Germany’s Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst claimed £12,000 in the winner-takes-all Martin Collins Christmas Masters at the London International Horse Show this afternoon, beating Dutchman Eric Van der Vleuten in the fifth and final round jump-off.
Van der Vleuten and Audi’s Owendel set a hair-raising pace – completing in just 25.95 sec. But Alois Pollmann-Scheckhorst and Paparazzi pulled out all the stops. By cutting a corner to reach the final double, they shaved 1.92 sec off Van der Vleuten’s time. “Today was the day.” Pollmann-Schweckhorst told HHO afterwards, “He [Paparazzi] had wings on!”
At the beginning of round four the jumps stood at 1m60 and the prize fund at £11,000. Just four riders were left in the competition – Pollmann-Schweckhorst, Van der Vleuten and last night’s Puissance winners Robert and John Whitaker.
Van der Vleuten was first to jump, scoring an effortless clear and pushing the prize money up to £11,500. Robert Whitaker and Finbarr V had no such luck, and bowed out of the competition after knocking the first part of the double. John Whitaker fared no better on his new ride Casino. The pair rolled fence three, leaving only Pollmann-Schweckhorst in with a chance of defeating Van der Vleuten. Fortunately he jumped a tidy clear, and a £12,000 jump off ensued between the Dutchman and the German.
Alois Pollman-Schweckhorst’s win makes up for the 2004 Christmas Masters when he was knocked out of the competition in round one after jumping the wrong course.
Earlier on this morning Britain’s Zoe Adams and Vip Tixylix finished first in the competitive Albon Pony Jumping Championship after clocking an impressive 27.55sec jump off time. Dan Nielson took second place, with Laura Nielson in third.
This afternoon Germany’s Franke Sloothaak and No Time took the Albon Speed Stakes ahead of runner-up Malin Baryard-Johnsson from Sweden. Two of Britain’s young talents finished in the top 10: Ryan Prater was placed fourth, while Ben Maher took sixth position.