Ellen Whitaker was launched firmly back in the spotlight on the final day of HOYS. After taking the Vinopolis speed horse of the year with the 17-year-old Kanselier in the afternoon, Ellen landed the prestigious leading show jumper of the year grand prix on Equimax Ocolado.
A potentially risky strategy of taking a wide turn to the second fence in the jump-off proved lucrative as she recorded the only double clear.
“I decided to take the gamble,” said Ellen, who was winning this coveted title for the first time.
Runner-up was Ben Maher (Wonder Boy III) while Nick Skelton slotted into third on Carlo 273.
The junior title went to 15-year-old Laura Robinson on her father Neal’s Paddy Power – a 10-year-old Connemara gelding.
“I didn’t think I’d done enough,” said Laura. “But ‘Archie’ was jumping brilliantly.”
Thursday’s Horse & Hound Foxhunter winner Sultan V was back in action in the grade C championship where another foot-perfect performance landed him a second title for Bruce Menzies.
“He was a bit sharp today,” said Bruce of Old Lodge’s British-bred seven-year-old. “I didn’t feel so confident going in but he’s ticking all the right boxes at the moment.”
So after five days of top-class action it is all over from the NEC, Birmingham, for another year. But don’t miss H&H’s 17-page special report, on sale this Thursday.