Catch up with the biggest stories from the second day of top-class showing action at Arena UK...
A masterclass performance from local producer Lucy Glover with Sharon Harrison’s home-bred part-bred Arab mare, Sarison Heavenly Silk (Lily), secured a well-deserved place at the top of the winter restricted supreme line-up.
Eight challengers came forward for Arena UK co-proprietor Teresa Stratford — no stranger to showing — to judge but she had no hesitation in deciding her result.
“This animal was just poetry in motion to watch,” she declared. “Everything was smooth, looked elegant and presented the perfect picture throughout.”
The daughter of Kilvington Scoundrel, out of the successful hack mare Royal Silk, has remained in restricted part-bred ranks after being unable to contest her final at Royal International in 2019 due to injury. Since Lucy is now out of intermediates, the aim for this season is hack and part-bred classes, and this was their second outing of the year.
“I am thrilled,” said Sharon Harrison who, although on hand to watch the section and its championship, was called away before the finale. “Lily is looking and going as well as I have ever seen her.”
A fitting champion also emerged in the UK Ponies & Horses native section, when Lynda Crayston’s magnificent Highland, Balmoral Merlin, collected the section championship.
Home producer Sophie Barker could not have been more delighted with the 13-year-old, whom she has on loan.
The pair are in their first season together and have also qualified for the amateur final at Hickstead.
Rebecca Penny’s winning form continued when her multi-garlanded Fell stallion Townend Schubert — a former ridden novice ridden supreme and novice worker champion here last year — took the restricted worker title with Aimee Devane, before Nicki Glenn’s super-consistent home-produced Welsh D stallion Larnleighs Dictator landed the Royal International worker section title with Rebecca herself in the plate.
The run of Team Forster/Jinks also continued when yesterday’s novice supreme, the 143cm show hunter pony Romanno Spot of Distinction, triumphed in his first Royal International qualifier, and the seven-year-old show pony Brindlebrook Masterpiece — still a stallion at stud until last year — landed the restricted title.
Anthony Gribbon’s 148cm show pony Stretcholt About Time kept the team’s flag flying too, winning his Royal International class and standing section champion, piloted by Riese Shakespeare, whilst Tilly Leech partnered the delightful first ridden Barkway Alfie Moon to win their Royal International qualifier and take the section reserve.
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Catch up with the biggest stories from the opening day of action at Arena UK...