Horse & Hound columnist Katie Jerram could hardly conceal her delight when her parents Mike and Jill’s Dunbeacon claimed the hunter championship at the Royal International Horse Show.
Irish-bred by Abdullah, Dunbeacon had coped admirably with the early morning soft ground to win his lightweight division, and really rose to the occasion to take the tricolour in the international arena.
“He is such a polite ride, and I can safely say my horse of a lifetime,” said Katie. Katie also rode Snow Patrol to finish second to the 2011 RIHS hunter champions Major Moylaw and Loraine Homer in the heavyweight section.
Quality and quantity stretched right down the line in the three weight divisions, Ireland’s Rosemary Connors having a busy morning riding 65 horses.
Standing second to Dunbeacon in the lightweight class was Robert Walker riding the Hickstead Derby Meeting champion Vantage Point.
Also contesting the high-class championship were Allister Hood riding the middleweight winner Potters Ace who took the reserve, and middleweight runners up Jayne Webber and Knightsbridge Court.
Jayne went one better in the ladies class when standing top with Kay Campbell’s Champagne Kir Royale, a home-bred six-year-old by Wurlitzer out of Gold Mine.
For the second year running Helen Whiteley-John claimed the amateur riding horse championship with Sea Ocean Field, who stood top of the large division.
“It’s been a bit of a rush as I only finished work quite late last night, but he went beautifully again,” said Helen, who took the reserve open title at the Derby Meeting with her Irish-bred eight-year-old.
The reserve accolade went to Hannah Lang who stood second to the champion in the large class.
Lucy Heseltine and Funtime Frankie maintained wonderful consistency to head the smalls for the fourth consecutive year.
Leeman hunter (Mrs R Connors, Mr A Edmunds) lwt. 1 & ch, Mr &Mrs Jerram’s Dunbeacon; 2, J Day’s Vantage Point; 3, D Stennett’s Time 2 Reflect. mwt. 1 & res, Mr & Mrs Bowie’s Potters Ace; 2, C Bardo’s Knightsbridge Court; 3, S Iggulden’s Oathill Take The Biscuit. hwt. 1, Mr & Mrs Hall’s Major Moylaw; 2, Mr & Mrs Jerram’s Snow Patrol II; 3, Holt Family’s Act Flynn Lad. ladies (Miss K Barley, Mr S Somers). 1, K Campbell’s Champagne Kir Royale; 2, N & P Moon’s Timelord; 3, Armstrong-Small & Buckton’s Kansas Toddle. Hutton amateur rh (Mr S Somers, Miss K Barley) sml. 1, C Heseltine’s Funtime Frankie; 2,A Cook’s Jackson Fair & Square; 3, J Harvey’s Cuinegan Steady Eddie. lge. 1, 1 & ch, H Whiteley-John’s Sea Ocean Field; 2 & res, H Lang’s Eclipse; 3, A Blundell’s D’Astaire.