Cheers for a speedy mum and a Funnell one-two at Hickstead on Saturday *H&H Plus*

  • The Voltaire Design Douglas Bunn Challenge winner is crowned, as the Billy Stud’s young horse success continues and Jay Halim takes the 1m championship. H&H talks to the winning riders

    SAMMIE Jo Coffin’s seven-hour journey home from Hickstead to Cornwall will feel much shorter after she made Saturday’s Voltaire Design Douglas Bunn Challenge her own.

    This class includes many of Hickstead’s iconic Derby fences and Sammie won from second draw on her wonderful 17-year-old Willem De Lux.

    She was equally thrilled with the mare Bellamy, who was having her first try at Derby-type obstacles and jumped clear to finish third. Gemma Tattersall had a great try on another veteran, 16-year-old Chico Bella P, and finished just over a second behind Sammie in second place.

    William De Lux was sixth in the 2018 Hickstead Derby.

    “That was the aim for this year, but lockdown put paid to that,” said Sammie. “I know he’ll be 18 next season, but he loves it here, so maybe we can come back again in 2021.”

    The Al Shira’aa seven-year-old championship proved a triumph for the Billy Stud when William Funnell and Billy Marmite jumped the faster of only two double clears to beat Lucy Townley on Billy Pablo.

    Billy Marmite, who has not had a fence down here all week, was partnered by Pippa Funnell in 2019, when their achievements included second place in the six-year-old final at last year’s British young horse championships.

    “Pippa did a great job. This is one horse I would love to keep,” said William of the Billy Mexico x Vechta gelding.

    “Come on Mummy. Go faster,” shouted Amy Carnet’s three-year-old daughter Remy during the jump-off of the Goodbye Flys 1.20m amateur championship.

    Mummy had to do just that, as she was chasing a great time set by Army rider Holly Hall on WKD San Remo. But she and Banderas managed to turn that fraction tighter to add this title to their win in the equivalent class at the 2019 Derby meeting.

    Banderas was bred by Tessa Talbot, the mother of Amy’s partner, fellow showjumper Grant Talbot.

    “Amy broke him in when he was four and then we reluctantly sold him,” said Tessa. “when he came back to us it was fate and he and Amy now have a brilliant partnership.”

    Holly Hall and WKD San Remo also had to settle for second place in the IG Equine 1,10m amateur final. The winner was Jasmine Gutsell, who was almost overcome with joy after her best ever win. Jasmine jumped a fantastic round from first draw of a nine-horse jump-off on her 10-year-old Killuppaun Contador.

    “I’ve had her since she was five and we’ve grown up together. She’s a wonderful horse,” said Hertfordshire-based Jasmine, who works for equine photography company SBM.

    In a repeat of their Bolesworth triumph, Jay Halim and Billy Cointreau galloped to victory in the DM Horseboxes 1m championship. This was also the Gloucestershire-based star’s first ever win in the International Arena.

    “I’m really pleased with him. I know he’s experienced at a higher level. but he wasn’t a happy horse when he came to me and I’m just trying to rebuild his confidence,” explained Jay. “I’ll take him hunter trialling and hunting next and because he’s very talented, I’m hoping he’ll be ready for bigger things again next season.”

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