The Whitaker run of success continued on Friday afternoon in the CMM Derby Vase at Hickstead. This time it was 21-year-old Ellen Whitaker’s turn to stand at the top of the line after her flying round from third draw on Cortaflex Kanselier proved far too good for the rest. Her closest rival was her uncle John, who tried his hardest on Mandy Hall’s Casino, but finished 1.7sec behind.
Ellen (pictured right) has a busy week ahead, as she has been selected as part of Britain’s squad for the Aachen Super League show that starts on Wednesday.
The day began with three hard-fought national championships. Despite the rain, the riders in the Incetevents Grade C final prodiced an exciting seven-horse jump-off. Matt Sampson held the lead on a new ride, Alister Gatherum’s Pitts Daughter, but last-drawn Simon Crippen made the most of his run of form to win by almost 2sec on Longmeads Minao.
Six reached the jump-off of the fine-year-old championship, which went to a stunning round from young rider Gemma Plumley on the attractive grey Arliena Z. By contrast, the six-year-olds were led by the sole first-round clear from Emma Saywell with another promising grey, her husband Andrew’s scopey Cornelius.