Tim Stockdale and Fresh Direct Animation became top scorers in the battle for wildcards to the British Open at the Addington Classic show. Joining Tim at Birmingham will be rising star William Whitaker, 17, on Arielle.
Tim meant business from the start and topped Friday’s jump-off class. Young rider Ryan Prater slipped into second place on Otage ahead of William Whitaker.
Saturday’s speed track was stronger and Michael Whitaker eased Insultech Up To Date into the top spot. Helen Tredwell bounced into contention in second place ahead of John Whitaker on St Honores Liquido. Tim and Animation gained 19 points for fifth place, giving them a healthy lead going into the final class.
It was all to play for in the grand prix. Seven jumped clear and were joined in the jump-off by fastest four-faulter James Billington on Lady Des Hayettes. These did not include Tim and Animation, but by finishing eleventh they had done enough to claim their British Open ticket.
William Whitaker produced a super double clear on the 10-year-old Arielle, ahead of Michael Whitaker on Up To Date. Then Robert Whitaker claimed top spot on Lacroix, ensuring that William joined his fellow family members in Birmingham.
Read this report in full, including photos and further analysis, in tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (12 April, ’07)