy in the talent seekers and Equitop GLME Foxhunter second round.

    They had already secured newcomers qualification and concluded this show by also taking a grade C ticket to count four finals at the alternative Horse of the Year Show at Aintree.

    “She trusts me, we have an unbreakable bond,” said Charlie, 21, who bought the Untouched S x Mr Blue seven-year-old unbroken four years ago.

    “She was a wild, feral 15.2hh and used to run around the stable and guard her food. I think she was in a pen with others so we spent time handling her, though at first I fell off more than I was on!”

    They topped the talent seekers 24-strong jump-off by 0.64sec. “She’s careful and freaks if another horse has a fence down in the warm-up,” said Charlie, who tackled the Foxhunter qualifier four days later.

    “I was drawn first and kept smooth and tight but took a stride out to the last. She’s so quick – makes a nice shape but like a whippet over a fence,” she added, after winning by 0.35sec.

    Derek Morton headed a field of 98 to take the Lord & Lady Equestrian newcomers second round on Brian Squire’s Zlatan Z.

    “I bought him as a two-year-old and he’s done everything we’ve asked,” said Derek of the Zirocco Blue VDL x Centauer Z stallion, winner of the winter six-year-old final at the National Championships, Bolesworth.

    “He’s one of the most naturally careful horses I’ve sat on and still goes in the same snaffle bridle he wore at his first show.

    “He’s made a couple of errors since lockdown, but after having months off, youngsters have been under pressure with the National Championships, Bolesworth young horse championships and second rounds. He came up with the goods today. Course-designer Mark McGowan did a fantastic job, the first half of the course was open with a long run to the water and the last half was technical.”

    Zlatan stands at stud and serves naturally. “We’re pleased with his first crop this year,” said Derek.

    Arrogant stallion comes up trumps

    Yazmin Pinchen was at her second show since February with Van De Vivaldi, but the 17-year-old stallion got back into the groove to take the £2,000-to-the-winner 1.40m grand prix.

    “He’s a legend and doesn’t let me down,” said Yazmin, who had two through to the six-horse jump-off, setting an unbeatable standard from second draw.

    “He’s been off with injury – he’s an old guy and it was just wear and tear and I wasn’t sure he’d come back. He jumped at a local show but went terribly on day one here. He can be cocky and arrogant but I’m confident with him and knew I could go fast,” added Yazmin, who has several of his youngsters at home.

    “We have two three-year-olds ready to be backed, including one from my old mare Ashkari that I’m really excited about as we lost her during lockdown.”

    Claire Neilson-Hansen has qualified for four Aintree finals with Cat and David Stirling-Hull’s SES Salute. Already through to the talent seekers, the Cheers Cassini seven-year-old picked up Foxhunter and newcomers qualification before heading the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet grade C in an eight-strong jump-off.

    “She’s rangy and easily lengthens her stride,” said Claire, who relies on Joe Whitaker’s advice. “She used to get her tongue over the bit, now we’ve found the key with a running gag.”

    Courtney Young topped a competitive 13-horse jump-off for the six-year-old final on Olivia VD Barlebuis, an Echo Van’t Spieveld mare bought two years ago.

    “She’s fizzy and gets super-excited in the warm-up but does her job in the ring and covers the ground,” said Courtney.

    Ruby Fryer commanded the Moorby Stud four-year-old final with 19.5 points for style and performance on Lorenzo VII, an El Salvador gelding bought unbroken from Brightwell Sales last year.

    “He’s a dude. He jumped clear in the early qualifiers so I gave him time off and he came out so fresh he almost jumped me off in the warm-up. I didn’t expect to win – we had a fence down in the first round and I’d put him away,” said Ruby, who hastily returned to jump clear in round two.

    “She’s allergic to wood”

    Helen Rees’ last-minute decision to enter paid handsomely as the excitable seven-year-old Bianca Du Rouet (Statinus x Balou Du Rouet) headed a Foxhunter qualifier and the final.

    “She keeps surprising me by finding more; it doesn’t feel any harder jumping 1.30m than newcomers. She qualified for talent seekers at Pyecombe and, as one person said, ‘She’s allergic to wood,’” said Helen.

    Chris Franks topped the 1.20m final with Mary-Ann Baker’s 11-year-old Mega Times (The Megabyte x Goodtimes).

    “This was her first show since January as I went out to Valencia and returned to lockdown. My plan was to jump clears and build up her fitness but she loves to be competitive – she picked up the bridle and made the decision we were going against the clock,” said Chris.

    Equal second here, Julie Greig went one better to land the 1.10m final on Hero II. Julie bought the Carabas Van De Wateringhoeve 13-year-old two years ago for daughter Shaunie.

    “She didn’t like him so Nick Williams rode him but after he came home for lockdown, I decided to get back competing,” said Julie, who – apart from competing for six months after Shaunie was born 17 years ago – gave up serious competition when she was 16. Nevertheless, Julie has already clocked up four wins in a month.

    “He’s quirky and likes to tow you in [to a fence] but we have a bond,” she said of Hero.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 8 October 2020