Austrlia’s Edwina Alexander and her 15.2hh Olympic partner Isovlas Itot Du Chateau produce the sole double clear in the Rolex World Cup qualifier at Olympia.
The time in the first round was very tight causing riders to make mistakes as they tried to make it home within the 69sec they were alloted.
“In hindsight, I think it was about two to three seconds too tight,” said course designer Bob Ellis. “But the jury decided to leave it as it was.”
However, Edwina was glad it wasn’t extended.
“My horse is so fast, I knew he would make it,” she said.
John Whitaker, riding Mandy Hall’s Casino 43 had produced the first clear, and thought it would have been enough to win, given that the 32 riders before him had left the course with either jumping or time penalties. But Edwina followed immediately and repeated the feat.
John went first in the jump-off, but hit the final fence.
“I knew my time was beatable, but I was hoping for another clear,” he said.
Edwina decided to go for a steady clear to secure her win on this her first visit to Olympia.
“I knew I could have a fence down, but that was a risk I had to take,” she said.
But she needn’t have worried as her little chestnut gelding jumped round cleanly for a second time.
“People doubted his ability when [my partner] Jan [Tops] bought him. They said he’d be too small for the Olympics, but he has the heart of a lion and jumped two clear rounds in the team competition in Hong Kong,” said Edwina, who is based with Jan in the Netherlands.
Listen to Edwina Alexander’s interview
John now plans to visit some more World Cup shows.
“Now I have some points, I’ll see about going to some more qualifiers,” he said.
This win leaves Edwina second on the Western European League with 39 points, the same as Ben Maher.
Ben finished fourth in the class here on one time fault with his own and Quainton Stud’s Robin Hood W behind Sweden’s Helena Lundback ad Madick.
“I planned to get some points here, so he’ll have a rest after this show,” said Ben. “It’s been great to give my horses some experience here and I’m not disappointed with a time fault, he jumped fantastically.”
William Whitaker secured his third victory of the show in the H&M pairs relay. He was riding Johnny Greenwood’s It’s Super Girl, and was partnered by his uncle Michael with Deborah Cox’s Fairview’s Mirabelle D’Or.
Stay in touch with all the action from Olympia on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show and don’t miss H&H’s show jumping reports in 25 December issue (on sale 23 December) and 1 January issue (on sale 2 January).