In bright sunshine, and sweltering heat, Claire Oliver and Masterful claimed the Patey Hats Royal International hunter championship.
After heading their middleweight line up, the Band Master seven-year-old retained his sparkle to clinch the title in the international arena. Owned by Jethro Bloodstock, Masterful also stood supreme ridden champion at The Royal Show two weeks earlier.
Horse & Hound columnist Katie Jerram took the reserve award riding her mother Jill’s winner Azarax, who stood top of the lightweight line up.
Also coming before judges Richard Ramsay and Kath Barley for the final reckoning, were the heavyweight winner Book of Kells (David Tatlow) and runners up Finn McCool (Guy Landau — lightweight), Imperator (Lorraine Homer — middleweight) and Manton II (Robert Walker — heavyweight).
“These classes were a joy to judge. We had some lovely horses coming forward, and it was a very open championship” said Richard Ramsay.
Katie Jerram and Azarax completed a rare Hickstead winning double, when heading a high class 16-strong ladies hunter line up later on in the day. Standing second was Shelley Pereham riding Pearl Underwood’s Tommy III.
Sisters Lucy and Clare Heseltine proved unbeatable in the Hutton Management amateur riding horse classes. After winning their respective small and large divisions, Lucy then took the championship with Queenstown (large), while her sister Clare stood reserve with Little Gem.
Queenstown is a seven-year-old mare by Golden Heights was originally bought by Lucy as a foal and was also champion here last year.
“We’ve had a run of third places up to coming here, so this is a great result,” said Lucy, who also finished third in the Irish Sport Horse Stud Book ladies hunter class riding Kozee.
Results Thursday 24 July
Patey Hats hunters, lightweight – 1 & res, J Jerram’s Azarax; 2, J Dunlop OBE’s Finn McCool; 3, A Smurfitt’s Bow River. middleweight – 1 & ch, Jethro Bloodstock’s Masterful; 2, Mr & Mrs Hall’s Imperator; 3, C Bardo’s Standing Ovation. hwt – 1, Kelanne Stud’s Book of Kells; 2, J Day’s Manton; 3, D Heath’s Avalanche. Hutton Management amateur riding horse small – 1 & res, C Heseltine’s Little Gem II; 2, D Stennett’s Foxy Formula; 3, B Cole’s Vygo Warrior. large – 1 & ch, A Heseltine’s Queenstown; 2, V Lucas’s Kings Gold; 3, S Lanz’s Friday Morning. Irish Sport Horse Stud Book ladies hunter – 1, Azarax; 2, P Underwood’s Tommy III; 3, L Heseltine’s Kozee.