Andrew Davies captured the top prize in the Supreme Championship at the easibed Chester International Show for the second year in succession at the weekend. In front of a big crowd, the Welshman, who is based not far from the show ground in Warrington, produced a superb performance on 16-year-old Ashley to go home £5,000 richer.
In a tense three-horse final round, Shropshire-based Irishman Dave Quigley looked unlucky to lower two fences when Ashdale Futuro slipped on a turn.
The winning round followed. Andrew gave Ashley all the time he needed to clear the 1.60m fences and the former Horse & Hound Foxhunter champion answered every question with a lovely round. But the time limit was extremely tight and they did collect three faults.
The result was decided when Damian Charles, going for the winning clear on St Honores Liquid, faulted at the midway stage to take an honourable second place on a horse who was having only his fourth outing since suffering a life-threatening injury at Aachen last year.
“This win was all down to Ashley. He tried his heart out and all I had to do was steer in the right direction and make sure we met the fences right,” said Andrew afterwards.
Ellen Whitaker had earlier taken the £2,500 first prize in the Martin Dawes Championship on AK Kanselier. The young rider from Yorkshire finished off a great show with a lovely round on the athletic chestnut to hold off Ireland’s Enda Carroll on Silvera De Riafo.
The opening Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Championship also went to Yorkshire, this time in the shape of Paul Barker, who flew round to win on Jimmy Small’s home-bred mare, Temple Guess What.