The Burchmore-Eames team enjoy success across the board, while a former eventer makes his mark at Bicton Arena, plus other showjumping highlights during 12–20 September
BICTON ARENA’S September Spectacular attracted competitors from all over Britain for a four-day schedule that included second round qualifiers for Aintree’s championship show as well as several grands prix.
Team Burchmore-Eames travelled all the way from Buckinghamshire and the riders were on top form, with Abbe Burchmore-Eames producing a fabulous round to win the Lord & Lady Equestrian newcomers second round from final draw on One Clarimo.
The seven-year-old son of Clearway is a Dutch-bred Holsteiner and was bought as a two-year-old from Mark Bosanko.
“He’s not very big, but he has so much stride,” commented Abbe. “Now that he’s getting brave, he’s becoming scopier. He’s so careful that I don’t have to worry about knocking down fences either.”
A temporary member of the team had already won day one’s talent seekers qualifier. Irishman Nick Connors was competing at his first British show with the exciting seven-year-old Chacco Blue stallion Holy Blue, who also jumped double clear in the following day’s 1.40m open.
“Nick is my sister Georgie’s boyfriend and she suggested that he came over for Bicton,” explained Abbe. “His win was one of the reasons I tried so hard. I couldn’t let him have all the glory!”
Georgie also had her own moments in the spotlight, winning a Derby class and a 1.20m A4
on Abbe’s former top ride, Wilandri E.
“He’s 17 now and owes me nothing, but he still absolutely loves jumping so he’s having a nice time with Georgie,” said Abbe, who was impressed by Bicton’s main arena.
“The going was unbelievable. I love the county shows and missed the 2019 season due to a head injury. Then we lost this year through coronavirus, so it was lovely to jump on grass again.”
Mark Edwards didn’t waste an inch to head the Equitop GLME Foxhunter second round on Vicky Gillard’s seven-year-old mare Ede Peasy, while Angie Thompson won the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet grade C on the huge Shutterbug, a Sir Shutterfly 11-year-old who evented with his breeder Philip Tuckwell before starting his showjumping career.
Chloe Reynolds took first and second places in her family-sponsored KJ Reynolds five-year-old grand prix on Kiss By Balia and K Mlyn’s Kashira.
Bethanie Knight took the JGE-sponsored six-year-old honours with Julius, while the Bosanko Sporthorses four-year-old style and performance went to Peggy Baker’s impressive stallion UFO MB Z.
The 53-starter Mitchell & Webber 1.40m grand prix ended with an exciting 15-horse jump-off in which Adrian Whiteway’s flyer from an early draw on Anytime II proved impossible to beat.
Vale View, Leics
PONY riders had more chances to qualify for Aintree at Vale View’s second-round show, where, despite a loose girth and a slipping saddle in the jump-off, 16-year-old Seb Marmont took the honours in the pony showjumper qualifier on Danubertha.
Seb, son of former international showjumper Nigel Marmont, is in his final pony year. After good performances in Arena UK’s pony trials, he and Danubertha had been building up towards a big win.
The Dutch-bred Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve mare is home-produced. The Marmonts bought her as a four-year-old and she was ridden first by Seb’s sister Imogen before Seb took over in 2018.
“Seb’s doing his A levels at the moment, so he doesn’t have time to ride her every day, but she’s the most lovely, level-headed pony. She’s as happy hacking round the farm and down the road as she is in the ring,” said Seb’s mother Vanessa.
The Marmonts are extremely grateful that qualifying shows started so quickly after the lockdown.
“British Showjumping doesn’t always get appreciation, but they’ve done a good job getting everything going again and giving us something to aim for,” said Nigel.
Olivia Sponer and Tabitha Kyle continued their recent run of form. Olivia won the British novice and discovery second rounds on Conella II and Indien Legacy respectively, while Tabitha headed the pony newcomers second round with Nightgirl Van Het Sonnishof Z.
There were only five first-round clears in the junior Foxhunter second round, and victory went to Izzy Armstrong and her eight-year-old Welsh cob gelding Rhencullen Tommy Tucker by just 0.18sec.
Scottish sport resumes
SHORTLY after showjumping resumed in Scotland, second rounds were underway at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC), where competition was fierce in every class. Lucy Stewart’s run of form continued with a win in the NAF Five Star silver league qualifier on her 2018 HOYS champion Cancun II, while Kirstie Boyd will have her first chance in a major national final after winning the bronze equivalent on her little mare Elle Clover.
Lockdown training pays off
SCOTTISH rider Millie Walker is enjoying unprecedented success in the pony bronze leagues. Millie, who celebrated her 11th birthday in July, headed the Scottish and national overall points, plus the Scottish 128cm league with Bleach Boy. She also took the medal for top Scottish 138cm bronze league points with her other pony, Lucy Locket VI.
“It was Lucy’s ambition to win the bronze leagues. After training at home during lockdown, she’s already jumping Bleach Boy in silver league classes,” said Millie’s father, George. “She’s just incredibly proud of her ponies and loves them to bits.”
Lynch lands the big one
IRELAND’S Denis Lynch landed the CSI5* grand prix at Hubside Jumping, Saint Tropez, riding the 13-year-old stallion Cristello (Numero Uno x Voltaire).
“Today I had a great feeling and I said to myself: ‘It’s our turn!’” said Denis, who has been riding Cristello since December. “We’re still getting to know each other but he’s very brave. I now know that we have a good chance of winning, thanks to his big stride and his fighting spirit. I’m really lucky to have him in my stables.”
Speedy French riders Simon Delestre (Hermes Ryan) and Julien Epaillard (Queeletta) filled the remaining steps on the podium.
Whitaker in blanket finish
THE victor of this week’s CSI3* grand prix on the Sunshine Tour was Marcelo Chirico Ferreira riding QH Baloudarc LF, but a raft of British and Irish riders followed hot on his heels in a 12-way jump-off. Just 0.07sec behind, Billy Twomey took the runner-up spot with Sue Davis’ powerful 12-year-old Casall stallion Chat Botte ED with his countryman Anthony Condon third riding SFS Vincomte. John Whitaker announced his arrival in France with a fourth-place finish on Unick Du Francport. In a blanket finish, just half a second separated the top four. Back in eighth having picked up four faults against the clock was James Wilson with the great campaigner Galway Bay Jed.
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Tom Whitaker tops a classy field, Irish youngsters shine and two riders score one-twos at this well-attended show